President's Message for May

Katie Johnson

Hello, and long time no see! We decided it is time for a newsletter!

There will not be a Fun Shop this month since the church is closed, and no general meeting/program is scheduled due to the social distancing and size limitation of meetings.

We hope to have a Fun Shop in June with Sherry Reese as our instructor, as well as the end-of-year luncheon meeting also in June! Further, we are hoping the Lauritzen Botanical Garden Art Show, with the theme “The Art of Nature”, will still be held July 29 through September 20. We will have a June newsletter for more information on these events. Please read further in this newsletter to stay on top of the affairs of Omaha Artists, and to place your vote. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges for us; the restrictions have created a different way of life for many of us – working, learning, and connecting. Cicely Tyson once said, “Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew.” 

Our new normal means that many of us are either not working or at least working from home, which saves us commute time (I now get 3 weeks to the gallon), and having to get dressed for work (loving daytime pajamas), no shaving, no makeup or time-consuming hair styles! Now is the a period in your life where you can have the time of your life…to do what you wish, when you wish, and how you wish whether it be cleaning, organizing, decluttering, exercising, relaxing, or creating. We are fortunate we have the internal and social resources to cope with this experience and opportunity. Opportunity, you exclaim??!!! Yes, the opportunity to read or write that book, work on computer skills, shop online, try out new recipes (we do have a cookbook coming out), bring back the art of sending cards, doing puzzles, playing cards, learning something new, prayer or meditation, going through photos, reconnecting with people from the past (family or friends), music, sewing, knitting, and working on the Lauritzen Garden art piece…just enjoying the peace and quiet from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. 

Prior to the sudden shutdown of our life as we knew it, I bought the book QUIET – the Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. This is a book about silence and solitude and stories of successful leaders, from a witty high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after an engagement, to a record -breaking salesperson who quietly taps into the power of questions…introverts like Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, and Steve Wozniak, to name a few. It has made me realize, this time is beneficial for both introverts and extroverts. Perhaps this is a time for us to think and create differently, to show kindness, and to live each moment as if it were our last. 

I leave you with a poem written by Kitty O’Meara, a retired schoolteacher from Madison, Wisconsin. She is said to be the poet laureate of the pandemic: 

“And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently. And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal. And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.” 

May you have an incredible month of unforgettable moments of joy, 

Katie Johnson, President 

The tapestry of life is a picture of a journey created stitch by stitch.

– Andy Fox