Member Spotlight: Linda Leary

Linda Leary

Tell us about you?

I am originally from northwestern KS-Phillipsburg, KS until age 10 and then moved to Lincoln, NE. Igraduated from college with Degrees: B.S. Elementary Education-College of St. Mary, Omaha, Elementary Education, Endorsement in Library/Media Education-University of NE at Omaha. I taught Intermediate grades for 7 years and taught as a Library/Media Specialist 25 years. The most eye-opening teaching experience was as a Reading Lab teacher for one semester at Gatesville Home for Boys (Grades 5-8) Reform School, in Gatesville, TX while my husband finished his last 6 months in the Army at Ft. Hood, TX. I retired from teaching in 2006. I now volunteer in various capacities: St.Leo the Great Catholic Church Parish Library, Co-Coordinator of the Christmas Angel Tree Project collecting gifts for children of incarcerated parents, long-time member/current recording secretaryof the Educational Fraternity, Alpha Delta Kappa, Zeta Chapter, looking forward to being a mentor at North Star Foundation and a dog walker at the NE Humane Society in 2021. I belong to 2 book clubs.

Tell us about your history with Omaha Artists Inc?

I joined a few years ago after a former teaching colleague, painting friend and OAI member, Judy Freeland, told me about the club. I enjoy how everyone in this organization is so helpful. I enjoy learning from other artists at the Fun Shops and admire the community outreach opportunities sponsored by OAI. This is a wonderful organization in which to learn at your own pace and explorenew media. I became an Executive Officer - Secretary of OAI in 2020!

How did you get involved in art? What is your favorite medium? How has your art evolved? Whatis your inspiration? Awards?

Having taken piano lessons as a young child and teenager, I alwayshave been inspired by classical music. I have been enjoyed exploring visual art as a viewer and participant since childhood. Since 2007, three teaching colleagues and I have met weekly to paint, meeting at each others’ homes. A 4th retired teacher joined us 2 years ago. I enjoy watercolor and photography. I am still searching for my personal style and personal medium. Nature, unusual shapes, unusual lighting and other artists inspire me! Awards received: OAI Honorable for photos of the Platte River at Sunset, Joy Long Award for Lighting for a photo of the Brooklyn Bridge/Empire State Bldg.

What is a little-known fact about you?

I love to Tent Camp!

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

My interests include reading, music, flower gardening, volunteering and painting.

Tell us about a couple of your favorite books you haveread (name and author)?

Book of Lost Names by Lisa Windgate, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frank, When the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and any book by Sr. Joyce Rupp, OSM.

What are your travel experiences?

In 2008 Jim and I traveled to Germany for a family reunion of cousins on my maternal grandmother’s side. We enjoy visiting children and other relatives in NYC, Washington, D.C., Seattle, San Francisco, NC, TX and FL.

What are you known for?

My smile; my organizational skills

What skills would you like to learn?

I would like to play the piano by ear; painting shadows in draping attire; oil painting.

Has anything or anyone changed your life?

Being married to my husband for 50 years and the death of our son.

What is your favorite quote or saying?

“I cannot live without books”. - ThomasJefferson