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"Fools" photo gallery

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Upper School play

Neil Simon's comedy about a teacher sent to a Russian hamlet cursed with chronic stupidity for 200 years premiered on Broadway in 1981. In a race against the clock, Leon the teacher will become stupid, too, if he fails to break the curse within 24 hours. Should he leave? Of course. But he can't because Leon falls in love with a girl so stupid she has ony recently learned how to sit down. But in the end, love conquers stupidity!

Thank you, John Hamilton, for these photos.

Office Hours photo gallery

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Seniors directed and produced the play with actors from the senior class and faculty

Thank you, Bruce Johnson, for taking these photos!

MLK community meeting photo gallery

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The Lower School community celebrates the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with songs, poetry, and powerful lessons about courage, American history, and our hopes and dreams for a better world.

China’s Little Companion Art Troupe photo gallery

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Our guests gave a memorable performance!

From the website: “The 800-member CWI Children's Palace Little Companion Art Troupe is the first of its kind in Shanghai, and is also China's most famous children's art troupe. Founded in 1955 by Soong Ching Ling (Mme. Sun Yat-sen), honorary president of the People's Republic of China, it includes seven companies where children are trained in singing, dancing, musical instruments, acting, folk theatrical arts, calligraphy, painting and handicrafts.”

» Learn more about the troupe 

Freshman Valerie Ding wins music competition

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Congratulations, Valerie!

Valerie Ding was named a winner in the Young Artists Debut! Concerto Competition. She was also named a winner in 2010. Valerie and the other winning soloists will perform with a combined orchestra of professional musicians from Oregon Symphony and the Oregon Ballet Theatre, conducted by Niel DePonte, on April 10 at the Newmark Theatre. Valerie will perform Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, first movement.

» Link to MetroArts website and more information about the competition

St. George and the Dragon photo gallery

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Class of 2016 brings down the house

Click on any photo to enlarge images and start the slide show. Photos can be downloaded, too.

"Dead Man's Cell Phone" Photo Gallery

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Upper School play

Photos by Bruce Johnson -- thanks, Bruce!

Anaka Morris finalist in photo contest – vote for her photo!

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Anaka's photo of Maddy Odenborg '10 was selected from among 2,000 entries in the Oregon Cultural Trust photo competition. The grand prize winner is determined by open voting.

» Vote for Anaka's photo by November 18

You must have a Facebook account to participate.



7th grader Anna Bishop's acting featured in Oregonian

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Oregonian article, November 2011

Ghanaian artist in residence presents tonight - Nov 7

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Eric Adjetey Anang Slide Lecture
Monday, November 7
7:30 p.m.
Gerlinger Auditorium

Eric Adjetey Anang, a Ga fantasy coffin sculptor from Ghana, is an artist in residence at Catlin Gabel from November 7 to November 11. We have invited him here to demonstrate his amazing art of sculpting a coffin out of wood in whatever shape a family feels best represents their deceased elder. He will be sculpting a woodworker’s hand plane, approximately 7’ long, 3’ wide, and 4’ high, on the front deck of the Barn. Please come ask him questions, watch him work, and feel free to participate in the building of the hand plane.

Two years ago, Michael de Forest, the LS woodshop teacher, traveled to Ghana for a summer and studied with Eric in his carpentry shop in Teshie, near Accra. There is also a US trip planned for Ghana from July 29 to August 19, 2012, where students will be working in the Kane Kwei Carpentry Shop with Eric.

Junior Maggie Boyd's film wins NW Film Center award

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Maggie's film, Someone That the World Forgot, received the Heart Award in the NW Film Center's Young People's Film Festival. Professional filmmakers selected the winning films from 150 entries.

Maggie made the movie last year during a collaboration project with students at Maru-a-Pula, our sister school in Botswana. The film is set to a poem by Lulwama K. Mulau, a Maru-a-Pula student.

Mature content.

» Watch Maggie's 3-minute film.

Sculptor from Ghana to visit Nov. 7 for arts residency & slide lecture

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Eric Adjetey Anang, a 27-year-old fantasy coffin sculptor from Ghana, will give a slide lecture on Monday, November 7, at 7:30 p.m. in the Gerlinger Auditorium at Catlin Gabel. He will discuss the history of Ghana’s Kane Kwei Carpentry Workshop and show slides that illustrate the process of building his sculptures. The slide lecture is free and open to the public.
Eric Adjetey Anang will be in Portland for residencies at Catlin Gabel (November 7-11) and the Oregon College of Art and Craft (October 31-November 4). He runs the Kane Kwei Carpentry Workshop in Ghana, which was started by his grandfather in the early 1950s. Kwei’s coffins, sculpted into forms such as boats, cars, musical instruments, tools, or animals to describe or honor their deceased elders, was recognized worldwide. Anang began working in his grandfather’s shop at age 8, and he began running the shop seven years ago. Anang’s work has been shown in Antwerp, is in the permanent collection of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, and is in private collections around the world.
Anang’s recent travels include a trip in August 2011 to Novosibirsk, Russia, where he made two fantasy coffins for the Novosibirsk Cultural Museum (see He was an invited guest in September 2011 at the Gwangju Design Biennale in South Korea. A recent short film by a London producer about the Kane Kwei workshop can be seen at .

