Jewish Community Free Clinic in Santa Rosa brightens patients’ visits with art

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Jewish Community Free Clinic in Santa Rosa brightens patients’ visits with art (More photos online here)

CHRIS SMITH
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT | May 22, 2016, 6:07PM

Can art heal?

Champions of what’s been called a miracle of a Santa Rosa health clinic can’t prove that the fine and vivid pieces of framed beauty that adorn the walls help to make the low-income patients better.

But good luck persuading them that it doesn’t.

“Art lifts the spirit of this place,” said Donna Waldman, director and co-founder of the Jewish Community Free Clinic on Montgomery Drive.

The operation runs on a shoestring — its budget is less than $300,000 a year — and it relies on the volunteer labor of doctors, nurses, translators and other staffers. Patients, a good many of them immigrants without health insurance, are charged nothing for the care they receive.

Given the austere nature of the mission, someone walking in the door might expect the waiting and reception areas, the halls and the exam rooms to be clinical and plain.

But for the donations by acclaimed Sonoma County artists Marsha Connell and Sally Baker, they would be.

It’s not coincidental that Connell, the landscape and abstract artist who chairs the county’s ArtTrails open-studio program, is married to Dr. Jerry Connell. The retired family doctor was an early volunteer medical director with the 15-year-old clinic.

Said his wife the artist, “I was always wishing I could do something for the clinic.”

Marsha Connell with one of her oil paintings, Mallows and More—Pepperwood Preserve, donated to Jewish Community Free Clinic.She found that something when she perceived that the walls pleaded for art. Several of the 15 or so pieces Connell contributed are lavish landscapes of Sonoma County scenes.

The total effect is an environment far more inviting and calming than anyone would reasonably anticipate upon entering a free health clinic.

“Our medical offices should look exactly like any other medical offices,” Waldman said.

It helps that the building on Montgomery Drive, just west of Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, is not some beggarly space, but the smartly designed and well maintained former home of a prosthetics practice.

The clinic operated within a smaller location in Rohnert Park when the owners of the Montgomery Drive building did something grand two and a half years ago: they donated it for the benefit of people without health insurance or the ability to pay for health care.

“This is more than double what we had,” Waldman said of the space.
The Jewish Community Free Clinic is open about 25 hours a week, and its volunteers see between 1,500 and 2,000 patients a year. That’s 500 to 1,000 fewer patients than eight and nine years ago, when the recession was in force and the federal Affordable Care Act wasn’t yet enacted and offering coverage to the uninsured.

That law “has absolutely, positively helped many of our clients,” Waldman said. Yet, the clinic’s safety-net services continue to be essential to people who remain without health insurance, or who come down with a medical issue and don’t have a doctor to turn to.

Many impoverished people also look to the clinic for vaccines, prescription medications other than painkillers, pre-employment physicals and women’s health services. People who come in with chronic illnesses are referred to one of the county’s low-cost community health centers.

Though no one is charged for the care received at the Montgomery Drive clinic, Waldman said it often happens that grateful former patients will send in donations when they’re able to. The other operating funds come from philanthropic gifts and fundraisers.

Giving Tree Final FilledArtist Connell is completing a large, colorful giving-tree painting that will be placed prominently at the clinic and will feature ceramic leaves, doves and poppies bearing the names of donors. The ceramics are being made by artist Leslie Gattmann of Sebastopol.

Connell said the model for the purple-hued tree in the painting is a great oak that stands near her Santa Rosa home and that has proven to be healing to her.
“We want to make this clinic a healing place,” she said, “and art is very healing.”

Sales of her giving-tree painting’s ceramic accoutrements will generate $90,000 for the Jewish Community Free Clinic. Once completed and hung, the tree painting and its personalized leaves, doves and poppies will indefinitely beautify a clinic wall.

Leslie Gattmann cutting models for Giving Tree A wine-and-food benefit on June 5, 5-8pm at Congregation Shomrei Torah on Bennett Valley Road will honor Connell and Gattmann for their creative contributions to the mission and raise additional dollars to sustain it. You can sign up for the benefit evening here. http://jewishfreeclinic.org/upcoming-events/

Director Waldman said that ideally, the day will come when everyone is provided quality health care and the little miracle of a clinic will no longer be necessary. She added, “As long as we’re needed, we’re going to be here.”

And as long as the clinic exists, an abundance of art will surely be there to help patients feel welcomed and honored and, who knows, maybe even feel better.

