The Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts is celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend, June 21-23, with events scheduled at both the Lakewood Center for the Arts and George Rogers Park. To borrow the greeting on a 50th birthday card, it’s “Still Fabulous at 50.” Here’s why.
- Cornerstone Exhibit. Every year the festival’s headliner exhibit revolves around a theme that comes not just with artwork but lectures and demonstrations as well. Previous shows have highlighted mosaics, sculpture, and photography. This year’s theme, “Spoon!” will feature culinary-inspired art sure to give new meaning to the saying, “pretty enough to eat,” and prove that there are more ways than cooking to get creative in the kitchen.
- Juried and Open Art. The Festival features several categories of artwork. The Open Show welcomes both emerging as well as professional artists without a jury process. Artist’s Vision, with the theme “50 Squared” will highlight jury-selected artwork created on 24” x 24” square panels by 50 artists. The Lake Oswego Visual Arts Chronicle, spotlights visions of Lake Oswego created by regional artists. Students in local schools display their creativity in the Young Artists at Work collection. Art in the Park features fine arts and crafts from pottery to jewelry in George Rogers Park.
- Entertainment. Art takes many forms including dance, music, and theatre. Check out the Lakewood Center Pavilion Tent and the Main Stage at George Rogers Park throughout each day for performances from Missoula Children’s Theatre, the Sultanov Russian Ballet Academy and the Patrick Lamb All Star Band. .
- Kids’ Day. When my kids were young, this was a not-to-be-missed event filled with arts and crafts and entertainment including Maher’s Irish Dancers and BJ the Clown. Catch it in lower George Rogers Park on Friday afternoon from noon to 4:00 p.m.
- Energy. With more than 25,000 visitors descending on Lake Oswego over three days, it’s hard not to feel a part of something greater. Volunteer docents are answering questions, artists are explaining their craft in hands-on demonstrations, children are tapping into their inner thespians, art connoisseurs are passing over a piece you think is fantastic and gushing over something else you can’t make sense of. Lake Oswego is pulsing with a creative energy that draws you in and sends you back out renewed to feed your artistic spirit more often than once a year at the Festival of the Arts.
This year the Festival is hosting a new event–A Cultural Tapestry Dinner, created in partnership with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and taking place al fresco at George Rogers Park. Seating is limited. Dinner tickets are $85 each and may be purchased online.
Photo Credit: Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net