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“Celebrate the natural environment and see art created out of organic substances found in nature; explore a familiar part of our world in new ways; breathe in the open air; and sense the wonder of nature,” said Linda-Merry Gross, the president of the Three Rivers Artist Guild, describing the upcoming second-annual Forest of Arts event.


Photo Credit: PHOTO COURTESY: LINDA-MERRY GROSS - Melissa Gannon puts acrylic to good use in her painting titled 'Gathering of Trees.'The Oregon City-based artist guild is partnering with the Hopkins Demonstration Forest, managed by Forests Forever as an accessible example of sustainable forestry, to sponsor the Oct. 4 and 5 arts event that drew nearly 1,000 people last year.

The collaboration combines a free art show and live demonstrations with music, local food, wine, hiking-trail tours and children’s activities in the forest, 16750 S. Brockway Road, Mulino.

Photo Credit: PHOTO COURTESY: LINDA-MERRY GROSS - Ha Austin's ceramics will be available for sale at the second-annual Forest of Arts event Oct. 4 and 5.No-cost admission includes free parking, a free shuttle and free guided forest tours.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, family-friendly hands-on crafts and demonstrations will offer opportunities to meet the artists and purchase gifts of sculpture, paintings, jewelry and woodwork.

Forest of Arts

“The Forest of Arts event is very meaningful to our members,” Gross told the Oregon City Chamber of Commerce After Hours group Aug. 28, recalling members who made jewelry and wood carvings from Hopkins’ forest materials for last year’s event.

“It gives our artists an opportunity to use new materials to create nature-inspired art. We’re thrilled to partner with Hopkins in this beautiful natural setting and to let our artists express their passion for nature in this way.”

How did this all come about?

“One day Three Rivers Artist Guild founder and past president Lynda Orzen was hiking in Hopkins Forest and asked them if they had ever thought about having an art show there,” Gross said.

“The idea is to utilize items from nature and the woods to create visual and performance art as well as music,” she said.

Last year, 12 artists participated in Forest of Arts; this year, 36 artists have made original artworks from materials gathered from the forest. Many of the artists painted hundreds of wooden “cookies” that will be “abandoned” in plain sight for the public to find as a way for the artisans to give back to the community, Gross said.

Photo Credit: PHOTO COURTESY: LINDA-MERRY GROSS - Tarry Foltz's saw-wood art includes this Native American-inspired 'Scroll.'This is a gathering of many organizations, she said, including art students, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and 4-H volunteers. Activities will include demonstrations of forest products, papermaking, hiking, wooden-cookie painting and bird-house creation.

“Hopkins is most distinguished by providing hands-on engagement with forest resources,” Gross said.

She added, “The event is designed for the entire family. Peruse art for sale, enjoy Christopher Bridge wine, have lunch in the forest, hike some easy trails, see demonstrations along the way and create installations from forest material. Even a bus shuttle will be provided to those folks who don’t want to hike back up the trail from the amphitheater, where one can see and hear performance art.”

For more information about Hopkins Demonstration Forest, visit demonstrationforest.org. Three Rivers Artist Guild exists primarily to promote an exchange of knowledge about all types of art and to provide mutual support, encouragement and education for its members. To find out more, visit threeriversartistguild.com.

Art in the outdoors

Three dozen artists will showcase their work at Forest of Arts:

Ha Austin coils, pinches, slabs and throws clay to create ceramics with Sgraffito nature designs.

Photo Credit: PHOTO COURTESY: LINDA-MERRY GROSS - Anita Ruether created 'A Walk Before the Rain' using a collage of materials, including magazine paper, ink pen and paints.Darla Boljat paints oil and acrylic nature scenes “en plein air.”

Rusty Brown hand carves Celtic ornaments.

Nicole Burdette creates glass shaped into Oregon-specific flora, which are fused onto glass plates.

Kerin Dimeler-Laurence uses a resin process to create jewelry from natural items.

Joe Escriva culls already cut logs from the forest and dries the wood, creating nature-themed ornaments.

Terry Foltz uses a scroll saw to create art designs in wood.

Lauren Goding fashions branches into jewelry.

Anita Ruether collages items onto canvas, then uses ink and paint for forest and outdoor scenes.

Jerilyn Walker shapes and cuts copper and silver into leaf patterns, adds hand-chased designs, and also casts lichen and other forest material into unique jewelry.

In addition, Heather Andrews will be performing on various harps at the forest amphitheater.

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