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Getting festive

Lake Oswego pulls out all the stops for the 48th annual Festival of the Arts
by: vern uyetake Libby Crock and two year-old Caleb of Portland enjoy the outdoor scupture “A  Very Old Story” by Oregon City artist Ben Dye, which was on display outside of the Lakewood Center as part of this year’s Festival of the Arts.

What a colorful weekend.

The 48th annual Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, held June 24, 25 and 26 at the Lakewood Center for the Arts and George Rogers Park, truly brought the community - and many visitors - together.

From watercolor paintings and garden art to brooms and birdhouses, dozens of artistic mediums were on display at the traditional Fine Arts Craft Faire exhibit on display at the park.

David Britton, an artist who crafts colorful birdhouses, set up his booth featuring 'art with a hole in it' for the fifth year in a row.

'I have been asked twice today to sell my birdhouses in stores,' Britton said, explaining that he has no plans to do so.

'I usually make the houses with Boy Scouts or children with disabilities,' he said, adding that he has 15 of the birdhouses in his own backyard.

The Craft Faire's diversity once again proved successful, and regular festival attendees were especially impressed by this year's display.

'The booths are very good this year. Some of the best I've seen,' said Rick Williams, who comes to the festival every year.

Although the Craft Faire was a favorite this year, Williams and a friend, Melinda King, explained that the music is traditionally one of the festival's biggest draws.

This year's musical lineup was, in fact, a huge hit. Con Bro Chill and Samm's performance at George Rogers Park on Sunday evening drew an especially large and enthusiastic audience.

While adults like Williams and King enjoyed the music and the beer and wine garden, other festivities at George Rogers appealed to younger generations.

The Kids' Day activities, located adjacent to the Craft Faire, offered little ones music, games and a theatrical performance of 'The Secret Garden.'

Even high school students found something of interest, as many perused the jewelry and portrait displays and others simply enjoyed the live music and the food provided by Jamba Juice, Pizza Schmizza and various other vendors.

Artwork on display at the Open Show exhibit, located in the large tent behind the Lakewood Center, caught the attention of Lake Oswego residents Martha and Chris Darkins, who stood for a while to examine paintings by Viktoria La Paz.

'She really captured something in the eyes. They're gorgeous and look so real,' Martha said. 'It's penetrating and hazy - like she's channeling witchcraft.'

Chris agreed, adding, 'It's like a Victorian dream. It's like we're viewing (the pictures) through gauze.'

Sculptor Denise Sirchie's mosaic 'Inside Out' featured a three-dimensional face with jagged tile hair.

'That looks like your hair when you use too much hair gel,' said one father to his son.

A three-dimensional circular sculpture with holes in it caused one women to turn to her girlfriends to try to guess what it was for.

'Is it a fire pit? It could be used as a strawberry pot or a Christmas tree, I guess,' said Jan Heiling of Wilsonville.

Jesuit High School senior Maddie Marquard said that the festival was 'definitely a worthy experience despite the parking issues.'

Indeed, the parking situation presented a challenge for many festival-goers. Most were directed all the way up to Lakeridge High School where shuttles looped between State Street and Overlook Drive.

Although the lack of parking has become a yearly frustration, Corbin Bowen just moved to Lake Oswego and said he 'walked across the street' to check out the festival for the first time.

'There's a lot of nice colors going on,' he said. 'I'm really liking living in Lake Oswego.'

- Staff Reporter Nicole DeCosta also contributed to this report