Live Vibrantly - April 30, 2021
By Kathie Miller
I love a good crossword puzzle. An avid traveler, I board planes and immediately check the back of the seat for the airline magazine, hoping to find a blank page just waiting to engage me in a quest to fill those little white squares. Anyone who has spent much time with crosswords likely knows that there are standard clues (and words) that show up fairly regularly in crosswords. It was one of those standards that first introduced me to obi, the traditional Japanese sash worn with kimonos.
When I first learned the word, I was curious to know more about obi and came to appreciate their beauty. I also realized that I’m drawn to Japanese patterns and textiles. So when an exhibit recently debuted at the Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads art gallery, it immediately caught my attention. I felt that same excitement I feel when I find that untouched puzzle on the plane – and I felt transported in a way I haven’t felt in a while due to our inability to travel these past several months.
The art galleries at our Life Plan Communities offer new exhibits regularly. When possible, our art managers work with artists to display original work that can range from quilting and woodwork to painting and photography. Some exhibits feature a wide range of original creations made by residents, some of whom found inspiration and took up art after moving in and having access to a studio and art classes.
Earlier this year, GHBC Resident Georgine Neureiter approached Adrienne Wyman, who manages the exhibits in the GHBC art gallery. Inspired by the arrival of spring and the annual cherry blossom festival in D.C., Adrienne asked Georgine if they could collaborate on a special exhibition.
“Georgine had many obi to choose from,” Adrienne commented. “We went through her collection and selected obi that would help show the different styles. Residents have shared how much they’ve enjoyed the exhibit. Many talk about how it reminds them of their own trips to Japan. Others share that they appreciate a chance to learn about something new.
This special exhibit started in late March and remains on display until May 10. Gallery visitors can take in more than 30 obi, as well as some other Japanese art, that Georgine collected during a five-year stint in Japan while her husband, Norman, worked for Texas Instruments.
“Collecting these obi and other artworks has been a passion of mine,” shared Georgine. “At one time, I have more than 500 pieces. Over time, I’ve downsized. It’s a joy to be able to share this with everyone.”
Take a tour yourself and enjoy the beauty of the obi
As Corporate Director of Marketing & Communications, Kathie Miller provides strategic guidance and tactical support for all areas of Goodwin House. She writes, edits and manages The Good Life blog and newsletter. Kathie joined GHI in 2014 after nearly 15 years at NPR, where she honed her skills in brand and reputation management, content marketing and internal communications. Originally from Pennsylvania, Kathie has slowly come to realize she’s lived in Arlington for more than half her life and should call herself a Virginian. She enjoys the outdoors and brings her rescue dog, Remi, to work every day.