Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Five residents spoke to council members in support of and the need for an arts and culture commission

Typically, there's little resident interest in the public comment section at City Council session at the beginning of the meeting. It is often passed over before the council members get down to business.

That wasn't the case at the June 26 meeting's public comment section when five Molalla residents spoke to the council members to let them know that a new arts and culture commission isn't just important—it's needed.

"There's lots of interest in what you are doing to reestablish an art's commission," said Jude Strader, a local artist whose newest project is Trash to Art. She said she thinks an arts commission will be a success.

"There's a renewed interest in our community in arts and history. It helps build a community," she added.

"Art defines a city," said David Jackson. "Great cities are noted by their art." He sees a new arts commission as coordinating with the city's visioning project.

"People are interested in Molalla's culture, history and art; it needs to be encouraged," added Ken Fetters, the owner of The Main Shop, the new art gallery on Main Street.

An arts commission isn't just about art, it's about culture too.

He noted that there's more than adults interested in arts and culture, there's incredible art coming out of Molalla's high school.

COURTESY PHOTO: JUDE STRADER - Pictured is the trash-to-art project titled 'Fish of the Molalla River' by Steve Mysinger and Kate Simmons.Lindsay Knapp, a silversmith, who designs and makes jewelry, told council members that "…there's a synergy that comes from an arts council, a united purpose that's behind the hub, an action with the city which leads to an important way to build community. We work better when we do things together," she concluded.

Local artist Steve Mysinger, who has works at The Main Shop and who exhibited some of his Trash to Art at the shop over the June 21 weekend, said, "I am encouraging you to consider an arts group."

"These volunteers came to the meeting because they see the importance of an arts and culture commission. It's important to them and…they're here, willing and want it to happen," said DeLise Palumbo, the city council member who is working to make the commission a reality.

The group has had one meeting and is planning a second on July 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Molalla Public Library. Palumbo has an extensive file of texts and emails from people looking forward to making an arts and culture commission real. She's heard from painters, potters and people hawking film festivals.

Others are asking for Summer Theater in the Park and cooperation between local and nearby school districts for arts.

They have lots of ideas, Palumbo said, everything from performing arts to visual, literary and historical arts and music.

"There's a lot of untapped talent (out there) to participate. After all, many hands make light work," Palumbo said.

Carol Rosen
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