Landscape Painting at Pepperwood Preserve. May 15

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There are just a few spots left. Sign up by Thursday May 12 noon!
Landscape Painting: Observation and Expression. Sunday, May 15, 9am – 3pm
Only $45 per participant ($40 for members)!
Ages 13+
Explore plein air painting with me! Deepen your observational skills and express your responses to Pepperwood’s verdant and blossoming spring landscape. The continuing rains have gifted us with wildflower joy this year!
Beginning painters: learn basics of working in the field. Experienced painters: expand your repertoire with elements of realism, impressionism, expressionism, with support for finding your own voice. Demonstrations in oil but you may use any media.Marsha Connell-The Warmth of Autumn, o/c, 24 x 24", 2010

This week! Empire College Exhibit Reception

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Empire College Exhibit May 2016Empire College Reception. May 12

Please join me and other Sonoma County Artists, most from our Northeast Santa Rosa Artists group at a reception for a spring exhibit at Empire College
(You can find my 8 paintings of waterways and hillsides next to the Law Library)

Thursday, May 12.
Enjoy Appetizers and Beverages 4 to 7 pm

Empire College
3035 Cleveland Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

STEM to STEAM

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Go left to science, right for art

By Sandi Funke, Education Director

Posted on http://www.pepperwoodpreserve.org/2016/03/29/go-left-to-science-right-for-art/

March 29, 2016 Categories: Blog, Education 1

When I was a student in high school back in the *throat-clearing* 1980’s, our fully enclosed Midwestern high school had “wings.” All of the humanities and language classes were upstairs. Downstairs to the left there was a long winding hallway which housed the science classrooms. These halls always smelled a little funky and to me, they represented hands-on, relevant learning. Way at the other end of school were the hallways where the visual arts classes happened. I often craned my neck looking at the desktop easels to get a glimpse of what those classes were working on. I have always LOVED to draw, but in high school, drawing and painting weren’t “college prep” classes so I didn’t take many of them. I took so many science classes however, that they added up to 6 years of high school science.

What if things had been different?

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STEM represents the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. STEM seeks to integrate these subjects while focusing on solving real-world problems in education and research. The STEM to STEAM movement, led by the Rhode Island School of Design, adds “Art and Design to the national agenda of STEM education and research in America. STEM + Art = STEAM”. The objective is to “foster the true innovation that comes with combining the mind of a scientist or technologist with that of an artist or designer.”

How would our world be different if artists and art were regularly included in scientific endeavors?

STEAM in our Own Backyard
Last year, Sonoma State University took the creative step of integrating authentic natural sounds with music and dance. With training from nationally known bioacoustics expert Dr. Bernie Krause, students from SSU recorded a diversity of sounds in the field at SSU’s Fairfield Osborne and Galbreath Wildlands Preserves. The recordings were given to composer Jesse Olsen Bay, who created an original composition. Choreographers Christine Cali and Kristen Daley and dance students used the original score to explore the sounds and create a dance performance. The collaboration was shared with the public last fall. Check it out here.

Art and Science Merge at Pepperwood
Collaboration is also central to the relationship between Santa Rosa Junior College visual artist and instructor Marsha Connell and biology instructor Shawn Brumbaugh. Marsha and Shawn discovered their common interests through co-teaching the Natural History of Pepperwood course, which certifies participants as UC California Naturalists. This course, which served as the pilot for the now state-wide program, emphasizes sketching, nature journaling, and practicing deep observation as fundamental skills for naturalists of all experience levels.

Marsha and Shawn will be presenting a Discover Nature lecture entitled The Synergy of Art and Science – Perspectives of Pepperwood on April 1st, 2016. Through lush slides of artistic renderings of the environment and its inhabitants, they will discuss the relationship between art and science including the historical importance of sketching in documenting scientific inquiry. Click here for more info on the lecture.

Later in the season, you can deepen your own observational skills and express your responses to Pepperwood’s verdant and blossoming spring landscape through a Landscape Painting class with Marsha on May 15th, 2016. Click here to learn more about this class.

