Lake Oswego is a small town that thinks it can and does. Entering its 48th year, it will play host to the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts June 24, 25, and 26, considered a major regional arts event and one of the centerpiece programs put on by the Lakewood Center for the Arts. Featuring a cornerstone exhibit this year on “The Language of Sculpture,” visitors will have a chance to explore sculpture through lectures, displays and demonstrations.
The Festival is truly a celebration of all the arts, however, with not only visual arts on display, including an open show of over 1000 pieces and a student exhibit, but also musical entertainment, a children’s play put on by Missoula Children’s Theatre, Kids’ Day featuring hands-on activities and a craft faire featuring 116 artists. Activities take place both at the Lakewood Center at 368 State Street as well as George Rogers Park nearby at the corner of State and Ladd Streets.
When our kids were growing up, the Festival was one of the harbingers of summer. My wife and I would take them to George Rogers Park to have their faces painted, their imaginations stretched and their curiosity piqued. This year’s schedule promises to do the same for the up-and-coming generation with demonstrations and a workshop by Thor Myhre, a found art sculptor, and appearance by Radio Disney. My oldest daughter’s claim to fame is garnering a role in Missoula Children’s Theatre production of Pinocchio. To this day she can still rehearse her lines, “Mama! Mama!” as one of Gepetto’s dolls. And all my kids remember the Yo Yo water balloon demonstration we watched, after which we purchased enough to serve as party favors for my son’s birthday that year.
More than 25,000 visitors are expected to attend the Festival over the course of its three day span. It has grown in size and stature over its 48 year history thanks to that volunteer power that drives programs like the village baskets mentioned in an earlier post, with over 500 helpers as well as the support of local businesses and government agencies. Though only 36,000 strong, the city of Lake Oswego shows it has what it takes to leave its artistic mark on the region with a festival that offers sights and sounds to feed the artistic spirit in each of us.
Click here for a schedule of Festival events.