The art of summer
Gresham's biggest annual event brought thousands into downtown to explore streets filled with amazing art.
The Gresham Arts Festival brought more than 150 carefully curated Northwest artisans — ranging from painters, potters and sculptors to woodworkers, photographers, jewelers and much more.
The event took place Saturday, July 20, all throughout downtown, and was free to attend. In addition to the artists booths, there was also live music, cultural performances, the Gresham Farmers Market, games and food.
Ethan Davis, a sculpture who lives in Gresham, hosted a booth for the fifth year. He sold colorful metal sculptures that captured the imagination, like ferocious dragons. Davis said that the Arts Festival is one of the most successful events he attends, though the best part is wandering the streets himself.
"One of my favorite things is to walk around and talk shop with all the amazing artists," Davis said.
Some of the things for sale included pottery, photography, bead work, watercolors, textiles, glass, wood, oil paintings, garden art, and recycled art. The event is also a fun way for people to meet the artists behind the work.
During the festival, a breakdance competition was held in the afternoon. Breakin' on Main, presented by the Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce, brought more than a dozen talented break dance teams from around the west coast to perform.
At the far end of the festival was the Kids Village, held in the Gresham Arts Plaza, where children of all ages were able to enjoy a bevy of activities presented by various sponsors.
There was face painting, Disney princesses and superheroes, bounce houses, sports obstacles, Gresham Police officers handing out sticker badges and showing off their equipment, live music, a rock climbing wall, water slide, balloons and bubbles, and prizes earned by following treasure maps.
Artist Michelle Griffin, from Battleground, Wash., had a booth for the second time at the Arts Festival. She sold ornate birdhouses made from recycled wood and material, and cutout silhouette art.
"This is a great fit for me, because everyone is supportive and excited about the art," Griffin said.
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