Poppy Fields at Pepperwood. 2008 o/c

Go Left to Science, Right for Art, April 1 Pepperwood Preserve

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DISCOVER NATURE
The Synergy of Art and Science:
Perspectives of Pepperwood
This Friday, April 1, 2016
6:30pm open house, 7pm lecture

Come with all your senses tuned in for a lecture and visual tour of Pepperwood’s 3,200 acre preserve that explores the synergy of art and science. Shawn Brumbaugh, Santa Rosa Junior College biology instructor joins artist and art instructor Marsha Connell on a painting and drawing journey observing and interpreting Pepperwood’s majestic landscapes. Our presenters will also discuss the historical importance of sketching in documenting scientific inquiry. Click here for more info.

Sandi Funke, Education Director at Pepperwood Preserve, wrote an excellent blog post about STEM to STEAM, and the valuable wholeness of the relationship between art and science. http://www.pepperwoodpreserve.org/2016/03/29/go-left-to-science-right-for-art/

What do you see? I’d like to know! And an Events Calendar

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Marsha-Connell_Headlands Passage_Oil_16X20"_2015

A visitor to my current exhibit at Dutton Goldfield Winery wrote to me, “Thank you for bringing me into your world through your art. I’m swimming in colors!” Another viewer said, “Wonderful! Your work has a lot of movement and is emotionally evocative!”

Once I was painting at a rambling old farm with multiple buildings surrounded by hills.  I was intrigued by how two barns framed the landscape behind, the shape of the space in between the structures, the abstract puzzle of it all, the color, the quality of the light. The farmer came up behind me, watching, thinking, and finally observed “I’ve lived here fifty years and I’ve never seen what you see!”

What do you see when you view my paintings? I’d like to know your experience. If putting this into words intrigues you, please drop me a line, or a poem.

Here’s some settings where you can view my art in person, a listing so far for 2016. Workshops and lectures, too. Several shows include a lot of other artists’ fine and varied works. You can also visit the virtual galleries here on this blog site. Enjoy!

January 22 –March 14, 2016  Open daily 10am to 4:30pm
Dutton-Goldfield Winery
COAST AND COUNTRYSIDE: MARSHA CONNELL’S
PLEIN AIR LANDSCAPES OF SONOMA, MARIN and
MENDOCINO

3100 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472

SMALL WORKS SHOWS 2016
1. Jan­­-Feb 28 Th-Sat 10:30-5, Sun 10:30-4
Graton Gallery

2. Feb 4-Mar 5 Th-Sat 11-4, Sun 11-2
Chroma Gallery
312 South A Street, Santa Rosa, CA

Friday, April 1, 2016. 7 pm lecture. Open house 6:30 pm, Dwight Center
Pepperwood Preserve

DISCOVER NATURE: THE SYNERGY OF ART AND SCIENCE
Come with all your senses tuned for a lecture and visual tour of Pepperwood’s 3,200 acre preserve. Shawn Brumbaugh, Santa Rosa Junior College biology instructor joins artist Marsha Connell on a painting and drawing journey observing and interpreting Pepperwood’s majestic landscapes and discussing the historical importance of sketching to document scientific inquiry.

April 16–17, 2016
Mendocino Art Center online registration
LIVELY PASTELS: A COLORFUL EXPLORATION
Instructor: Marsha Connell
Pastels are one of the purest forms of artists’ colors. We’ll explore energetic, “painterly” approaches to using these beautiful pigments while learning about pastel techniques and materials.

Sunday, May 15, 2016, 9 am – 3 pm
Pepperwood Preserve   RESERVE NOW >
LANDSCAPE PAINTING WORKSHOP: OBSERVATION AND EXPRESSION
Deepen observational skills and express your responses to Pepperwood’s blossoming spring landscape. Explore plein air painting with artist in residence Marsha Connell. Beginning painters learn basics of working in the field. Experienced painters expand your repertoire with support for finding your own voice. Demonstrations in oil but you may use any media.

Wednesday March 2, 1 pm – 2:45 pm
Artists Round Table

DEMONSTRATION: PASTEL INTO OIL
Santa Rosa Veterans Building, 3850 Maple Street.

