Capturing character and spirit, creating a Gallery of Legacies and honoring individual lives

“Larry Eldred,” a portrait by Dan Crandall, President, Lake Chelan Arts Council.

CHELAN - Sponsored by the Lake Chelan Arts Council, seven local artists launched a project this month to each create a work of art to express the individuality and life passions of a resident of Heritage Heights. Dan Crandall, Cameron Elder, Carol Jenkins, Concie Luna, Valeria Martinez, Shiamoom Nawaz, and Anne Clausen all stepped forward to begin the Portrait Project.

Inspired by Cameron (Cam) Elder, the Portrait Project is modeled after The Women of Mary’s Place, a Seattle project in which Cam participated in 2008. Artists met with residents of that community and interviewed them. The resulting original artwork took many forms using a variety of media—oil, watercolor, collage, pen and ink drawing—realistic and abstract. All validated the dignity of the individual subject and affirmed their life experience.

Now Cam is leading a similar project in Chelan for the residents of Heritage Heights. The kick-off meeting occurred the first week in January, when artists first met with residents and paired-up. Interviews followed, bringing artists and residents closer in a process of discovery. Artwork now in process will be unveiled at the end of February.

The hallways of Heritage Heights will serve as the gallery for the portraits. Each hallway is a “neighborhood” of residents, and the project will proceed in phases by hallway. The time and date of future showings will be announced in the Lake Chelan Mirror as the artwork is submitted. Additional showings in the community are also being considered.

Barbara Koenig, as a longtime member of the Lake Chelan Arts Council, put out a call for artist volunteers. If you have an interest in participating please contact her at

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