Connected through art: Rocky Hill Cohousing community participates in art exchange with group from Australia

Joann Lutz temporarily hangs artwork by Rocky Hill Cohousing members for the Global Art Project for Peace, an international art exchange.

Joann Lutz temporarily hangs artwork by Rocky Hill Cohousing members for the Global Art Project for Peace, an international art exchange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Susan Galereave sits with other residents at the Rocky Hill Cohousing in Florence and opens a package of art from Upwey, Australia.

Susan Galereave sits with other residents at the Rocky Hill Cohousing in Florence and opens a package of art from Upwey, Australia. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Susan Galereave, Joann Lutz, Janet Getler, Carol Rinehart (not shown) and Doug Renick, all residents at the Rocky Hill Cohousing in Florence, open a package of art from Upwey, Australia.

Susan Galereave, Joann Lutz, Janet Getler, Carol Rinehart (not shown) and Doug Renick, all residents at the Rocky Hill Cohousing in Florence, open a package of art from Upwey, Australia. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Susan Galereave, Joann Lutz, Janet Getler, Carol Rinehart, and Doug Renick, all residents at the Rocky Hill Cohousing in Florence, open a package of art from Upwey, Australia.

Susan Galereave, Joann Lutz, Janet Getler, Carol Rinehart, and Doug Renick, all residents at the Rocky Hill Cohousing in Florence, open a package of art from Upwey, Australia. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS—

Art made by residents of Rocky Hill Cohousing in Florence.

Art made by residents of Rocky Hill Cohousing in Florence. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Susan Galereave, Joann Lutz and Janet Getler, residents at the Rocky Hill Cohousing in Florence, open a package of art from Upwey, Australia.

Susan Galereave, Joann Lutz and Janet Getler, residents at the Rocky Hill Cohousing in Florence, open a package of art from Upwey, Australia. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Joann Lutz, left, and Janet Getler mount artwork by Rocky Hill Cohousing members for the Global Art Project for Peace, an international art exchange.

Joann Lutz, left, and Janet Getler mount artwork by Rocky Hill Cohousing members for the Global Art Project for Peace, an international art exchange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Joann Lutz, right, and Janet Getler contributed to artwork along with 18 members of Rocky Hill Cohousing community for the Global Art Project for Peace, an international art exchange.

Joann Lutz, right, and Janet Getler contributed to artwork along with 18 members of Rocky Hill Cohousing community for the Global Art Project for Peace, an international art exchange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Joann Lutz, left, and Janet Getler temporarily hang artwork by Rocky Hill Cohousing members for the Global Art Project for Peace, an international art exchange.

Joann Lutz, left, and Janet Getler temporarily hang artwork by Rocky Hill Cohousing members for the Global Art Project for Peace, an international art exchange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Artwork by 18 members of the Rocky Hill Cohousing community for the Global Art Project for Peace, an international art exchange.

Artwork by 18 members of the Rocky Hill Cohousing community for the Global Art Project for Peace, an international art exchange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Joann Lutz, left, and Janet Getler contributed to artwork along with 18 members of Rocky Hill Cohousing community for the Global Art Project for Peace, an international art exchange.

Joann Lutz, left, and Janet Getler contributed to artwork along with 18 members of Rocky Hill Cohousing community for the Global Art Project for Peace, an international art exchange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Joann Lutz, Janet Getler, Carol Rinehart, Doug Renick, and Susan Galereave, all residents at the Rocky Hill Cohousing community, open a package of art from Upwey, Australia.

Joann Lutz, Janet Getler, Carol Rinehart, Doug Renick, and Susan Galereave, all residents at the Rocky Hill Cohousing community, open a package of art from Upwey, Australia. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

 Janet Getler looks at a piece of art with Carol Rinehart, both residents at the Rocky Hill Cohousing in Florence, as they open a package of art from Upwey, Australia, as part of a global art exchange. Back left is Susan Galereave.

Janet Getler looks at a piece of art with Carol Rinehart, both residents at the Rocky Hill Cohousing in Florence, as they open a package of art from Upwey, Australia, as part of a global art exchange. Back left is Susan Galereave. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

 Janet Getler, a resident at Rocky Hill Cohousing in Florence, responds as she opens a package of art from Australia.

Janet Getler, a resident at Rocky Hill Cohousing in Florence, responds as she opens a package of art from Australia. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

By JAMES PENTLAND

Staff Writer

Published: 05-10-2024 2:59 PM

Residents of the Rocky Hill Cohousing community are no strangers to working on art projects together.

But, for the Global Art Project for Peace, they’re taking another step — exchanging artwork with a group in another country.

“We’ve done other art projects, but this is our first experience of sharing our art and broadening our perspective,” Susan Galereave said on a recent sunny morning in the community’s Common House.

That same morning, as the Rocky Hill residents were preparing their art for shipment, a package arrived from their Australian exchange partners in the Melbourne suburb of Upwey.

Some of the works from Down Under were created in the shape of boxes, drawing appreciative reactions from the cohousing group.

Their own 18 pieces of art were spread out on a nearby table, sewn in groups of four and five onto a colorful fabric backing by Janet Getler.

All of the art was intended to make a statement about peace. It was created as part of a morning retreat, with the artists working in oil pastels, and involved the whole age range at Rocky Hill, from 6 to 85.

The idea of participating in the Global Art Project came from resident Joann Lutz, who learned about the art exchange at a peace fair in the project’s hometown of Tucson, Arizona.

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After checking that the cohousing group could take part, they were matched with a quilting group in Australia. The exchange involves 130 countries, Lutz said.

Rocky Hill Cohousing was completed in 2006 and consists of 28 houses in a loop off Florence Road, and five more along the entry road. It operates financially on a condominium structure, and there are community meetings every month.

“We’re committed to being a connected community while having our own homes,” Galereave said.