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Audubon's annual event adds happy hour to showcase of local nature-inspired books, art, education, kids' activities and more

COURTESY PHOTO - One of Oregon's pioneer winemakers, Susan Sokol Blosser, will be at the Wild Arts Fest this weekend to sign copies of her newest book. Meet local authors and get a head start on holiday shopping. Susan Sokol Blosser, Oregon's pioneering winery owner at Sokol Blosser Winery, has a new book out — all about her life, through food and wine.

In "The Vineyard Years: A Memoir With Recipes," Sokol Blosser explores her challenges over the past four decades as a female entrepreneur, her connection to the fertile land in the ever-changing Willamette Valley, and her thoughts on environmental issues from climate change to sustainable business practices.

Sokol Blosser is one of 37 local authors who'll be on hand Nov. 18-19 at the 37th annual Wild Arts Festival, hosted by the Audubon Society of Portland.

Now a cheery tradition that kick-starts the holiday gift-shopping season, the festival is more than a book-shopping event.

It's a showcase of local art and talent and celebration of nature and sustainability in the arts.

COURTESY PHOTO  - Yoshiko Yamamoto is a Japanese wood block printmaker who'll showcase her art along with other local artists at the Wild Arts Fest this weekend. Here's what to expect:

• Art — 67 artists (jewelry, painters, textiles and more), 18 of whom are new this year. Each must feature nature or wildlife as a subject, natural materials as a medium, and art promoting environmental sustainability.

• Books — 37 authors will sign books and chat with attendees. Authors include Grant McComie with his newest book, "Oregon Adventures With Kids," and New York Times best-selling children's author Nancy Tillman.

• Education about birds — Audubon's birds will be on site to give kids and adults an up-close look at these wildlife ambassadors.

• 6x6 Wild Arts Project — Each year, 200 local artists paint a bird theme on a donated 6-inch-by-6-inch canvas. Each piece will be sold to bidders for $45, with all proceeds supporting conservation, environmental education and wildlife rehabilitation work at Portland Audubon.

• Kids' activities — Storytelling, face-painting and a visit from the education bird will happen from noon-3 p.m. Sunday.

• Happy hour — New this year, attendees can enjoy wine, beer and light fare available for purchase from 3-6 p.m. Saturday, along with live music by Stephanie Schneiderman.

Check it out:

WHAT: 37th annual Audubon Society of Portland Wild Arts Festival

WHEN: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19

WHERE: Montgomery Park, 2701 N.W. Vaughn St.

MORE: Tickets are $8; kids 14 and under are free, online or at the door; visit wildartsfestival.org

@jenmomanderson

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