Oregon City exhibit showcases contemporary artist
Clackamas County Historical Society has two captivating exhibits that bridge the generations through art and education.
"Grade School to Graduation: 100 Years of Education in Clackamas County" demonstrates how much education in the region has changed over the past 100 years, from log-cabin schoolhouses to modern school districts.
While 2020 brought challenges to both teachers and students alike as classrooms across the nation adapted to online learning, the Museum of the Oregon Territory exhibit shows how this was not the first time educators have had to persevere through extraordinary circumstances.
Meanwhile, thanks to Art in Oregon, the Stevens-Crawford House's Mary Elizabeth Gallery is showcasing the work of contemporary artist Haelyn Y through July 9.
Haelyn Y works primarily in oils and charcoal. Using her traditional training, she now employs bold colors and impasto in an expressionistic manner.
Gallery curator Natalie Wood said that Haelyn Y explores issues related to memory and feeling through the process of painting. Her work often reflects a deep fascination with memory and interpretation of shapes and forms, representing her own attempt to examine the dichotomy between the present and the past.
Haelyn Y's "Bluebird Carries the Sky on Its Back" is an acrylic painting depicting a bluebird, a cage, a Korean bridal mask, a wedding headpiece and a background of abstract obstacles over the sea. Haelyn Y said she expressed her journey toward finding happiness by borrowing motifs from the play "The Blue Bird" by Maurice Maeterlinck.
"The captivating bluebird in my painting symbolizes my fulfillment and joy in life," she said. "Other items scattered around the canvas convey my struggle to cope with my Korean identity in a foreign country by hiding it and eventually realizing that the bluebird was always on my shoulder. Why did I cry about my empty cage?"
New executive for CCHS
Starting May 16, Clackamas County Historical Society hired Stephen Greenwood as its new executive director, replacing Jenna Barganski, who as previously reported, left the position April 15.
During his short time so far at CCHS, Greenwood said he's seen "incredible enthusiasm" from the board, staff and volunteers at the Museum of the Oregon Territory and the Stevens Crawford House.
"My hope is to tap into this energy to share the history of Clackamas County in new ways to new audiences," he said. "I am excited about this position because I think the combination of Clackamas County's rich history and my work building audiences, creating programs and forming partnerships in the community is a win-win opportunity for CCHS and myself."
Greenwood previously managed the Wells Fargo Museum in Portland where he created education programs, installed exhibits and collaborated with company employees, customers and nonprofits, including the Oregon History Museum.
The CCHS Hiring Committee was particularly impressed by Greenwood's programming experience, which included coordinating 25 events for the Wells Fargo Museum celebrating Oregon's diverse history and highlighting stories from the African American, Asian American, Latino and LGBTQ+ communities, along with stories of veterans and women. His work with other heritage institutions includes Colonial Williamsburg, the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and the National Archives.
CCHS officials were attracted to Greenwood's expertise in crafting educational materials. He holds a teaching certificate from Western Washington University and previously worked with the Girl Scouts to develop engaging and informative content as part of their patch program.
Greenwood's focus on connecting with audiences led him to create educational outreach programs to involve groups that could not visit the museum, something CCHS is interested in implementing at its own museums.
Museum of the Oregon Territory
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday (visitors may stay until 4:30 p.m.)
Where: 211 Tumwater Drive, Oregon City
Stevens-Crawford Heritage House
Where: 603 Sixth St., Oregon City
Hours: 2-6 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday
More: About the artist: HaelynY.com; more on CCHS: clackamashistory.org
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