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By Gathering, We better ourselves and Our Art - March/Apr 2009

Pick up a newspaper; listen to the news whether on radio or TV. Another year has passed, and OH! What a year for our country. Words describing the economy seem to only start with letters at the front of the alphabet, words like abyss, bankruptcy and corruption. Well, I won’t go on, it all seems a little too Shakespearean.

Let’s say we go to the other end of the alphabet: stone, sculpture and symposium. Now these are within our control. When we think of what these words evoke, the waters quiet down from tsunami to golden pond. On Golden Pond we can spend wisely on that which sustains us and nurtures our souls. We can come together in a place without sanction, a place not only to survive, but to thrive. We call it a symposium.


Your tribe awaits you at Camp Brotherhood this summer. A place of shared hearts where creativity flourishes, bounces off the meadow, mingles with dust and dreams and ends up on a pedestal in the grass; a cup when filled that will sustain through the many months when we might be working alone. It’s a place where we can fill up our pantry with the ideas and the wonderfully shared fellowship that can sustain us for the months in between.


There are surely those around the circle on the last day who possess the resolute strength to endure without others in their pursuit of Art. But even they would admit that their cups get filled at the symposium and they come home with renewed vigor, strength and joy to approach their art. It’s about regeneration and the only pharmacy I know that carries that prescription is the symposium.


Yes, it is easier to stay in your studio all set up in your space. There’s no packing, you have a good bed, and you don’t have to spend any money. But the tribe misses you. We need you. If you seek a life full-filled, the answer might lie in the gathering of kindred spirits for purposes that only they understand; spirit worlds that even our partners do not fully realize. Failure to provide the gathering is not an option, and we who gather, make up the over-soul that comes to life, at one time, in one place. Plan to come to Camp B this summer and renew yourself.

The Last Flower & Garden Show - March/Apr 2009

Moving the NWSSA booth down to the main sales floor was a huge success for attendance, interest and sculpture sales (17). Of the five days: Friday, Saturday and Sunday were elbow room only! We were lucky to get a corner booth to catch people from two sides. Our hand carving demo booth was in the front corner where people stopped to watch and lined up to give the stones a whack. Both adults and children were excited to see how carving is done while experiencing a couple of minutes with hammer and chisel.


Displayed next to the carving booth was a roughed-out  s alabaster mother with ducklings on her back along with a photo depicting the inspiration by Nicky Oberholtzer. This is a vital stage in understanding the process of carving.


To get more interest and understanding about our symposiums, Leon created a story board across the back curtain with 8 x10 photos from Camp B. Showing the layout of the field, sculptors working under their canopies, the stone yard and a night shot with a group sitting around our new fire pit. This visual seemed to help folks make a “connection.” Having handed out several hundred flyers, the true test will be to see how many sign up for a symposium.


I wish to thank Nicky Oberholtzer, Jim Heltsley, and Tom Francis for assisting with the prep work and sitting shifts. A special thanks to Nicky who worked the booth daily from 9am to 8pm with endless enthusiasm. Her Grande Mocha’s really helped!

Many thanks to other booth sitters, Bob Olander, Gus Schairer, Rich Andler, Sharon Feeney, Bill Laprade, Tamara Buchanan, Terry Slaton, Susan Harris, and Lonny Morgan who is not yet a member and drove up from Portland, Oregon to see what we are all about!


Ed. Note: According to the media, this was Seattle’s last Flower and Garden show.

Leon's Sculpture Show News

The NWSSA annual member’s exhibit at the Kirsten Gallery is just around the corner. This year’s show will be September 12 through October 16. It’s not too early to begin making your plans to show at the Kirsten.


And in other news: the SKY NURSERY at Aurora and 187th in Seattle has just built a huge atrium, half the size of a football field and forty feet high. Yes, that’s big. I stopped in the other day to find out that they are very interested in having outdoor sculpture on display. The grand opening is set for May of next year. I was told that they will be able to take just about any size sculpture and it could probably stay there all of next summer. You still have time to start that life size marble Giraffe you’ve always wanted to carve.


Time has a way of moving more quickly than we think it can, so call me for details about the KIRSTEN or the SKY NURSERY at: 206-922-3241 or email me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..