Arts Commission gets going

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Nate Brown (far left) with the City of Keizer talks with Arts Commission members Lore Christopher, Beth Melendy, Heather Weathers, Kathy Haney and Jill Hagen. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

Nate Brown (far left) with the City of Keizer talks with Arts Commission members Lore Christopher, Beth Melendy, Heather Weathers, Kathy Haney and Jill Hagen. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

A vision for a new city commission was painted in broad strokes recently.

Members of the new Keizer Arts Commission met for a second time in council chambers at Keizer Civic Center on July 22, with plans to meet on a monthly basis.

Among other items, commission members introduced themselves and shared some things they would like to see the commission take on. Commission members are Mayor Lore Christopher, Rick Day, Jill Hagen, Beth Melendy, Heather Weathers and Kathy Haney. One more seat is currently open.

“This is a big step in establishing an arts commission,” Christopher said. “About 100,000 people come through this building each year. It’s a wonderful venue for art. The lighting is spectacular and there is a lot of space.”

Christopher noted two art groups currently are scheduled to have their work on display at the civic center for three months each. She would like to see art in the building all year. Groups wanting to display art are asked to commit to at least 60 days, with 90 days preferable.

In addition to seeing more sculptures around town, the mayor noted the former Charge house at Keizer Rapids Park is proposed to become an outdoor education center, with classrooms for youth.

“We could do murals inside that building as well,” she said.

Hagen, a member of the Keizer Arts Association board, wants outreach done.

“I would encourage us to encourage the young people in school,” Hagen said. “Have them come talk about doing something with a display. You want them to get the experience without the intimidation. This is a great place to begin.”

While the art that has been displayed thus far at city hall has been hanging along the walls, Hagen said the display case in the lobby could be utilized as well.

“A lot of artists do things other than hanging art,” she said.

A key event leading to the formation of the Arts Commission is the current mural project being done on the west side of Keizer Florist. Local artist Colleen Godwin-Chronister and her family have been busy recently working on the mural.

“They are looking at an October 1 completion date,” said Haney, one of the main people involved with the project. “We need to set an unveiling date. We want to promote this as the first outdoor mural in town.”

Christopher, whose conversation with Hagen helped get the mural idea going, feels more murals will be done once the first is completed.

“Once this mural goes up, I think that will create interest in other building owners,” the mayor said. “Maybe we’ll want to have a VIP party here. We want it to be a big deal.”

In other business July 22:

• A regular meeting time has been set for the Arts Commission. Meetings will take place on the fourth Tuesday of each month, starting at 6 p.m. in council chambers at Keizer Civic Center.

• Day nominated Christopher to serve as chair of the commission, which was unanimously approved. Christopher returned the favor by nominating Day as vice chair, another action that was unanimously approved.

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