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The event will include activities for kids, art exhibits, music, food, beverages and more

PMG FILE PHOTO - The Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts returns to George Rogers Park and the Lakewood Center for the Arts June 25-26.

Limited substantially by the pandemic and extreme heat in 2021, the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts is back to its old self this year. And organizer Natalie Wood couldn't be more excited about it.

"Come and celebrate being back with us," she said. "We're encouraging people to come with an open heart and look at where the artists have been creating over the last two years that they are so proud to finally show to the community."

The free festival will be held from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 25, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 26, at George Rogers Park and the Lakewood Center for the Arts (times vary slightly depending on the location). It will feature myriad artistic mediums, music, food, art demonstrations and more.

Wood first highlighted the Drink and Draw event, where attendees can drink wine while learning how to draw caricatures from instructor Allen Schmertzler.

Wood also noted that this year's festival will have extensive programming for kids, including art lessons, rock painting, an artist parade and a youth exhibit. At the parade, kids can dress up as their favorite artist or work of art, or show off a piece they've created.

"The festival as a whole highlights youth and students this year, because they've had two years of not a very good time so we wanted to bring a great festival for them," Wood said.

As for the art exhibits, Wood said this year's theme is "reemergence" and that many artists completed works based on that concept. She also highlighted the diversity that will be present at this year's event

"We've asked artists to show us what it means to reemerge into the world … they have answered the calls in incredible ways," Wood said.

PMG FILE PHOTO - The festival will include exhibits, music, art demonstrations and more.

One interesting addition this year is the inclusion of a recording that can be heard at the upper level of the Lakewood Center where artists discuss how art has changed their lives. The Dee Denton Gallery, which opened last year to honor the longtime supporter of Lakewood, will be one of the main focuses. This exhibit will include the work of festival award winners.

Musical performers will also take the stage at both locations. The lineup includes blues artist Norman Sylvester, Dischords, which will play classic rock, and recent Billboard chart-maker Andy Stokes.

"If people love R&B come out and watch Andy. He's an incredible performer," Wood said.

Gorges Beer Co. will provide the beer for the event and there will also be seven food cart vendors. There will be free shuttles from Lake Oswego High School, Lake Oswego Middle School and City Hall. For more information on the festival, visit www.lakewood-center.org/pages/Festival.


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