Whether you're hoping to wrangle your kids out of the house, enjoy a colorful stroll through art displays or relax with a free concert, this year's annual ArtSplash Art Show and Sale has a place for you.
Located at the Tualatin Commons, 8325 SW Nyberg Street, the event kicked off its first day with a large crowd of art and music lovers alike. Until it concludes on Sunday, July 15, it will host a movie night, four more performances and continue to display works by 56 artists of all media.
Artist Pete Lundberg from Stayton uses silks and dyes to depict animals and flowers into what looks like stained-glass. Each piece, he said, takes almost 200 hours and three trials before getting it right.
Lundberg began losing fine motor skills — the coordination of small movements — in his hands making his daily tasks harder to do, he said. Painting with the dyes helped him learn to control the symptoms, he said.
"This was my personal rehab," Lundberg said. "I have taught big muscles to do what little muscles should do."
Some days, he said, he can't paint at all and other days he paints with two hands.
Recently, as he's been painting more, he said his granddaughter came up to him and said, "Grandpa, you need to put your mark on your paintings!"
Ever since, he's painted a small heart in each of his pieces just for her.
Couple Inga Johnson and Jim Glenn recently moved to Tualatin and popped by the show to see what was for sale.
"We have a lot of blank walls to fill," Johnson said. The pair visit about five art shows per year, they said, noting that they've always enjoyed events like this one.
"When I was a kid, we lived next door to an art broker," Glenn said about his North Portland childhood home. "He sparked my love for it."
Glenn and Johnson walked toward another artist's booth, where Bruce Lee from Lake Grove displayed his "After Image Photography."
Lee walked to the back of his booth and pointed to two photos of a giant Japanese maple from Portland's Japanese Garden.
The first photo shows the tree full of brilliant orange leaves and the second photo is of the same tree with no leaves at all and only dewdrops settling on its limbs.
"They're taken six days apart," Lee said. "This tree is probably one of the most photographed trees in the nation."
Yet some of Lee's best photos, he said, come from strolls in Brown's Ferry Park with Annie, his three-quarter doberman dog.
One evening, he said, he was walking toward home when he looked to the Tualatin River and saw a great white egret standing solemn and serene in water that was almost black with the lowlight of the evening.
"I saw that and my jaw dropped," Lee said. "It's a bird I stalk repeatedly."
And after 10 years of stalking, he said, that moment where its plumage grazes the water is still his favorite photograph of the egret.
Around 6:30 p.m., Tom Grant, a Portland pianist and vocalist, and his jazz trio started into their tunes and stole the crowd's attention. Even Tualatin Mayor Lou Ogden sat in the audience. Grant mixed up the styles from classic swing pieces like the Frank Sinatra hit "The Way You Look Tonight," to Big Band charts like "In a Sentimental Mood," by Duke Ellington.
Angie Dickson, originally from Montreal, Canada, said she only came to ArtSplash for the free concert.
After moving to Tualatin about 15 years ago for a quieter lifestyle, Dickson said, she thought she would finally come to the event. Duke Ellington's music happened to be her favorite.
But across the park, Dena Iadanza, her husband and two kids, were less fans of the music.
"In retrospect, I should have checked the lineup," Iadanza said, noting that her daughter loves music, but jazz is a little too slow. "This isn't really her jam."
Being from Tualatin, however, the family said they were happy for the chance to get out.
"Our kids were being a handful," Iadanza said. She said the event gave them a break as their son and daughter splashed in the water around them.
A Toyota Prius with a hexagon wrap was parked in the plaza as a project for kids, or adults, hoping to test their skills at art of their own. With a basket of colored sharpies sitting next to the car, the goal is to decorate each hexagon over the course of the festival, then sell the car at the Wilsonville Toyota dealership.
Diagonal to the Prius, a booth with colored glass shimmered when the sun hit it. Dianne Muhly, a retired farmer who lives on 30 acres south of Hillsboro, said her glass art has always been apart of her life.
A customer walked into her booth and just as they plucked a pair of earrings off the table to look at, Muhly said, "Take them to the light." The customer gasped with delight as the glass glowed in the sun and Muhly beamed.
"I've been doing this since before your mother was born," she said. "The glass just speaks to me."
She said she started making glass art to match the crowd, and though she never stopped, there were other focuses in her life.
"It was 1978 and I wanted to be a hippy," Muhly said. "But I had kids!"
Yet all through her life the art was never just a hobby.
"It's a passion," Muhly said.
ArtSplash will continue Saturday, July 14, at 10 a.m. with a Portland Model Power Boat Association float, free crafts for kids at noon, and three concerts from Tualatin's Elise Popma and Portland folk singer/songwriter Tyler Stenson from 1 to 5:30 p.m., as well as "We Three" at 6 p.m.
"We Three," a pop-folk sibling band from McMinnville, also recently appeared on ABC's "America's Got Talent." Right after their performance, a "Movies on the Commons" will screen Pixar Animation Studio's "Coco."
Sunday, July 15, events will start at 11 a.m. with opportunities to create chalk masterpieces on the plaza and one more free concert at 1 p.m. by the "New Horizons Big Band of Tualatin."