WILSONVILLE ART FESTIVAL aims for ACCESSIBILITY
In her first year as the director of the Wilsonville Festival of Arts in 2017, Sarah Wolfe left an imprint in many ways — including adding more Latino and contemporary art and improving accessibility for all walks of life.
Her objectives for planning this year's festival were no different. But she believes this year's iteration, which will take place June 2-3 in Town Center Park, will resemble her ideals more closely.
"The first year is a challenge because I'm getting to know the place, how people flow through the place and the community," Wolfe said. "I always find the second year is much more exciting to have that stuff in place and be more creative."
IF YOU GO
What: Wilsonville Festival of the Arts
Where: Town Center Park
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday June 2; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 3
The 19th WFA is put on by the Wilsonville Arts and Culture Council and will include visual arts and design, music and dance, author visits, films and more.
This year's event will feature three art installations including a sonic depth piece by Tiana Husted, which consists of a grid of stepping stones that create different sounds; a piece titled "Rain or Shine" by Damien Gilley, which features aluminum reflective pieces that represent falling water; and a collaboration between artist Palmarin Merges and Arts and Technology High students that includes printing, sewing, painting and collages. Attendees will also
be able to add to the latter installation.
"I'm excited about the collaboration because we've been trying to get a collaboration going with the high school and Palmarin is an exciting and enthusiastic artist and I look for things where the public can be a part of the installation process," Wolfe said.
Wolfe said the art installations can be experienced with multiple senses. The event is wheelchair accessible; Victory Academy will display a gallery of art produced by kids with autism and Wilsonville High's American Sign Language club will be volunteering.
"It's creating an environment that is accessible," Wolfe said.
Art demonstrations will also take place throughout the days including metal etching, block and screen printing, 3D printing, weaving and spinning and woodworking.
Wolfe places an emphasis on contemporary art because she believes it will attract younger demographics.
"The art world has been changing a lot in the past 10-to-20 years and I'm trying to get the festival to move in that direction as well. It's been more traditional previously," she said. "We're trying to bring in the millennial generation."
For the first time this year, the festival will also include film. In a collaboration with Northwest Films, some of the films were produced by adults and some were produced by teenagers and they range in variety from animation to documentary.
"Watching these films, you wouldn't even be able to tell if they are made by youth or adult because they (the teenagers) are incredibly talented people," Wolfe said.
In another wrinkle that incorporates young artists, the festival will feature a mask parade led by Wilsonville High School students and attendees will be able to make masks for the parade. There will also be a student art exhibit.
"Focusing on youth is a part of our festival. We have a whole area focused on student art and design. Wilsonville and West Linn kids are just doing some really inspiring stuff," Wolfe said.
Five of the 53 artists whose work will be on display are Latino and the festival will include a Peruvian food truck and an Aztec dance group will perform. Wolfe said Latinos are often underrepresented in the art world but she tried to represent them proportionally.
"We were aiming for a goal of matching the percentage of the population that's Latino with what we're requesting in the event, which is about 13 percent," Wolfe said.
Wolfe is also excited about the new heartbeat silent disco, where attendees can dance to a live DJ with headphones in their ears, and a venue where Vanguard Brewing will sell beer. Also, 14 authors per day will discuss their books, including Oregon Book Award winners Omar El Akkad and Joe Wilkins.
"You can go into your own world at the silent disco," Wolfe said.
Wolfe is seeking volunteers to help at the event. For more information, visit http://wilsonvillearts.org/festival-of-arts/.