Late in 2006, Lynda Orzen was contacted by Anne Paris with an opportunity to begin an artist coop in Oregon City. A small meeting was called to explore the possibilities. A local business person had space available and offered it to the group if they would make site improvements. After several meetings, it was felt that a larger organization was needed to develop a true business plan and recruit artists. The group of artists worked on creating by-laws for an artist guild and in February of 2007 held it first official meeting at the Pioneer Community Center. In March of 2007, the by-laws were approved and the Three Rivers Artist Guild was official. The first officers for the guild were elected the following month with Lynda Orzen as the President, Connie Veenker, President Elect, Glenda Richards as Treasurer and Jim Hall, Secretary.

Within the first year, the guild was invited to install a gallery at the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center with members Glenda Richards and Jodi Dann as the gallery organizers. They also joined the Oregon City Chamber of Commerce to become a part of the business community. The guild was also asked to participate in the Sky Light Gallery at the County’s Sunnybrook location which is hosted by the Art Action Alliance. February of 2007, members also participated in the first heART of Oregon Show at the Museum of the Oregon Territory with Three Rivers Artist Guild member Jude Welter coordinating the event. June of 2007, Three Rivers Artist Guild was asked to host a recycled art show to coordinate with an event on Climate Change by Bill Bradbury, Oregon Secretary of State. In September the guild was asked to install an art exhibition and sale for Clackamas Live in Milwaukie.

As you can see, the guild really hit the ground running in the first year. Besides participating in numerous events in the community, they also held monthly meetings with a wide variety of speakers with subjects on photographing your artwork, how to approach a gallery, creating an artist statement and biography, copyright issues and guest artists.

Moving into its second year, the board members felt the guild had grown sufficiently-up to 90 members-that it was time to increase the board. New board members would include a newsletter editor, volunteer coordinator, historian, membership coordinator, and website coordinator.

We are now enjoying new board of directors who are introducing new and exciting programs for members. Artists are always welcome to visit a meeting and most are pleasantly surprised as how welcome they feel and the relaxed meeting environment.