Much of the early inspiration for the Grünewald Guild was born from limitations in the university model of teaching art. Richard Caemmerer, who had been a university art professor for 22 years, envisioned and proposed a new way of teaching art which was not embraced by the university. Following a year-long sabbatical, Caemmerer realized this new model could better be implemented outside the university setting which had too interruptions with its scheduling. This new model needed to allow for continuity of spirit, momentum and focus – elements that drive a work of art.
The acquisition of a deserted Grange Hall in the rural community of Plain, WA, in the Cascade Mountains was the beginning of the development of what has become a 14-acre campus with the 10 buildings housing the Guild today. Classes in art began within the first year, 1980, in the renovated Grange Hall.
The Guild’s history has been marked by the hard work of many hands, enthusiasm and creativity beyond imagining, and passion and curiosity that continues to move the Guild forward.
Richard and Liz Caemmerer co-founded the Grünewald Guild in 1980. Prior to that time, Richard served as Professor of Art at Valparaiso University from 1958-1980, and Chair of the Department of Art from 1972-1980. Liz practiced Physical Therapy and was later trained in Spiritual Direction. Together they established and shepherded the Guild community for 26 years, inspiring so many with their vision and passion for art, faith and community.
Richard passed from this life peacefully, surrounded by his family, on February 18, 2016. A moving Memorial Service was conducted at Grace Lutheran Church in Wenatchee, WA on February 27. Some excerpts of that special day, and a retrospective of Richard’s prolific works of art are available on his website, rrcstudios.com.
Liz passed away in the loving hands of her family on February 17, 2021. At her request, a small service was held at Finisterre the following weekend. Memories of her were shared often thoughout summer programming that year. Her spirit continues to enliven the Guild and all those who were graced to know her in this life.
If you have stories of Richard or Liz to share, we’d love to hear them. You can send them to us here: Steeping in Stories