A Lake Oswego legacy
Dee Denton supported the Lakewood Center for the Arts for more than 47 years. And in honor of the legacy she left in the Lake Oswego arts community, the Lakewood Board of Directors — in consultation with the Denton family — decided to rename the entryway gallery the Dee Denton Gallery. The Denton family also made a contribution to help refresh the entryway with new carpet and other amenities in honor of Denton.
The gallery will display about 30 to 40 pieces of art Denton collected over the years, including sculptures, oil paintings and watercolor paintings, from June 26 through July 9.
"She was very diverse in her taste," said Lakewood Executive Director Andrew Edwards. "We are indebted to the Denton family for making this gallery exhibit possible and also for the refurbishments they're helping us to do."
Denton had a long history in Lake Oswego and was a key player in many traditions folks see today like the Christmas Tree Lighting, Leadership Lake Oswego and the Village Flower Baskets program.
In 1963, Denton became executive director of the city's Chamber of Commerce and quickly got started on a variety of initiatives to help grow both the chamber and the city.
She helped the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts blossom into what it is today: an iconic event that draws more than 20,000 people to Lake Oswego every summer. Despite retiring in 1996, Denton remained intimately involved in the cultural life of the city. And perhaps most impressively, her children and grandchildren have all continued her legacy of community service.
Denton's collection of art that will be on display will coincide with the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, which looks a bit different this year.
The event will center on an outdoor Art in the Park exhibit June 26 and 27 at George Rogers Park with a focus on artists who produce original, handmade fine arts and crafts. Lakewood also has hosted smaller events and programming throughout 2021 and will continue to do so.
"If you've attended the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, you'll recognize some of the artists represented in Dee's collection," read a recent posting on Lakewood's website. "Her personal collection is diverse and reflects what art meant to her. You'll find everything from a realistic landscape by Mas Kanatsu to the whimsical metal heart sculpture by Marta Farris."
"Dee loved to laugh, and we'll always cherish the memory of her being enthusiastically positive and joyful about life, work and most of all, family," said Edwards in the Lakewood posting. "We all owe a debt of gratitude to Dee for making Lake Oswego such a great place to live and work."
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