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Nobel Laureate to join historians and musicians honoring legendary So-Cal artist, a former San Diego Art Guild member

"So fitting and so overdue to pay tribute to Lora’s life and myriad contributions as a pioneering artist, naturalist, and community builder; who sculpted lives as consciously and creatively as she molded clay.”- - Lora’s grandson John E. Steere Jr.

July 8, 2010 (Idyllwild) -- A retrospective devoted to the art and the love of life of Lora Woodhead Steere (1888-1984), the legendary artist, naturalist, Idyllwild pioneer, and beloved first teacher at the famous Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts (ISOMATA), now called Idyllwild Arts, will open with a special event at 11am on Saturday, August 7th, at The Rustic Theatre. The exhibit opening and reception will follow at 1pm the Krone Museum on the Idywilld Arts Campus. 



The event and exhibit are sponsored by Idyllwild Arts, Idyllwild Area Historical Society, and the Steere Family is free and open to the public.  Event coordinator Karen Pomer is well known to many East County residents due to her involvement in citizens' battle to block Blackwater USA from opening a training camp in Potrero.

Saturday, August 7, 2010
RUSTIC THEATRE: 54290 North Circle Dr., Idyllwild, CA 92549
10:30 AM- Doors open with continental breakfast available in lobby.
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM Speakers Presentations, Film, and Music
52500 Temecula Road, Idyllwild, CA 92549
1:00-2:00 PM Exhibit Opening and Reception

WHO: Featured opening event speakers and performers:

DR EVAN MILLS, KEYNOTE: As a child Mills was mentored by Lora W. Steere, making local headlines when he at 8 made his first trek to Tahquitz Peak along with Lora at 80 years-old making her 56th trip. Mills grew up to be one of a group of scientists whose research and writing helped earn the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

MAJ BOB KRONE, son of Max Krone, founder of ISOMATA and photographer on the film "The Ballad of Idyllwild" featuring Lora W. Steere. Helped build Campus 1947 to 1951. Member of idyllwild Arts Board since 1967. Provost, Kepler Space University. a global educator, author, and consultant in Advanced Management theory and practice.

ROBERT B. SMITH, author of the acclaimed "Idyllwild and the High San Jacintos," and board member of the award-winning Idyllwild Area Historical Society.

MARJORIE QUANDT GOODWIN: is a well-known local historian, her family settled on Woodhead Ranch, the old pioneer homestead in San Jacinto, once belonging to cattle rancher, ‘CB’ Woodhead, Lora's father circa 1873. Mt. San Jacinto College now sits a small parcel of that land.

DR. JIM STEERE, Lora's son along with Steere family members.

SPECIAL MUSICAL Performances by:

DR. CAROL MERRILL-MIRSKY, former musical partner, and protégé of international balladeers and ISOMATA regulars Marais and Miranda. Carol teaches during Family Week, at Idyllwild Arts Summer Program. During the year she is Hollywood Bowl Museum Director/Curator.

The GOLDEN GROTTO GROUP with Bruce Ryan, Buzz Holmes, Kent Weishaus, Amy Fogerson and surprise guests. All members of the group have long and special connections with ISOMATA, some spanning generations.

THE EXHIBIT will include a selection of Steere’s prized sculptures, Illustrations, archival photos, film, and letters from the collections of the Krone Museum, the Steere family, and other local patrons. Special highlights: A life-sized statue commissioned by Helms Bakery for the 1932 Olympics on loan from the LA84 Foundation and a collection of scientific illustrations and letters housed at the Smithsonian Institute.

BACKGROUND: Lora Woodhead Steere's (1888-1984) parents first brought her to Idyllwild in the San Jacinto Mountains in an old camp wagon in 1890, when she was just two years old. Loving the outdoors she grew-up to study and receive advanced degrees in zoology and paleontology, although she won fame as an accomplished sculptor including a commission by Helms Bakery for a series of sculptures to commemorate the 1932 Olympics.

She returned to Idyllwild, taught the first class and donated the funds for the very first building in 1950 at the famous Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts (ISOMATA), now known as Idyllwild Arts. Her colleagues included the most revered artists of the day, photographers Ansel Adams and Alfred Eisenstaedt; “Music Man” composer, Meredith Willson; folksingers Pete Seeger and Marais & Miranda, choreographers Bella Lewitzky and Merce Cunningham; potters Maria Martinez and Susan Peterson; and writer Norman Corwin. Lora taught sculpture for 16 years at the Lora Steere Sculpture Studio on campus.


At the 2nd Annual Black tie dinner of the Associates of ISOMATA in 1971, Willson presented Lora with a plaque for her “devotion to art and love of life which has been an inspiration to all who have been privileged to know her.” Lora was equally famous for her community potluck dinners and uncounted treks to Tahquitz, Peak in Idyllwild sometimes alone. The last time she was carried in a sedan chair, she died the next year at 96-years-old in her beloved Idyllwild.


She was a member of the California Art Club, the San Diego Art Guild, the Southern California Sculptors Guild and the Artland Club (LA). Her exhibits include SFAA, 1924; Mission Gallery (Riverside), 1933 (solo). Her works are included in the Keller School of Dramatic Arts (Glendale); the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the David Starr Jordan High School (bas relief); Bovard Hall, USC; Doheny Library (LA); Orange Co. (CA) Museum and Stanford University, and the Krone Museum at Idyllwild Arts, Idyllwild CA.


The Lora Woodhead Steere Retrospective exhibit runs from August 7th to September 3rd, 2010, at the Krone Museum, located within the Krone Library. The library is located on the corner of Apela Dr. and Luisana Dr. on the Idyllwild Arts campus.

CURATORS: Sydney Cosselman, acting director Krone Museum
and Carol Mills, renowned Idyllwild painter, Courtyard Gallery artist.

EVENT SPONSORED BY: Idyllwild Arts, Idyllwild Area Historical Society, and the Steere Family.



WEBSITES http://www.lorawoodheadsteere.com/:



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