A new artist exhibition opened in the Living Room Gallery of the Tualatin Library in November, and it’s the artwork of Sharon George Diebel, lifelong artist and native Oregonian, on display until February 2020. In this art show, you will witness a celebration of Oregon flora and fauna, “flora” being the particular plant life or our region and “fauna,” correspondingly referring to our animal life.
Sharon’s watercolor paintings and acrylics radiate with warmth and vitality just like she does as a person. Her sunflowers smile back at the sun, and her rascally raccoon smirks as if he just raided your trash can for a nighttime snack. The large watercolors make you stop and pause at the singular beauty of delicate irises and the garden that peaks through the picket fence in “Don’t Fence Me In” is a visual representation of Sharon’s motto in life.
On that note, you’re invited to meet this colorful person at her Artist Reception, a “Meet & Greet with Sharon,“ in the Living Room Gallery on Saturday, Jan. 18 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Sharon is a lifelong artist I met through the Keizer Art Association about five years ago, the KAA being an organization she helped bring to life with her volunteerism on the first Board and successive Boards thereafter encompassing all positions of leadership.
Sharon’s life started in Salem, Oregon, and she experienced lots of moving around. At an early age, when her father went off to WWII, her mother packed her and her siblings up and went to Silverton. From there, she moved to Carmel, California; Ft. Knox, Kentucky; Ft. Ord, Washington; Monterey, California; and then all over Oregon, with her landing back in Salem, where she began. She has five children, eight grandchildren, and fourteen great-grandchildren. Her extended family includes many people from church and the sorority houses where she was House Director at Delta Gamma Sorority at the University of Oregon (1985-1994) and Pi Beta Phi at Willamette University (1982-1985.) In that time period, she was “House Mom” to nearly a hundred young women and managed staff and maintenance on these houses.
Everyone knows someone like Sharon, but maybe not because we know the special talent they have. We find out about her painting and her art later because service to others always comes first. She is actively involved at her church through Bible Study for many years, always ready to offer people encouragement, prayer, and books for their personal situations. She will surprise you with her keen understanding. She is also who gathers busy neighbors to her house where they eat and exchange phone numbers in case of emergencies.
Intertwined into this life of mothering, working, and volunteering is art. Sharon’s collection of artwork is enormous and represents the quiet spare moments in between all the rest along with her irrepressible urge to create beauty and express herself on canvas and paper. It’s almost impossible to imagine how Sharon accomplished this given all the people in her life who have needed her for non-art reasons. What her paintings show is a changing of style and an experimentational attitude in sync with the changes and turns in her life.
Enjoy her lovely paintings and meet her in January.
If you are interested in learning more about the Living Room Gallery program at the Tualatin Public Library, contact Coordinator & Gallerist Angela Wrahtz at [email protected]. This program is sponsored in part by the Tualatin Arts Advisory Committee.