Sonoma County Art Trails Gallery at Corrick’s
Daily 10-5
FIRST FRIDAY ARTISTS’ RECEPTIONS
5-7pm
637 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404. 707-546-2424

October 8, 9, 15, 16
SONOMA COUNTY ART TRAILS OPEN STUDIOS

My studio is also open year round by appointment.
Studio location: 2180 Beverly Way, Santa Rosa, 95404

*Questions, purchases, commissions, workshops:
contact sponsor or 
marsha@marshaconnell.com

It looked like stamp collecting. . .Artist Reception Sunday January 24, 1-3 PM, Coast And Countryside: Plein Air Landscapes of Sonoma, Marin & Mendocino

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It looked like stamp collecting. . .but this is the strategy I used to map my new exhibit, Marsha Connell Paintings, Coast And Countryside: Plein Air Landscapes of Sonoma, Marin & Mendocino, at Dutton-Goldfield Winery. Join us at the reception Jan 24, this Sunday 1-3 pm or stop in over the next two months. Enjoy the art and wine, and compare how the plan and the final outcome matched up and changed!
Artist Reception with Marsha Connell at DG
RSVP https://www.facebook.com/events/521546531342508/

We invite you to a wine and cheese reception so you can meet and talk art with Marsha in style. RSVP melody@duttongoldfield.com
* * Present this invitation at the tasting bar during the artist’s reception for a complimentary taste of two of our small-lot single-vineyard wines.

Open daily 10am to 4:30pm, January 19 – March 15.

Dutton-Goldfield Winery
3100 Gravenstein Highway North (Map)
Corner of Hwy 116 and Graton Road
Sebastopol CA 95472
http://www.duttongoldfield.com/

Dutton Goldfield exhibit map 2016

Nearby and Worth a Visit!
Sally Baker’s watercolors and new kimono paintings, Graton Gallery
California & National Watercolor Exhibits, Sebastopol Center for the Arts

Reds & Romance Weekend

I will also be in the tasting room on February 14 from 12-4 pm,  showing both large and small works (perhaps painting Valentines?) and available for conversations about art, life, and love.

Coast And Countryside: Plein Air Landscapes of Sonoma, Mendocino and Marin

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Marsha Connell painting Wildflower Hill at Pepperwood, 2.JPGWildflower Hill at Pepperwood, oil, 30×30″

Dutton-Goldfield Winery invites you    
To an Artist Reception for Marsha Connell
Coast And Countryside: Plein Air Landscapes of Sonoma, Mendocino and Marin
Sunday January 24, 2016. 1:00-3:00PM

Exhibit open daily 10am to 4:30pm, January 19 to March 15.

Dutton-Goldfield Winery
3100 Gravenstein Highway North (Map)
Corner of Hwy 116 and Graton Road
Sebastopol CA 95472
http://www.duttongoldfield.com/

Marsha Connell is a Northern California artist known for expressive colorist paintings in oil, watercolor, and pastel. We are excited to host Marsha’s show in our spacious tasting room, and invite you to a wine and cheese reception so you can meet and talk art with her in style.
RSVP melody@duttongoldfield.com

* * Present this invitation at the tasting bar during the artist’s reception for a complimentary taste of two of our small-lot single-vineyard wines.

Reds & Romance Weekend    
Marsha will be with us in the tasting room on February 14 from 12-4 pm,  showing both large and small works (perhaps painting Valentines?) and available for conversations about art, life, and love.

Marsha Connell_Fog Bank_pastel_12x16"_2015Fog Bank, pastel, 12×16″

New Year’s Wishes

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CONNELL_Dream Vessels#125_Source copy
Dream Vessels #125: Source                 Marsha Connell

In this New Year, may you be safe; may you be happy; may you be free from suffering; may you be at ease. And may your creative well be full!

May all who need it find solace, sanctuary, and loving kindness.

Peace, peace, peace,
Marsha

 
In the Storm     

Mary Oliver

Some black ducks
were shrugged up
on the shore.
It was snowing

hard, from the east,
and the sea
was in disorder.
Then some sanderlings,

five inches long
with beaks like wire,
flew in,
snowflakes on their backs,

and settled
in a row
behind the ducks—
whose backs were also

covered with snow—
so close
they were all but touching,
they were all but under

the roof of the ducks’ tails,
so the wind, pretty much,
blew over them.
They stayed that way, motionless,

for maybe an hour,
then the sanderlings,
each a handful of feathers,
shifted, and were blown away

out over the water,
which was still raging.
But, somehow,
they came back

and again the ducks,
like a feathered hedge,
let them
stoop there, and live.

If someone you didn’t know
told you this,
as I am telling you this,
would you believe it?

Belief isn’t always easy.
But this much I have learned,
if not enough else—
to live with my eyes open.

I know what everyone wants
is a miracle.
This wasn’t a miracle.
Unless, of course, kindness—

as now and again
some rare person has suggested—
is a miracle.
As surely it is.

