Gresham Arts Festival features more than 120 artisans

Artisans, musicians and fans of both groups will fill the streets of downtown Saturday, July 19, for the Gresham Arts Festival.

The fun starts at 9 a.m., and dozens of artisans and artists will be on to display and sell their handcrafted pottery, jewelry, paintings, woodwork, photography and more.

One such artist is Gresham resident Dean Crouser, who credits his wife, Molly, for inspiring his current love of painting birds.

“I started doing all fish and fishing scenes,” he says, noting he’s been painting for a decade. “My wife is a master gardener, and one day she said, ‘Would you please do something other than a fish?’”

Crouser chuckles as he recounts her question, adding he then saw a hummingbird in her garden and the lightbulb went on. His work is licensed by several companies worldwide, and his watercolor paintings of hummingbirds, fish and wildlife can be found in paintings, ceramic tiles, coasters and postcards.

Crouser says he uses a “loose, impressionistic” style when he CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Dean Crouser specializes in paintings of hummingbirds, like the ones pictured in Twos Company, one of the pieces hell exhibit at the Gresham Arts Festival.

“I try to do my painting in a few minutes,” he says, noting that’s the nature of watercolor.

He adds that he enjoys working at the Gresham Arts Festival.

“I sell a lot of framed art and a lot of prints,” he says of the festival. “For a one-day show, I think it’s as well attended as any I’ve been at.”

You can learn more about Crouser at

Marimba madness

Zimba Marimba is among the many musical acts folks can enjoy at the festival. Bev Bow says the 10-member group plays marimba music created by the Shona people of Zimbabwe.

“It’s very physically active music, very joyful, danceable, upbeat music,” she says, noting the group gets a kick out of passersby who are drawn into the ensemble sound.

“I love the creation of music with a group of people,” she says. “The other thing I love is watching the audience you just see walking by and getting captured by the music, especially children.”

You can learn more at CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Zimba Marimba plays high-energy dance music and will share their tunes with the crowd at the Gresham Arts Festival on July 19.

Festival facts

The Gresham Arts Festival takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 19.

Gresham Ford will collect peanut butter and other food items for SnowCap Community Charities as well as Zarephath Pantry, both of which provide food to low-income folks in East County. The booth will be located at Third Avenue and Miller Street, says Bess Wills, Gresham Ford’s general manager.

Performances will take place as follows:

First Street

11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Andre St. James Trio — soothing jazz.

Second Street

10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Children’s Corner — arts and crafts.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Roger Witter — face painter.

11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Joe Mishkin — balloon transformer.

2-3:30 p.m., Zimba Marimba.

3:45-4:45 p.m., KAD Dance Studios/Folklorico Act.

Third Street

9:30-11 a.m., Julie McCarl & Bodacious — Cajun/zydeco/rock/jazz.

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sister Mercy — rhythm ‘n’ blues.

1:30-3 p.m., Get Down Jones — soul/blues.

3:30-5 p.m., The Wild Wood — rockin’ bluegrass.

Fourth Street

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Irish Trio.

1-2:30 p.m., Legally Insane — rock/folk.

2:30-5 p.m., Jon Swift — solo guitar.


To learn more about the Gresham Arts Festival, visit

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