Local artist enriching lives at Camp Seymour

Karen Lovett Tweed Meyer at work at Glencove, painting three four-foot sections of a 12-foot long mural, the complete front view of Camp Seymour on Glencove. Photo by Karen Lovett, KP News

Local artist and landscaper Tweed Meyer grew up smelling turpentine and salt water. Her mother, Norma Meyer, a talented artist instilled a love of art and crafts in her daughters from an early age. They did pottery, stained glass, writing, drawing and painting, weaving and baking.

Later, as a single mom and student Tweed supported herself with art. Five years ago she moved into her mother Normas home on the north end of the Key Peninsula after the death of her father.

The home and gardens are ablaze with color. Paintings, statues, and flower pots share space with a teeming array of vines, trees, shrubs and flowers. Dragonflies hover above ponds crowded water lilies: an artist’s paradise.

Camp Seymour administrator and Marketing Director, Diane Jackson, met her husband Scott Jackson, now the executive director at Camp Seymour, at YMCA Camp Campbell in Santa Cruz, Calif. They spent time camping in the mountains and exploring forests of coastal redwoods. The YMCA actively recruited Scott Jackson for the position of Summer Camp Director at Camp Seymour. The couple came up in 2007.

“I fell in love with the place. It was love at first sight,” Diana Jackson said. Now they live year round on Camp Seymour grounds.

Scott Jackson’s mother and two sisters are all artists. Every piece of art in their house was done by someone in their family. The frames were all made by his grandfather from wood salvaged from old barns. While he is not an artist himself, Jackson has a special appreciation of art.

The Jacksons want to instill a love of art in their young guests. They learned about Tweed Meyer from John Hidel, who works at the facility and owns some of Tweeds work. The Jacksons visited Tweeds studio and were inspired to have her art hang in the new dining hall, which was completed in 2013.

“We have about 13,000 guests who come through here every year,” Jackson said. “What an opportunity to show local art.”

Fifteen years ago Tweed stayed at her sisters home in Quinault to be near an old growth fir she wanted to paint. The four by 16-foot oil on a single sheet of canvas was rolled up to allow her to paint and transport it with a minimum of trouble. When she saw the grand dining facility at Camp Seymour with its high vaulted ceiling, it seemed the perfect setting for the tall tree. She has no immediate plans to sell that piece, but said she wants to loan it to the camp to keep it on display. “The tree represents how much I love nature,” Tweed said. “Im so happy to have it with the kids at the camp.”

The Jacksons are personally funding the commission of a series of three paintings to form a 12-foot landscape of the frontal view of the entire length of Camp Seymour. Tweed did the work on the three four-foot sections from the viewpoint across the bridge at Glencove.

“I grew up around Camp Seymour. Its my home grounds,” Tweed said. “My husband proposed to me on the bridge at Glencove. I swam with my daughter in the bay when she was 2 months old. We went to the Y when we were growing up. I am an artist because of what I grew up around. Nature makes kids better and whole,” she said.

Camp Seymour is not open to the general public, so the paintings will be on view for camp participants only. Day camp is available for the local community.

For information, call (253) 884-3392.