By Norma Schneider – Guild Founder
1990, Portland [City] Commissioner [Mike] Lindberg invited representatives of all the Art Guilds in the tri-counties to a meeting in his office. Harriet Jorgenson and I attended the meeting. Harriet represented the Clackamas County Arts Commission and I represented the Gladstone Art Guild. Commissioner Lindberg presented the Arts 2000 program to us. Arts 2000 was a survey of all the arts groups in the state of Oregon. At this first meeting, nine people showed up from Beaverton, Forest Grove, Oswego, West Linn, Vancouver, Portland, Gladstone, and Clackamas County Commissioner Judie Hammersted was there. We voted to meet once a month and hold the meetings in different communities.The monthly Arts 2000 meetings drew large numbers of artists, all interested in promoting the arts in their area. Harriet, my husband and I went to the meetings, meeting people from all over Oregon. At one meeting, I met Peter Sears, a member of the Arts Commission in Salem. I told him I was interested in starting an arts guild in North Clackamas. He said that he would be glad to work with me anyway he could to get it started. Clackamas County Commissioner Judie Hammerstad gave me her card and said to call her if she could help. Marilyn Brown, Director of the North Clackamas Chamber of Commerce, gave her card, and said let’s get together and startAlong the way I met Roger Brown, Director of the North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District, and he said he would help me get started.I went to the Milwaukie City Manager. He stated [that] I could use the Milwaukie name but not to expect any money nor did they have space where we could meet. He turned a deaf ear to the need of cultural development in Milwaukie. I was determined to press on, so in January 1993, I met with Marilyn Brown, North Clackamas Chamber of Commerce. She said, “Let’s start!” I called a meeting at the Chamber in January 1993 with the following people: Salem Arts Commissioner Peter Sears, North Clackamas Parks Recreation Director Roger Brown, North Clackamas Chamber of Commerce Director Marilyn Brown, and my husband, Ben Schneider. It was decided that I should set a date and call a meeting of artists and start and the Chamber would mail out the noticesBen Schneider, my husband, looked for a place to meet. The meeting was held at the Far West Building in Oregon City Shopping Center the third Tuesday of March,1993. I gathered a list of artist’s addresses and printed a notice about the meeting. My son’s secretary printed the notices (140), we addressed them and the Chamber mailed them.At the first meetings, 31 people attended and 17 joined. I appointed Helen Kusterin Treasurer, Irene TenEyck Secretary, Faye Brown Vice President, and Genevieve Mueller Hospitality. The program was “Show and Tell.” We started a membership drive and in three months’ time, we had fifty Charter Members.I set about to write a set of by-laws, after studying by-laws of several other organizations. When this was refined and adopted, we filed for incorporation with the State of Oregon. We held our first art show in November 1994. Faye Brown was chairperson. We had to obtain boards and make the muslin covers. It was a huge success.