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Sculpture by artist Amyas Maestas will be a permanent part of the community's popular Gallery Without Walls

SUBMITTED PHOTO - 'Amyas & Soleil,' the 2018 People's Choice Award winner, will soon have a new home at The Windward in downtown Lake Oswego. "Amyas & Soleil," a whimsical sculpture created by a young artist whose grandfather helped him cast his first bronze pieces, has been chosen as the winner of the Arts Council of Lake Oswego's 2018 People's Choice Award.

Each year, five sculptures from the Gallery Without Walls' rotating exhibition are nominated for the People's Choice Award by a committee of city leaders, artists and local residents. The sculpture with the most votes in citywide balloting becomes a part of the award-winning public art collection.

"Amyas & Soleil," which was designed by artist Amyas Maestas, is currently on display at B Avenue and First Street in downtown Lake Oswego. It will move to its new home in The Windward later this spring.

"We're so happy that 'Amyas & Soleil' has won the 2018 People Choice award! We received such positive comments from the community about Amyas's work and are thrilled to have it permanently on view in Lake Oswego," says Kelsey Ferreira, the Arts Council of Lake Oswego's public art and program manager. "Amyas was only 12 when he submitted his work to the Gallery Without Walls, making him the youngest artist in the program. To receive the honor of People's Choice is a remarkable achievement."

People living or working in Lake Oswego are eligible to vote for the People's Choice Award; this year, more than 500 votes were cast online or dropped into ballot boxes throughout the City. Funds for the purchase of the People's Choice winner come from the City's transient room tax.

"This sculpture is a universal symbol of joy! I love that it depicts Amyas and his sister Soleil," says Pat Vessely, an Arts Council board member and Gallery Without Walls juror. "If you look at it closely, you'll see a butterfly in Soleil's hair and thumbprints left by the siblings on the sculpture itself."

Amyas learned to sculpt with the guidance of his grandfather, Huberto Maestas, who also has a piece, "Taos Patriarch," in the Gallery Without Walls. Amyas, his grandfather and other members of the family will be at the Arts Council's annual summer celebration, Unveil Your Art!, which will be held at Sundeleaf Plaza from 4-7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25.

The event will also include docent-led tours of the public art gallery, a kids' activity area, food, beverages and more.

"'Amyas & Soleil' is wonderful addition to the City of Lake Oswego's growing art collection," says Arts Council Executive Director Nicole Nathan. " It is a beloved piece that reflects the values of the community and is an example of work by a new generation of public artists."

The Gallery Without Walls was introduced in 2001 and has evolved over the years to include 30 on-loan works and more than 70 sculptures total throughout the City. For more information about the Arts Council or the gallery, go to www.artscouncillo.org.

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