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2023 - 2024 Community Portrait Project  
 

Who are the helpers in Wilsonville?

The Wilsonville Arts and Culture Council (WACC) Helpers, and art students in Wilsonville public schools created portraits to honor and celebrate them.  Read below and through to learn who these Helpers are who dedicate themselves to making our Wilsonville communities kinder and more loving.

Thank you for your patience as this page continues to be updated. 

Sally Gagnier,

Who prunes and dead-heads and fertilizes and weeds the beautiful rose garden at our Wilsonville Library? It’s Sally and her crew of ‘Rose Buddies’ from the Wilsonville Garden Club. Sally loves yardwork and you can often find her in her own flowerbeds doing those same things – raking, weeding, moving plants about. Sally and her husband of 54 years have traveled to most of the National Parks in the West in their motorhome, and also like to hike nearby in the Columbia Gorge.

 Angie Glastra van Loon,

Who is inspiring students with art? Angie was an art history major, then has put her education and talents to work inspiring young students in the Art Literature program at Boones Ferry Primary. She learned, along with the students, that there is no one right way to create art,  and that everyone is an artist. Angie loves to travel, and wherever she goes, she looks for an art museum and a bookstore. She loves Wilsonville because it’s small enough that you run into friends everywhere and big enough to find new friends.

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David Leckey, 

who has bee  part of neighborhood clean ups and making our community greener?  David and his family have lived high up on Ladd Hill in the passive solar home he built in 1980. He loves his sunny homesite - south-facing, and the beautiful rural community of thoughtful, interesting, eclectic  neighbors.  You might have seen him out on West Wilsonville Road, leading a neighborhood roadside cleanup effort; or in his red VW van which he keeps in top condition. Retired from the lumber industry, he noticed that while houses were getting larger, lots were getting smaller: thus there was a need for container grown miniature and dwarf conifers – pine, hemlock, larch, cedar, cypress, yew, fir, spruce, sequoia, even gingko – 104 cultivars altogether which are the specialty of his business, Oregon Small Trees.

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Brooke Lords, 

Who is one of our local art teachers? Brooke has lived just outside Wilsonville her whole life. She went to WHS and is now an art teacher there. She likes Wilsonville because it has a small community vibe that values nature and art. And she loves teaching about art, recalling her own learning curve with certain skills, especially digital art. Now she sees technology as just another creative tool that’s fun to learn. Her favorite art project is the Nativity Window Illustrations on plexiglass for a church in Tualatin which resemble stained glass.

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Troy Mathews,

‘Mr. Mathews’ has enjoyed the job of art teacher at Wood Middle School for six years. Before he was a school teacher, he was a school bus driver. A friend inspired him to go back to school for a teaching degree: he did, and calls it ‘life changing’. Troy loves teaching and driving and creating art himself.  One great thing about teaching, he says, is later running  into former students and seeing where life has taken them.

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Edd Olson, 

For thirty years Sharon and Edd Olson have assisted a big dog rescue organization as volunteers by evaluating both potentially adoptable dogs and potential adopters and foster care volunteers. They have transported rescued dogs all over the northwest to their new homes.  They have adopted hard to place older and infirm dogs to give them a safe forever home regardless of their age or condition. Thanks to years of work, they were instrumental in building the Newberg Animal Shelter. Edd plays Santa Claus for the shelter every holiday!

Nancy Cutler,

Who planted thousands of daffodils in the Park at Merryfield for the community’s enjoyment?   Answer: An avid gardener whose passion is to beautify, Nancy Cutler. Nancy has lived in Wilsonville for 25 years and loves our friendliness, easy access and especially the beauty she finds here.  Nancy  is also an artist and enjoys metalworking; she volunteers for the city’s Parks and Recreation programs; and is the ‘Flower Gal’ for a Transitional Youth non-profit. Watch out at our Wilsonville Post Office - Nancy is on the hunt to beautify it!

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Sharon Olson,

Sharon and her husband Edd have lived in Wilsonville for 22 years, and for 60 years in Clackamas County, where they volunteer with a big dog rescue organization. Sharon is more recently involved in a newer project, also to benefit dog rescue: DABS (Donate ART, Benefit Shelters) in which she puts her artistic skill to work painting animals - mainly dogs and cats. After framing her artwork she delivers it to an animal shelter to auction, or to a thrift store to sell to benefit the shelter.

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Bob Smith,

Bob moved his family to Wilsonville 30 years ago so his sons could attend good schools that supported the arts as well as athletics. What a great choice he made! Though Wilsonville has grown dramatically since he arrived here, it still has a small town feeling, he says. Bob retired from the National Marine Fisheries Service as a fisheries biologist at hatcheries in the Northwest. One of his first volunteer posts here was as a library volunteer. He has never left … in fact he regularly provides baked goods to the library staff’s break room! Bob is also an avid hiker with the Mazamas, and cyclist – a 4-time Cycle Oregon finisher.

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Carla Styczynski, 
Carla’s personal special place has always been the local library. Moving to Wilsonville ten years ago from Maryland, she immediately explored our library and began volunteering there shelving books, looking for holds, sorting carts or working as Treasurer for the Friends of the Library. She finds the library a welcoming, warm and friendly place – both building and staff. And she  likes the small town appeal of Wilsonville.

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Dick Spence, 

Dick has been a Wilsonville resident for 30 years and likes its small town feel, cleanliness, family orientation, parks and feels that City Hall listens to its citizens. He’s proud to tell folks he lives here. His main volunteer activity is the Wilsonville Public Library where he serves on the Library Board, the Foundation and the Friends. He likes everything about the library: the friendly and devoted staff, the way the building is laid out, the ease of finding books, the number of computers and all the programs for adults, teens and children.

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Davina Wellman,

Davina moved here four years ago from Chicago, drawn by Oregon’s natural beauty … and family. She appreciates our diversity in both population and unique activities for all ages. The Wilsonville Library and Villebois Community Center are favorite places that offer her continued learning and new experiences. As a former classroom teacher in Chicago, she follows through with her commitment to education by volunteering for Firm Foundations. Davina also loves to promote reading and has joined a local book group

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Ken Whittaker, 

Ken volunteers as co-Scoutmaster for the first girls’ Scout Troop in Wilsonville. It’s the troop he remembers from his earlier days as a Boy Scout in Wilsonville in the 1970’s and 80’s, long before girls could be members. A Wilsonville resident for most of his life, Ken has also volunteered as Camp Doctor for Scouts and Outdoor School, coached kids sports teams, planted trees at Wilsonville Memorial Park, and worked at the city’s WERK weekend.

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Thank you WLWV Art Educators for guiding the student artists in creating these  portraits.

Angennette Escobar, Wilsonville H.S.

Tia Factor, Wilsonville H.S.

Troy Mathews, Inza R. Wood M.S.

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