Creative writing teacher Carl Adamshick reading at Wordstock on Sunday

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Wordstock is a literary art and education organization that celebrates and supports writing in the classroom and in the community. Their annual festival of books, writers, and storytelling runs October 6 – 9 at the Oregon Convention Center.

Carl will share the Attic Institute Stage with poet Maxine Scates on Sunday, October 9, from 2 to 3 p.m.

Our Amazing & Creative Alumni: Caprice Neely '85

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Footwear design director

By Nadine Fiedler

From the Summer 2011 Caller

Caprice Neely, a true hands-on girl, loved art and woodshop when she attended Catlin Gabel’s Lower School. The skills she developed in making and building, combined with her aesthetic sense, formed the basis for her long career in footwear design.
Product design wasn’t something Caprice set out to do. But what got her far—so far that today she’s a lead designer in Nike’s blue-sky innovation team—was her absolute fearlessness and determination.
After working her way through college as an art major, Caprice landed a temp job in the Portland offices of Avia, a sports shoe company. Her curiosity led her to the design department, and she was immediately hooked on footwear design. She hung out with designers and asked if she could help. That led to a job with Adidas painting shoe models—until she confidently stepped up and asked to create models herself. Then she asked if she could create her own designs. Soon she went to see the president of Adidas with her designs and prototypes, and he offered her a designer job on the spot.
After three years Caprice moved to Nike, and with the exception of one foray into another venture, she’s been there ever since. She helped envision and create the first Nike sportswear line, and today she works on a creative team with the freedom to design the next big thing.

Caprice Neely's Cityknife shoe and sketches for Nike


Much of Caprice’s success lies in her knack for designing great-looking shoes that function well. “You have to keep in touch with popular culture and fashion trends, even if you’re working on something as technical as the next track spike for the Olympics. Athletes tell us that if they look good, they’ll perform better,” she says.
Caprice would like more students to consider product design: “The ability to build and fix things incorporates different problem-solving skills. If you mix that with art, you have the potential for a career in product design and engineering.”

“It’s amazing for me to think back to the foundation I received at Catlin Gabel, especially in art. I was encouraged to do and try anything. It gave me the confidence in myself to know that I would succeed if I worked hard enough.”


Our Amazing & Creative Alumni: Pat Carew '93

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Video producer and director

By Nadine Fiedler

From the Summer 2011 Caller

Among the many media that vie for our attention, video has become a familiar presence in all our lives. In his work with video, Pat Carew ’93 navigates a particular intersection of entertainment, education, and persuasive storytelling.
As video producer and director for CMD, a Portland advertising and marketing agency, Pat creates pieces that run the gamut from commercials, in-store videos, and trainings to online videos for a wide variety of clients. CMD is unusual in having its own small, dedicated video production team, and Pat enjoys the creative freedom of serving for various projects as producer, editor, writer, or director. In his producer role he guides the projects from beginning to end, working mostly with logistics (locations! schedules! budgets!). Directing is more creative, he says, setting the look, feel, and tone of the piece.
“In my work there’s a push and pull between the creative and practical aspects, and projects are always expanding and contracting. You dream up maybe 15 ideas, and then you pick one. You shoot way more than you need, with each scene shot from five different angles. And then you contract: you edit down to what you need. Every project is a little different, so the work is always fresh. My favorite project is the one I’m working on,” he says.
Pat began doing video while he was attending Tufts University, and his first piece was a music video for a band he was in with Scott Fisher ’93. He continued work on music videos and short films, and then freelanced on independent films and in audio on location and in recording studios. With two small children, his work is now all for CMD, and he loves what he does: “My work is alive to me,” he says.

“Soccer was not a big deal for me until I went to Catlin Gabel for high school. I would love to make a feature film someday — a compelling soccer drama. That’s not been done before!”


