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Work of Women/World Neighbors: Show of hands

Being a good neighbor isn’t limited to the area around your home, believes Barbara Rosenthal.

World Neighbors, a group involved with assisting people in ecologically fragile countries, is a pet project of the Los Osos resident who has supported that group for about 20 years.

Generally the group’s members spread the word about the organization’s mission by holding teas or coffees, but as an artist and gallery owner, Rosenthal decided to take it a step further.

Work of Women, an offshoot of World Neighbors, seemed the perfect opportunity to showcase the talents of local women artists while letting people know about WOW and World Neighbors. This month, people all over the country are holding events to inform others about the groups’ work, so Rosenthal got busy.

"I put out a call through the Arts Council and personal calls to some people," she said. Her roundup was successful, and she will be showing the work of a group of local artists for four days next weekend only at Art is for Everyone!, the Baywood Park gallery she owns with her husband, printmaker Rosey Rosenthal.

Offerings include paintings, photography, clay and soft sculptures that showcase "the best of humanity," Rosenthal said. Artists committed so far are Catherine Lee Neifing, Anne Laddon, Anna Easter, Ellen Jewett, Tobey Crockett, Dotty Hawthorne, Jeanette Wolff and Susan Minker.

"It’s going to be a very different type of show," Rosenthal promised, noting that the art in the exhibit is based on international travels and spiritual journeys. Many of the artists are creating new work especially for the event. The gallery is donating all profits from sales at the special event to WOW.

World Neighbors, headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., helps people in remote areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America to improve their communities’ education, health care, food production and ways to generate income.

Three years ago, Rosenthal took part in a WOW trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, to learn about the area’s farming practices, natural medicine, cooking methods and more. She became further involved after a former World Neighbors activist, Phyllis Davies, moved onto other projects. "I didn’t want the area to forget about it," Rosenthal said.

Another Los Osos resident, John Swift, is on the board of directors for World Neighbors. "He’s kind of helped some of us stay in touch with things," said Rosenthal.

Since the group’s formation in 1951, it has helped more than 25 million people in 45 nations improve their lives and their communities. Rosenthal hopes that local efforts throughout the United States will add to those numbers.

IF YOU GO ...

What: "Women and Friends — Worldwide" art show

When: Thursday through March 26, 1 to 5 p.m., with a reception Friday from 6 to 9 p.m.

Video and discussion at 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. March 25.

Where: Art is for Everyone!,

1254 Second St., Baywood Park

Contact: 528-4946.

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