Dear Guild Members,
The end of 2021 is fast approaching, and the end of my TRAG president’s term as well. As you may know the TRAG bylaws state that no elected board member can serve for more than 2 years and I along with the other elected board members – Vice president Jeanne Cardana, Treasurer Cheri Bosserman and Secretary Tamara Scott– are moving on. TRAG is fortunate that Tamara Scott has agreed to take the position of president for 2022. TRAG has also elected Rhoda Bohr as Vice President, Cathy Rowe as Secretary, and Nancy Graham as Treasurer. I am confident and excited that TRAG’s new board will carry the Guild through to better times and remain as strong and vibrant in our community as in years past. Please make sure you make it to the in-person meeting on January 10th at the Pioneer Center in Oregon City from 7pm – 8:30pm if you can. The new TRAG president Tamara Scott will be brainstorming with members on the future of TRAG.
I look back on the last 2 years and am astounded at what TRAG accomplished in possibly one of the worst economic times in history due to the pandemic. As the Gallery hit hard times, due to the anchor tenant leaving the Singer Hill Café, we turned to other avenues to support the Gallery, our TRAG members and the arts in Oregon City. We were able to procure project funding through the metro enhancement grant for the Storefront Art Gallery and Event project in 2020 ($9370) and the mural project for 2021 ($18690). Both these projects offered artists opportunities to participate and sell their artwork. And TRAG was able to use some of the grant funds to run the Spring Fling Pop up Art Show in May 2021. Additionally, TRAG applied and received funding in the amount of almost $20,000 through the Oregon Community grant, the Oregon City Business grant, the Coronavirus Relief Grant, the CARES ACT, and our own Oregon City business partners. The Spring Fling Art show was a tremendous success as was the Holiday Show, and the 2021 Oregon City Festival of the Arts was the most successful show we TRAG has held so far. These were all truly a team effort, and my deepest thanks to the Guild members who contributed to all these major events to make them happen. Although the decision was made to close the Singer Hill gallery at the end of May due to slow traffic, our amazing landlords Phil and Vicki Yates had let us use the space for free as they realized TRAG was hitting hard times. All of these contributions put TRAG in the best financial state we have ever been in for 2022. I am grateful to be able to hand over the reins to a new board knowing they have a strong financial springboard to have the freedom to accomplish absolutely anything they wish.
I have so many TRAG members to thank for helping TRAG thrive in such difficult times. Cheri Bosserman the TRAG treasurer who kept TRAG on track – but more importantly whose friendship through one of the most difficult times of my life literally kept me sane. Yelena Shabrova whose constant tweaks and upgrades to our website and knowledge of IT issues kept us not only surviving but growing. Cathy Rowe who partnered with me to procure the Metro grant for murals and was the lead artist and project manager for the Trolley Car renovation. Tamara Scott who pitched in to help with the Storefront Gallery Art Project as we installed and removed 3’x6’ art pieces from TRAG artists throughout Oregon City. Lynda Orzen for her knowledge and help for murals, the Holiday Show, and OCFOTA. Kerry Edwards for her help in procuring and managing volunteers for TRAG’s events. Each and every one of the OCFOTA committee who took on the responsibility of running the best Festival TRAG has ever had – and had fun doing it. Melody Bush who pitched in to run the social marketing campaign for both OCFOTA and the Holiday Show. Ingrid Aubry who tirelessly takes care of all of our graphics for each and every event. The Gallery managers – Susan Woodworth, Jeanne Kelly Brown, and Holly Kroenig – who kept the Gallery running for almost a year and a half against all odds and then with Tamara Scott’s help made the tough decision with the TRAG board to close it – and then took on the myriad of tasks that goes with closing a store. And last but certainly not least – each and every one of TRAG’s members for your continued membership, input, participation, support, and enthusiasm. I will be forever grateful.
I’d also like to give a special shout out to our Oregon City community members. Over the past 2 years TRAG forged some strong and important partnerships. The OC Chamber of Commerce and its members who have contributed financially and gotten the word out for every one of TRAG’s events. The Oregon City Tourism and Economic Development group who supported TRAG’s mural initiative as well as all of our events. The many organizations who reached out for TRAG’s help for their own projects – Parks and Rec, the Women’s Club, Art in Oregon, Soul Flags, the OC Rotary Club, Clackamas County Arts Alliance, and the Downtown Oregon City Association. I am grateful that TRAG was able to contribute $1000 to OC School District in 2020 and $1000 to the Children’s Center in 2021 for the support of the Arts. My one wish for TRAG is that they keep the community partnerships going – it is a big reason for our success and fulfills our mission of supporting the arts in Oregon City.
I move on with mixed feelings – nostalgic and sad to leave an organization I have loved so much, but excited about some new opportunities on the horizon. As a member of the new Oregon City Art Commission, I was recently asked to Chair the Commission. I have still not decided on that – but am considering it. Oregon City’s new focus on the need for Art and Culture is a truly exciting time, and TRAG was a strong factor in bringing this about. My hope, as one of the art commissioners, is to continue working with TRAG as a supporting partner in these new initiatives.
Be well and stay well my friends. Life is short. Pursue your passions, love each other, forgive each other, and find every moment you can to reach out with a helping hand. My years with TRAG and the many friendships I made will always hold a special place in my heart. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.