Annual district-wide art festival scheduled for April 19 at Arts and Technology High School

Now in its 16th year, West Linn-Wilsonville’s annual district-wide art show is starting to receive a much deserved makeover. The show, which debuted in 1998, is moving for the first time to Arts and Technology High School, where the entire two-story school will be transformed into a gallery that reflects the show’s theme: Pathways.

The show has moved far from its roots, when the district was much smaller and every school in the district was able to submit work to the show. In its early days, the show was held at the district office building, and students were bused there so every child in the district could enjoy the artwork.

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - West Linn High School senior Julia Casad helps install artwork last Friday at Art Tech High School in Wilsonville in preparation for the West Linn-Wilsonville School Districts district-wide art show. This year, the show will boast a festival atmosphere, with interactive exhibits and food vendors — including Voodoo Doughnuts, Bunk Sandwiches and Lupita’s Catering. The change is the result of a deliberate choice made by the district’s art teachers, according to ATHS art teacher Ben Whitcomb.

“Last year, it was at West Linn High School, in the auxiliary gym, and it just felt kind of vacant,” he said. “Not many people attended. It was kind of sad, because there was amazing artwork there. This year, we wanted to make it more of an event.”

“It’s an exciting change of venue, and with the addition of food carts I hope more people will take the tiem to see the show,” West Linn High School art teacher Diane Gauthier said.

ATHS began its transformation from ordinary school into art gallery last Friday, when everything came down off the school walls, from top to bottom.

The show will be up for one day only, April 19 from 4 to 8:30 p.m.

“The evening will culminate in a drum and dance performance outdoors at dusk,” ATHS Principal Saskia Dresler said. “This will be a groundbreaking event for our school and art across the district.”

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Art Tech High School freshman Isaac Hascall straightens a painting as he helps prepare his school to host this year's district-wide art show April 19. “We wanted to have something that’s community based, and making it more of a festival and a celebration of the hard work these kids have done throughout the year,” Whitcomb said.

Each of the district’s high schools will have up to 35 works on display. Each grade school is allowed to contribute up to 25 pieces. Wilsonville High School art teacher Christopher Shotola-Hardt called the show “massive” and he said that the plan is to make the show even bigger in the future.

“Eventually, we would love to have more participation from the performing arts, so it’s not just visual arts,” he said.

This year’s show already has plenty to offer. In addition to the paintings, sculptures and drawings on display, attendees can expect to see interactive exhibits like T-shirt printing, a dirt bike in the school’s library and a “yarn bomb” in one of the trees outside the school.

“Students from the Fiber Arts II class crocheted granny squares for this, and Amanda Ivany scouted, selected, measured and photographed the tree. She then crocheted the squares to fit around the tree trunk and a few limbs,” Gauthier said. “Another new item: Students from the AP studio art class will be installing a tape drawing in the stairwell. ... The goal is to alter the way one looks at the space.”by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - West Linn High School senior Emily Mathes works on installing a unique tape installation in a stairwell at Art Tech High School in Wilsonville, part of the preparation for the upcoming April 19 district-wide art show.

“It’s really everything,” Whitcomb said. “We’re encouraging performances.”

Middle school students from Inza R. Wood will be contributing some special pieces, including a large-scale installation that will be at the school’s main entrance, Wood art instructor Jennifer Cerasin-Morgan said.

“I also have students who will appear in Trashion Fashion as walking art pieces during the show and at least one doing an installation that requires audience participation. Several Wood students are creating works for the vending machine as well,” she SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - This is just one of dozens of pieces of art that will be on display at the April 19 West Linn-Wilsonville School District art show at Art Tech High School in WIlsonville.

Families are welcome to attend the show, and the public is encouraged to stop by Art Tech High School, located at 29796 SW Town Center Loop E in Wilsonville. The show is open for one night only, from 4 to 8:30 p.m. April 19. Students will be onsite to direct visitors to parking spots.

For more information, contact Whitcomb at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

By Kate Hoots
Education reporter
503-636-1281, ext. 112
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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