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Picasso, da Vinci art coming to Troutdale

In reality, the Fall Festival of the Arts will soon celebrate its first year, but for the West Columbia Gorge Chamber of Commerce, the foundation for the new event was established years ago.

“It’s building on a foundation that was laid four years ago with the chamber’s Fall Foliage Artist Tour,” said chamber Executive Director Claude Cruz.

The Fall Foliage Tour focused on artists studios, and provided visitors an opportunity to travel the Columbia Gorge and view artists at work.

“The problem is it’s so scattered around, people were not making it up,” Cruz said.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: WEST COLUMBIA GORGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE - Artist Jim Kunz created the peoples choice painting the West Columbia Gorge Chamber of Commerce is using to promote this years festival. The painting was selected during the former Fall Foliage Tour.

So the event took a one-year hiatus to rebrand and refresh.

“Last year I put a stop to it because we clearly weren’t ready for it, and it needed to be redesigned,” he said. “We’ll have a lot better turn out for it this way, weather permitting.”

The Fall Festival kicks off with First Friday Art Walk Oct. 2, where galleries will showcase special pieces and trunk shows. Fenske Gallery will have one of the only surviving Leonardo da Vinci sculptures on display, as well as an original Picasso painting.

Friday’s festivities will also feature a new event to East Multnomah County: professional pumpkin carving. Professionals will demonstrate the craft, and kits will be available for those who want to try their hand. The demonstration will be followed up on Sunday, Oct. 4, with a pumpkin carving competition.

“Eventually I think the pumpkin-related event will spin off into its own event closer to Halloween,” Cruz added.

As for the main event on Saturday, Oct. 3, the day will include a massive quick-draw event featuring 20 artists.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: WEST COLUMBIA GORGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE - Troutdale sculptor Rip Caswell worked on this mold during the Fall Foliage Tour. He will be featured again in the Fall Festival of the Arts.

“Artists will have 90 minutes to create a piece of art in public view,” Cruz said. “Then the pieces that get produced there go into a live auction.”

The quick-draw pieces will all focus on the theme “Rock,” but it’s open to interpretation, he added.

For visitors, there will be local wineries and beer on tap, as well as food and live music. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: WEST COLUMBIA GORGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE - This bronze piece was featured in the Lorang Gallery in Cascade Locks during the past festival.

“It’s really going to be a high-powered event — that’s going to be good for East County,” Cruz said. “That’s our intent."

For more information, visit FallFestivaloftheArts.com.

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