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Celebrating the Festival of the Arts

The Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts is a wonderful event to attend. I have lived in Lake Oswego for the past 35 years and have attended it since we moved here.

This year, I attended all three days. The three days there were visually stimulating, auditorily pleasant and filled with savory food as had been true in the past.

It was different for me this year because my children are adults in their 30s, and I have four young grandchildren. It became a reunion for me, similar to my 50th high school reunion, but with my children’s classmates. They graduated from Lakeridge High School. Now, their classmates were married with children of their own.

I bought a gorgeous, hand-blown glass vase made by Kyle Kraiter. He had learned techniques of hand-blown glass in several countries. He told me how he had made the vase I bought. The technique he used made it a unique one. He picked up an insect to show me its beautiful closed wings, which were an iridescent deep blue-and-green color. These colors were similar to the ones he used in his sculpture pieces. The artist’s influence on me was to observe nature more closely and see the beautiful colors even in a quarter-inch-long insect.

I bought three cast-leaf birdbaths made by Jackie Flowers of Garden Whimsies, since I thought my grandchildren would enjoy these in my backyard. They are now a bird bath, a bird feeder, and one with a candle and artificial Hawaiian flower floating in the water in the basin.

I had seafood tacos for dinner, served by Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, because the proceeds would go to help charities in Oregon. One of the charities helps struggling single mothers with children. I looked no further, because as a mother and a grandmother who always had my husband to help me financially and emotionally to raise our three children, I knew how difficult it must be to raise children on your own.

I enjoyed listening to the bluegrass and folk music, which was just perfect at a level low enough to enjoy conversations with people dining at the same table.

I was impressed with how well-organized the festival was, thanks to the Festival of the Arts steering committee and the 500-plus volunteers that I read about in the summer visitors guide. I talked with Joy Strull, a member of the steering committee. She was enthusiastic about how the festival had turned out. Dr. Bill Korach, Lake Oswego’s former school superintendent, was one of the volunteers at the entrance to the craft booths.

The three-day festival of the arts for me this year was not only about seeing fine art and crafts, enjoying music and eating delicious food, but also a reunion for me after living in Lake Oswego for 35 years. It truly was an occasion to celebrate and enjoy!

I am looking forward to seeing what Lake Oswego’s Festival of the Arts in 2015 will have in store for me! A huge thank you to all those who made this wonderful event possible!

Cynthia E. Ruttan is a resident of Lake Oswego.

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