art , cohousing , life in community , news

Congratulations to Ted who had his photograph of the Great Oak West node featured as part of The View From Your Window — click on the picture below to see the feature.


art , cohousing , life in community , music , news , performances

Great Oak just celebrated its 5th anniversary with a fabulous talent show and party!

Great Oak 2007 Anniversary

We  had music, dancing, snakes, dragons, grape-hoarding, band-name unveiling, storytelling, stage-shyness, anti-art and much, much more!

art , life in community , news

For Jim’s birthday, he and Gail planted a peace pole at Great Oak. The pole has inscriptions in eight languages, English, Spanish, Hindi (India), Hebrew, Arabic, Wolof (Senegal), Ojibway (A Native American language) and Dog (animal paw prints), all which say, approximately, “May peace prevail on earth”.

Peace poles are found around the world in places where the spirit of peace is embraced by people of good will. The Great Oak peace pole has been placed in a community garden where it can be seen not only by its neighbors but also by visitors who make their way into the community via the pedestrian path that runs through the middle of our buildings.

The Peace Pole was dedicated in a short and simple ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 26. After an invocation using a Buddhist meditation, members of the community read the languages on the pole: English, Spanish, Hebrew, Hindi, Wolof, Ojibway, and Arabic, and gave the English meaning of the phrase. Sam, one of our younger members, identified the animal paw prints in the 8th panel.

Peace pole dedication

click on the picture for an albums worth more!
Following the dedication ceremony, community members gathered in the common house for punch and cookies and sang peace songs directed by Tom.

art , life in community , news

As Great Oak members moved in we often heard comments that folks had more art works than they had wall space to hang them. At the same time, members were talking about the large empty wall in the common house dining room. Putting these two threads together we created an art wall that enables members to loan some of their favorite works for display in this common area. There has been a wide range of art walls since, some with a theme but not always.
Willie's nature photography

One of the most popular showed paintings, photographs and other works that members had brought back from their vacations. Along with this display, we held a contest asking adults and children to identify the locations of the works. This culminated with an award ceremony at our annual anniversary celebration – everyone that entered the contest got a prize!

Another featured three of the large paintings done by Heather, our artist in residence. The bold colors and dramatic strokes of these works were very appealing and appreciated by many who saw them. And, the works of children, those currently living in Great Oak, and examples of work done by our older members in their younger days, gave us a colorful and interesting wall.
Art wall with Heather's paintings
Each art wall is usually on display for several months and new ideas for themes are always welcome.
More photo graphs will be added to our Art Wall photo gallery