Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts gets three-dimensional
The 55th-annual Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts is almost upon us, bringing with it a collection of traditional exhibits and a special show designed to add a whole new dimension to The City of Arts.
The three-day festival is expected to draw 25,000 people to the Lakewood Center for the Arts and George Rogers Park from Friday, June 22, through Sunday, June 24. In addition to the artwork, live music and theater performances will entertain visitors. There will be food, beer and wine, too, as well as a "Kids Get Creative" program featuring everything from comedy shows and storytimes to a mobile DJ, face-painting and wheel-throwing clay.
All of the events and exhibits are free and open to the public, although a suggested donation of $5 per person or $10-$20 per family is encouraged to support opportunities for local artists.
Exhibits will include the Open Show, a non-juried exhibit displaying work from emerging and established artists; "Artists Vision: Artifacts of a Journey," which will document the process an artwork takes on the road to creation; a show featuring the work of local junior and senior high school students; and Art in the Park, featuring more than 100 booths filled with jewelry, ceramics, photography, painting and more.
The fesitval will also present a unique Special Exhibit — fittingly titled "Layers: The Evolving Art of 3-D Printing" — which will allow the audience to learn and interact with the artistic side of an increasingly popular art-making technology.
Special Exhibit curators Ben Dye and Briana Thornton have worked to create a space displaying works by multidisciplinary creatives, designers, artists and engineers. The featured artists all create works of art using 3D printing as a means of product or reference.
"It's not always about the art," Dye says. "Sometimes it's about the conversation. In the industry, it's split between those who thought it was art and those who thought it wasn't, so that looked like a good challenge to have this exhibit start that conversation."
Dye and Thornton want the audience to have a dialogue — with each other and within themselves — about the depth and meaning that 3-D printed artwork brings to the table. It's the same type of conversation that surrounded photography as an art form, Thornton explains, in that when photography first began, there were galleries that wrote the medium off as technology rather than art.
"We want to start the conversation of technology being incorporated more into art — what that means and how it's represented in art," Thornton says. "That conversation is as much a part of the exhibition as the art itself."
As a curator and 3-D artist, Dye's approach to the exhibit began with an experience creating artwork for Lake Oswego's Gallery without Walls. He found himself developing concepts for a sculpture and then using a personal 3-D printer to build specific pieces as a way of explaining his ideas to gallery officials. In 2015, Dye's piece "Mutatio" was selected for the Gallery Without Walls, as well as "Seahorse," a piece from 2012.
Dye wanted to share his experience with 3-D printing as a tool to create art with the wider Lake Oswego community, thus incorporating the technology and artform into the Festival of the Arts Special Exhibit with Thornton.
The exhibit will feature live demonstrations of 3-D printing that guests will be able to interact with, using virtual reality technology. Thornton was also able to procure an exhibit from famed Iranian 3-D printing artist Morehshin Allahyari, who uses 3-D printing to recreate historical artifacts that have been destroyed in worn-torn areas of the Middle East.
Also on-hand will be Shapify My Life, a Portland-based tech company that can scan up to six adult humans and create a miniature sculpture from the scan.
Thornton says there was a lot of discussion around whether the exhibit should use signage to explain each piece of artwork or the process of creating 3-D art, but the curators decided to let the audience make its own conclusions and assumptions about the work.
"We don't want to tell people what to think, how to feel or what they're supposed to take away from that piece. We want them to make those decisions for themselves," she says. "But we will have classes and talks from artists in the show, as well as unique incorporations of showing the processes from how these pieces are created in the computer to final product."
This year's Special Exhibit will take place in the lower level of the Lakewood Center. In addition to the artwork, it will feature several keynote talks and demonstrations from artists. On Friday, June 22, at 10:30 a.m., Morehshin Allahyari talk about her process of recreating ancient artifacts using 3-D printing, followed by a virtual reality demonstration with VR and 3-D artist Dimitri Reuse at 12:30 p.m. A 3-D scanning demonstration with Barbara Kinzle begins at 2:30 p.m., and an artist talk featuring digital 3-D artist Joshua Hughes will be held at 4:30 p.m.
The entire festival will be open from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Friday, June 22, and Saturday, June 23, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, June 24. For more information, maps and a schedule of events, see the full-color magazine inside today's issue of The Review, or visit www.lakewood-center.org.
IF YOU GO
What: 55th-annual Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts
When: Friday, June 22-Sunday, June 24
Where: Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State St.; and George Rogers Park, at the corner of State and Ladd streets
At the Lakewood Center: "Artists Vision: Artifacts of a Journey," a juried exhibit of art pieces that document the process artwork takes on the road to creation; a non-juried Open Show with work from emerging and established artists; a Special Exhibit called "Layers: The Evolving Art of 3D Printing," which will showcase the artistic side of 3D printing and advanced art-making technologies; and two exhibits (one for grades K-8 and the other for high-schoolers) featuring the work of local students.
In George Rogers Park: Art in the Park, featuring more than 100 booths filled with jewelry, ceramics, photography, painting and more; live music on the main stage; food, beer and wine will be for sale.
Hours: 10 a.m.- 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
Cost: Free, although a donation of $5 per person or $10-$20 per family is suggested
Details: Visit www.lakewood-center.org