Copyright © 2006 Mary Oliver All rights reserved
from the Southern Review (http://trk.cp20.com/click?9fht2-14q1bj-rbt65x1)
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Thank you to Rabbi George for sharing Spirit Rock’s “Metta”, Loving-Kindness meditation practice, and this poem.

MARSHA CONNELL’S ART EVENTS Late 2015-2016

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MARSHA CONNELL’S
ART EVENTS:
Exhibits, Talks, Workshops
December 2015-October 2016

Questions, purchases or commissions, workshops: contact sponsoring organization or marshaconnell.wordpress.com/contact   or   marsha@marshaconnell.com

Now through December 31, 2015
History Museum of Sonoma County  – Gift Shop
A COLLECTION OF MY PAINTINGS, PRINTS AND CARDS
425 7th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Tuesday – Sunday, 11am-5pm

February 20, 2015-January 30, 2016
Sonoma West Medical Center
SONOMA LANDSCAPES: FOUR ARTISTS
501 Petaluma Avenue, Sebastopol, CA
Open 24 hours

November 20-January 16, 2016. Sonoma County Art Trails Gallery at Corrick’s and My Daughter the Framer www.corricks.com
SONOMA COUNTY ART TRAILS GROUP EXHIBIT “INSPIRED BY NATURE”
co-sponsored by Pepperwood Preserve.
637 4th St, Santa Rosa, California (707) 546-2424

November 6 – January 3, 2016
The OCA Gallery at Occidental Center for the Arts occidentalcenterforthearts.org
ENERGY MATERIALIZED. Sculptures by Bruce Johnson and Riis Burwell. Abstract paintings juried by Healdsburg gallery owner Paul Mahder. (Honorable mention painting award.) Open F, Sa 11-4, Su 12:30-4:30, by appt and during events. 3850 Doris Murphy Ct., Occidental.

January 9-February 7, 2016
Sebastopol Center for the Arts http://sebarts.org
CALIFORNIA WATERMEDIA EXHIBIT
Juried By Christopher Schink (Merit award)
282 S. High Street, Sebastopol, CA 95472  707.829.4797
Hours: Tuesday – Friday 10am – 4pm / Saturday & Sunday 1 – 4pm

January 22 –March 14, 2016
Dutton-Goldfield Winery www.duttongoldfield.com
COAST AND COUNTRYSIDE: MARSHA CONNELL’S
PLEIN AIR LANDSCAPES OF SONOMA, MENDOCINO and MARIN
Artist’s reception Sunday January 24, 1 pm – 3 pm
3100 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472

Friday, April 1, 2016. 7 pm lecture. Open house 6:30 pm, Dwight Center
Pepperwood Preserve
www.pepperwoodpreserve.org/
DISCOVER NATURE: THE SYNERGY OF ART AND SCIENCE
Come with all your senses tuned for a lecture and visual tour of Pepperwood’s 3,200 acre preserve. Shawn Brumbaugh, Santa Rosa Junior College biology instructor joins artist Marsha Connell on a painting and drawing journey observing and interpreting Pepperwood’s majestic landscapes and discussing the historical importance of sketching to document scientific inquiry.

April 16–17, 2016
Mendocino Art Center www.mendocinoartcenter.org/
LIVELY PASTELS: A COLORFUL EXPLORATION
Instructor: Marsha Connell
Pastels are one of the purest forms of artists’ colors. We’ll explore energetic, “painterly” approaches to using these beautiful pigments while learning about pastel techniques and materials.

Sunday, May 15, 2016, 9 am – 3 pm
Pepperwood Preserve www.pepperwoodpreserve.org
LANDSCAPE PAINTING WORKSHOP: OBSERVATION AND EXPRESSION
Deepen observational skills and express your responses to Pepperwood’s blossoming spring landscape. Explore plein air painting with artist in residence Marsha Connell. Beginning painters learn basics of working in the field. Experienced painters expand your repertoire with support for finding your own voice. Demonstrations in oil but you may use any media.

Wednesday October 5, 1 pm – 2:45 pm
Artists Round Table
www.artsoco.org
DEMONSTRATION: PASTEL INTO OIL
Santa Rosa Veterans Building, 3850 Maple Street.

October 8, 9, 15, 16
SONOMA COUNTY ART TRAILS OPEN STUDIOS
www.sonomacountyarttrails.org
My studio is also open year round by appointment.
Studio location: 2180 Beverly Way, Santa Rosa, 95404