Our Amazing & Creative Alumni: Michael Hiestand '75

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Sports media journalist

By Nadine Fiedler

From the Summer 2011 Caller

Michael Hiestand ’75 is crazy about writing. He could write well about anything, and pretty much has. But he invented his own niche in journalism: he’s been writing for 20 years about sports media and the business side of sports for USA Today. He’s created a strong presence, with a focused voice in print and a trenchant, funny persona on the air.
Sports wasn’t his first choice for his career topic. He wrote at Catlin Gabel, including book reviews for the 2nd grade librarian that were published by the Oregonian and “nutty stuff for the school newspaper,” wrote more at Stanford, did a publishing course at Harvard, then wrote book copy for Simon & Schuster in New York while he freelanced more writing.
“I’d write any article that popped into my head and send it off to magazines,” says Michael. “I got great practice making the most boring topic interesting reporting on business for Adweek—and that’s always the goal. I suggested writing about the business side of sports—which is everything besides the game—and they loved the idea. People thought that sports was not a part of capitalism, so I found my niche.”
Michael spent a memorable year in Sydney, Australia, covering preparations for the Olympics. “I thought up my own stories to do, which were basically anything I could talk my way into. I would look for an exception to the norm, because that’s always more interesting. I loved Australia. I told them it did wonders for the U.S. self-esteem to break from Great Britain. I said I would stay and cover it if they had a revolution.”
“Now, with Facebook and other social media, people think everyone should be passionate or opinionated,” says Michael. “But when I write, I don’t have a dog in that fight. If you’re into sheer storytelling you can do it for a long time, adapting as you go.”

“I got a D in French my senior year. I told a French teacher, Jean-Claude Lachkar, that I was sort of challenged. At a basketball game, he came out on the court and said, ‘I found out that you’re not stupid!’ I said that was just a rumor.”


Our Amazing & Creative Alumni: John Ralston '74

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By Nadine Fiedler

From the Summer 2011 Caller

Architect John Ralston ’74 designs honest, inviting, livable, and beautiful buildings. They reveal their integrity in the use of natural materials, in details that point out the way the building holds together, and in their reflection of the site and the building’s use and users.
What these buildings also reflect is John’s personal warmth and humility—not to mention his charisma, technical expertise, and great senses of both humor and aesthetics. This winning combination has resulted in an impressive array of work that he’s done, in Oregon and elsewhere, for private homes as well as governmental and commercial facilities.
John had a penchant for art and architecture from his youth. He came to Catlin Gabel because of its superb art department. He spent a lot of time in the clay room, where he made his first houses out of clay. Those little clay houses from the clay room provided just the right touch in his architecture school interview to get him accepted.
Today John is a co-principal in a small firm in Bend, HSR Master Planning and Architecture. “To lead a firm, you need professional skills, and people skills. We’re not just making a building, we’re meeting the needs of the client,” he says. “That’s when architects are valuable. You can always get someone to design something good enough. The core thing is that your buildings will keep enhancing the lives of the people using them.”
So take a look at his projects. Look for the details: the waves of stone anchoring the house on the coast and its eyebrow dormer, the stream that runs under the house with a viewing window in the hall floor, the way a large house has the coziness of a small cabin, the way different tones of wood harmonize. They are the grace notes that mark the works of a creative talent in love with what he does.

“Catlin Gabel made architecture school easy, because I had already learned to write and study.”


Our Amazing & Creative Alumni: Hillary Hurst '72

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Drama therapist and middle school drama teacher

By Nadine Fiedler

From the Summer 2011 Caller

The ancient Greeks recognized that drama could provide catharsis, revitalization for actors and audiences. For Hillary Hurst ’72, drama has proven to be a powerful tool for changing lives. As a drama therapist, she works with psychiatric patients at SageView in Bend, Oregon, helping them recognize how they can better their lives.
Hillary loved drama at Catlin Gabel, and thought that was her calling. She studied theater at Bard College, then decamped to New York and immersed herself in the heady days of experimental theater. She acted for many years, until she wanted something that would provide a better living. Drama therapy fascinated her, and she earned her degree at the California Institute of Integral Studies.
Her first jobs tested her mettle. Hillary worked in Oakland with at-risk youth and abused girls, learning how theater and therapy can work together to restore self-worth for people who sorely need it. “The girls shared their daily life through scene work on difficult experiences. We talked about what they would do differently now, and how they now can stand up for themselves.” She’s brought those lessons to her therapy work at SageView with society’s most fragile people.

