Art show series will celebrate wellness across NCW


By Nancy Warner
Initiative for Rural Innovation & Stewardship (IRIS)

What are some of the things you do to take care of your own health? Maybe you make it a priority to spend time exploring outdoors each day, exercising your curiosity and your body. Do you foster your own sense of well-being and belonging by helping others? Are there traditions in your family around food, gatherings, and learning that contribute to your wellness? What are some of the things you do to feed your spiritual health?

These are some of the questions that the Initiative for Rural Innovation & Stewardship (IRIS) and Community Choice Healthcare Network are teaming up to explore through a new traveling exhibit series, “A Picture of Health in North Central Washington.” The traveling photography show, set to run at the Quincy Public Library from Sept. 29 to Nov. 30, will celebrate stories from Grant, Douglas, Okanogan and Chelan counties about how people are nurturing well-being at the individual, community and environmental levels.

We believe everyone has a story that can inspire someone else. Our goal for this series is to bring those stories to light so they can grow, broadening perspectives and spurring action along the way.

More than 80 percent of the practices that contribute to our health are outside the boundaries of what we think of as healthcare.

“Where we live, what we eat, and who we spend time with far outweigh the influence of medical care in determining our health,” says Deb Miller, executive director for Community Choice.

Hosting the photography show at the Quincy Public Library builds on a long tradition, according to Schiree Ybarra, circulation supervisor for the library. “The community of Quincy has always had a love for art and a strong following,” she said, noting that the library has been displaying local artist’s work for over 30 years. The Picture of Health show will hang in the art gallery, an integral part of the new library that opened in 2011.

NCW photographers are invited to submit entries by Sept. 15 for use in the Quincy exhibit and on the Picture of Health website. About 20 of those illustrating all aspects of wellness will be selected by IRIS and Community Choice for the 2017 traveling exhibit. Additional photos from the Quincy area will be featured at the Quincy Public Library and in a companion exhibit at the Quincy Community Health Center.

To submit entries for potential use in the “Picture of Health in NCW” traveling exhibit visit Submissions can include up to three photos with captions that answer the question, “What is your picture of health?”

Support for “A Picture of Health in NCW” was provided in part by the Community Foundation of North Central Washington, the Moses Lake Museum & Art Center, and Molina Healthcare. For more information on the art show opening reception contact the IRIS office at 888-7374. To learn more about “A Picture of Health in NCW,” visit

Nancy Warner is program manager for the Initiative for Rural Innovation & Stewardship (IRIS).

The Initiative for Rural Innovation & Stewardship (IRIS) fosters sustainable rural communities in North Central Washington by gathering and sharing success stories that enhance a sense of belonging, inspire action, and build community. IRIS believes that thriving communities in a healthy environment create success. More information on IRIS is available at