Getting Creative in Lake Oswego During COVID-19

COVID-19 has required individuals and businesses to pivot to respond to the challenges that social distancing presents.

In the beginning, my business met the challenge with a new set of protocols including virtual tours, controlled showings with limited access and safety measures such as shoe removal, use of latex gloves and throwaway booties, sanitizing doorknobs and light switches.

Six months in and Lake Oswego businesses are still finding ways to reinvent themselves to weather this current health and economic storm. I wanted to shine a spotlight on a few of them.

LAKEWOOD CENTER FOR THE ARTS. One of the first annual casualties of the pandemic was the 57th Annual Festival of the Arts, usually held at the Lakewood Center and George Rogers Park in June. Instead, art supporters can view two of the six 2020 exhibits, Art in the Park and Artist’s Vision, on their Online Gallery. For an in-person experience, the Center is offering “Art in the Bubble,” a series of artist presentations and demonstrations and discussions centering around a theme. The talks are being held in Nicoletta’s Table & Marketplace banquet hall with the opportunity to enjoy a no-host happy hour before and dine in or takeout a delicious meal afterwards. Attendance is limited to 16, with groups seated 6 feet apart from each other and masks required. Tickets are free and sold online in groups of two but donations help to support programs like this. The first program features Contemporary Latin-American Artists on September 23.

Art Decked Out is a limited visual art event being held on evenings in September on the entryway deck where attendees can hear artists speak and demonstrate, followed by private showings (8 masked people at a time) of the Lakewood Center Entryway Gallery. The first event is Tuesday, September 15 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with a focus on Intaglio printing. Attendees are invited to bring their own drinks or treats or place an advance order from Nicoletta’s and advised to bring their own lawn chairs. Admission is free, but donations encouraged.

TAVERN ON KRUSE. Back when sheltering in place first started, Tavern on Kruse was one of the first restaurants to start doing business differently. They were offering paid takeout meals twice a week to help support free meals for restaurant workers who had been laid off. This summer they have been experiencing near capacity thanks to their spacious outdoor patio seating where diners can safely socially distance. (Regularly scheduled outdoor jazz could also have something to do with it too). They are also offering “Finish-At-Home” entrees that promise gourmet quality that you can put the finishing touches on in just 10-15 minutes in your own kitchen. Orders must be placed by 3:00 p.m. the day PRIOR to pickup and picked up between 4:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. the day of. Featured entrees vary each day with options that include: Seared scallops and clam chowder, and molasses- brined pork chop.

LAKE OSWEGO PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT. One of this department’s first challenges was redesigning the Lake Oswego Farmer’s Market which I covered in an earlier blog. But more recently, the department proved that it just keeps reinventing with “Flicks at the Farm.” This physically distanced carpool cinema debuted at Luscher Farm the weekend of August 15-16 with movie-goers viewing Jumanji and Toy Story 4 on an inflatable screen in the field behind the community gardens. The Lakewood Center offered its own version of the movie drive-in experience with a showing of Night of the Living Dead in its parking lot accompanied by additional shrills and thrills from the performance group, Creatures of the Night.

LA PROVENCE. While this popular restaurant is now offering dine-in service, it also introduced some new options when that wasn’t an option which are still very popular. One is their Family Menu featuring a meal that can be reheated at home that includes delicious offerings like Beef Bourguignon for $35. Another is their Le Petit Market with items that are ready for you to take home and bake like croissants, cinnamon rolls and cookies. They come highly recommended!

ARTS COUNCIL OF LAKE OSWEGO. Despite COVID, the show must go on. While the ARTspace Gallery is now open for socially distanced viewing, pieces from the Plein Air exhibit can be viewed and purchased online. And the Arts Council is taking its annual Gallery Without Walls celebration online September 27 at 3:00 p.m. during which viewers can go on a virtual tour of the 14 new pieces and hear from some of the artists on their creative process. Register online.

Stay informed about what’s happening in Lake Oswego. Subscribe to my blog by clicking on the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column.

About lovelakeoswego

I feel pretty lucky—I live where I work and I love where I live. As a Realtor in Lake Oswego, I get to share that enthusiasm with clients every day. Through this blog, with the help of my freelance writer wife, Genita, I’d like to share that enthusiasm with you. The quality of life you’ll find in Lake Oswego belies its size—there is so much to experience here from a fireworks show over the lake on the 4th of July to the Festival of the Arts--one of the premier arts events in the region. So please check in each week for another reason why I love Lake Oswego and who knows—maybe you’ll fall in love too! If you’re interested in experiencing Lake Oswego personally, please feel free to contact me either on my cell at (503) 939-9801, via email at or check my website by clicking the link in the "Contact me" section in the right-hand column. I would love to show you around.
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