Hillary Hurst '72 with some of her students at the Cascades Academy of Central Oregon. Photos: Carol Sternkopf


Hillary makes extensive use of metaphor: she asks her clients to think of their life as, say, a river, and imagine their journey—then asks what they’re missing. “People say things like, ‘I dropped my oars years ago in the water, and I allow life to drive me along.’ You let them know that they do have some say in their lives, that they are survivors.”
“My basic premise as a therapist and healer is that human beings want to be seen, heard, and loved,” says Hillary. “In people who have been through trauma and abuse, this triad is grossly neglected. The process in therapy involves seeing them, hearing them, and reflecting back love.”

“I was so blown away by theater at Catlin Gabel. My being an actor was valued as much as being a scientist. Catlin Gabel was a gift to me.”


Our Amazing & Creative Alumni: Ernie Lafky '81

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Game designer, avant-garde theater director

By Nadine Fiedler

From the Summer 2011 Caller

Ernie Lafky ’81 designs casino games. His lifelong passion is experimental and avant-garde theater. And he won Catlin Gabel’s science award in his senior year for his stellar work in physics. It really does all fit together, he says.
It’s all about having a cerebral, conceptual turn of mind. Ernie relishes the challenges, social commentary, and verbal play of the fringes of the theater world as much as the intense, mathematical world of physics. In his job he draws on these proclivities and experiences, creating engaging play for the gamer and earning patents for ingenious systems he’s developed.
Ernie stumbled into avant-garde theater at Catlin Gabel, influenced by teacher Alan Greiner, and was encouraged to read writers such as Eugene Ionesco. “In college and graduate school I was up to my eyeballs in creative theater,” says Ernie. In Los Angeles he immersed himself in avant-garde theater with great artistic freedom—until he turned 30 and was tired of being broke.
As a tester in the new field of interactive multimedia CD-ROM games and programs—rife with bad stories, film, and acting—Ernie saw how he could improve them. After a spell working in theater with gay and Lesbian homeless youth, and doing Shakespeare with inner-city youth—experiences he cherishes—he realized it was time for a new career. It seemed clear that he could do well as a producer for interactive games. And he landed jobs with companies including Jim Henson and Mattel.
When a position came up at Wagerworks (now IGT) to produce and design casino games, he snagged the job. He loves video poker and Vegas, and his theater work helps him grasp how to keep a player entertained. His science background helps him communicate with engineers, so the fit is perfect.
Ernie still works in theater whenever he can. “Casino gaming is one of my hobbies, which makes my job really fun. It’s like dessert,” he says. “But avant-garde theater nourishes my spirit. It’s a perfect balance.”

“All that I do was planted as seeds at Catlin Gabel—theater, science, English, history. I draw on all of it between my job and my art. My education has been so incredibly valuable to me. You can’t put a price on it.”  

Photo at right: Ernie Lafky '81 (left) and Lisa Wymore in Remote by Sara Kraft and Ed Purver


Our Amazing & Creative Alumni: Camille Keedy Malmquist '96

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Pastry chef

By Nadine Fiedler

From the Summer 2011 Caller

When most people think of creative arts, they often overlook the culinary arts. It is a realm of unlimited imaginative (and edible!) possibilities. Camille Keedy Malmquist ’96 works in one of the most demanding of the culinary arts, pastry-making—and she does that in Paris, where the best pastries in the world are made, in one of the best pâtisseries in that city.
Camille first moved to France to teach English after college, but what she loved best was cooking and baking. Back in the States, she pursued training in culinary school in California, and worked in restaurants and bakeries in Dallas. She and her husband then moved to Paris, with no jobs in hand. Every bake shop wanted experience in France, but finally the family-owned Pâtisserie Couderc took a chance on Camille. There she’s honed her pastry-making skills, and now she’s learning the art of chocolate.
“The recipes in the traditional French pastry shop where I work are based on classic techniques, practiced over and over. I have developed some new flavors for the chocolates, but mostly my creative outlet is cooking at home and writing my blog,” says Camille. “Creativity is very important in the pastry arts, though. Once you understand how the ingredients work and how they work together, you can start creating your own desserts with the flavors and textures you’re after.”
Camille doesn’t plan to live in Paris forever, and she’s contemplating opening an ice-cream or chocolate shop when she returns to the U.S. But for now, Camille enjoys the daily work in her corner of Paris, making food that makes people happy: “It feels good to produce something tangible with my hands every day. I love starting the day with crates of eggs and cream and flour and sugar, and finishing it with enough cake to serve hundreds of people. People serve desserts to mark important events, and it’s nice to feel that in some way, I’m part of the celebration.”

“My Catlin Gabel teachers Josée Overlie and Marie Letendre instilled in me a lifelong love of France and the French language. I went on to major in French literature in college, and my French language skills were a big part of the reason my husband and I decided to move to Paris.”