History

PBS 25th Anniversary

From the February 2012 PBS Newsletter, PBS President, Kris Dinkel's  "President's Corner" :

In honor of our 25th anniversary, I'm providing a short history of the Portland Bead Society.  I am grateful to Karmen Schmidt who did the research for this article, interviewing members and diving into early issues of the newsletter.

Follow me back to 1988.  Ronald Regan is President of the USA.  Women's business suits sport serious shoulder pads.  Physicist Stephen Hawkings publishes the seminal work A Brief History of Time.  Equally seminal to beaders is the publication of Virginia Blakelock's Those Bad, Bad Beads.

A momentous event happened in February of 1988.   Ronald Reagan is President of the USA.  Women's business suits sport serious shoulder pads.  Physicist Stephen Hawkings publishes the seminal work A Brief History of Time.  Equally seminal to beaders is the publication of Virginia Blakelock's Those Bad, Bad Beads.


A momentous event happened in February of 1988.  Five people met to discuss the idea of forming a bead society in Portland:  Alice Scherer, Howard Newcomb, Ann Rogers, Michael Heidi, and John Gogoi.  The very first meeting of the PBS was held February 10, 1988 at John's Landing.  The meeting was organized by Anita Hildner and Mary Maxwell.  Folks report more attendees than chairs.  The first speaker was Ann Rogers, who spoke on pearls.  Dues were set at $10 per year, and by-laws were adopted in September, 1988.  Early meetings featured local members who took turns talking about their areas of expertise.

Our first leader of PBS was Mary Maxwell, who received the title of 'convener."  Our first elected president was Fran Stone (October 1988).  She was followed by Charlene Morrison (1990-1995).  Subsequant presidents are:  Liz Plam (1995-1998); Kathleen Smail (1998-2001); Toni McCarthy (2001-2004); Karmen Schmidt (2004-2006); Dusti Dickman (2006-2008); Lisa McAuliffe (2008-2010); Karen Bettin (2010-2012); and Kris Dinkel (2012-present).  Diane Werner is poised to take up the mantle in 2014.

Over the years, our meetings shifted from the PBS Campus Ministry, the Bassist School, Montgomery Park, the Multnomah Art Center, PGE, and finally back to the Multnomah Art Center.

The very first Bead Bazaar was held in July 1988 at a farm in Sherwood.  14 vendors paid a 10% commission for a net income of $167.50 for PBS.  A second Bead Bazaar was held in November of the same year and netted $673.34 for PBS.  The 2012 Bead Bazaar featured 74 vendors and netted PBS $6,569.  Quite a change from 1988!

The first Arts and Elegance show (originally, the "Spring Fling") was held at the Oregon Convention Center in April 2004.  This year A&E, now in the capable hands of Dusti Dickman, will celebrate its 10th anniversary.

2004 was also the first year of our ever-popular Bead Retreat, the brainchild of Margaret Scovil.  Karmen Schmidt and Jennifer Gallagher are preparing for this Retreat which will mark its 10th anniversary.

One of our first juried shows was organized by Fran Stone and curated by Alice Scherer, with Carol Perrenoud, in the late 1980's.  Hosted by the Multnomah County Library, the show was the heaviest attended exhibit the library had every sponsored.  PBS continues to create juried shows, including the upcoming exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Craft, “PBS Collaborations”, organized by Jennifer Gallagher.

PBS had a newsletter from the very beginning.  The first issue came out in March 1988 as one page edited by Alice Scherer.  Now we have a dedicated newsletter publisher and newsletter editor to compile, edit, and prepare a newsletter that runs up to 20 pages.  The newsletter is our main vehicle for providing information about PBS business (such as applications for shows, education award applications, budget information, and Board meeting minutes).  I thank Karmen Schmidt and Kathleen Smail for their hard work on this mighty tome.

PBS was an early participant in the Internet, too.  During Liz Plam’s presidency, the first website was designed by Melinda Dahlheimer aided by Lani Ching.  Subsequently, the web page was expanded under the care of Chris Wojick who continued as web mistress (followed by Candy Walter and now Jeannine O’Hagan).  We are currently working on a “tune-up” for the website.  PBS has also branched in to other methods of communication including PBS and Bazaar Facebook (thanks to Gail Baymiller and Lisa McAuliffe) and EMMA.

I’ve heard some of our founding members reminisce, somewhat wistfully, about a simpler time before we cared about IRS regulations, standard operating procedures, and Roberts Rules of Order; a time when friends just got together to bead.  But the fact is, we’re now a much larger and more complex organization than when we started.  We’ve gone from 61 members to 379.  From one show a year (the Bead Bazaar) to two major shows a year (the Bead Bazaar and Arts and Elegance, a show that requires coordination with six other guilds).  We’ve established an annual Retreat to Cannon Beach.  We bring in local and out-of-town speakers.  We provide community outreach in the form of instruction and donations to several organizations that use art to inspire homeless women and children, at-risk youth, and marginalized women (Rosehaven, White Shield, Hilltop Artists, and upstARTpdx).  We provide grants to individuals, bead researchers, and organizations which promote our mission statement.  For years, Bobby Brown was our tireless bead ambassador to countless schools and events.  We now sponsor a popular traveling bead exhibit to libraries in the area.  And we continue to jury shows at local museums.

It’s ok to be a little wistful for simplier times.  But be proud of everything you, the members of the Portland Bead Society, have accomplished and continue to accomplish.  You are the reason PBS continues to thrive.  Happy 25th Anniversary!

Kris Dinkel, President