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A Woman's Touch 

FOR 25 YEARS, Susan Chambers-McGregor was a driving force behind WomanKraft. One of eight founding members of the women's gallery, which incorporated in August 1974, the artist served as president until her death in June at the age of 55.

"Susan was such a positive force in the arts community," said Linn Lane, director of WomanKraft. "She's done a lot for many local people, especially artists, including writers and musicians." She was also a volunteer with Meals-on-Wheels and a benefactor of many other local charities.

When WomanKraft was evicted from its space at the southeast corner of Congress and Sixth in 1991, Chambers-McGregor helped the group buy a dilapidated old Queen Ann house on Stone Avenue. The members renovated it, and the gallery has been there ever since.

"She gave us a generous down payment for this building," Gayle Swanbeck, director of exhibits, said. "It would have been almost impossible, without her, to buy it.... She was a wonderful person."

She traveled to Japan every year to study, and created fabric designs in the Japanese style, Swanbeck said. A silk-screen artist and a painter of watercolors and oils, Chambers-McGregor exhibited frequently at the gallery. In 1995, two years before the death of her mother, the painter Freda Chambers, mother and daughter put on a joint exhibition at the gallery.

Right now, the gallery has another joint show, featuring the work of Chambers-McGregor and her husband, the photographer Art McGregor. The exhibition had long been planned, but Chambers-McGregor's unexpected death, from complications of surgery, prompted the gallery to change it into a memorial show.

Chambers-McGregor frequently made paintings based on photographs her husband took on their travels together, and one room contains these linked works. A second room is a retrospective of Chambers-McGregor's silk screens and other paintings.

"The travel show is an opportunity for the community she served so well to honor her memory in a meaningful way," said Lane.





The Susan Chambers-McGregor Memorial Exhibit continues through Saturday, October 30, at WomanKraft, 388 S. Stone Ave. Gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. Call 629-9976 for more information.

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