Celebrating the arts in Wilsonville
If strolling through Wilsonville's Town Center Park last weekend, one could witness children gluing yarn to cardboard at the mask-making station, hop across musical genres in a sonic art installation, gorge on eclectic foods, watch a traditional Aztec dance performance and even grab a beer or watch a film.
It's safe to say the Wilsonville Festival of Arts, which was put on by the Wilsonville Arts and Culture Council and took place June 2-3, had a little bit of something for everyone.
Since taking over as Wilsonville Festival of Arts Director in 2017, Sarah Wolfe has added more variety to the festival's palette. This year, she said some of the additions were more popular than others.
For one, Wolfe said her push to make the event more accessible to all walks of life worked well. The event included West African and Peruvian food trucks, more Latino art, a diverse array of musical performers and installations that triggered multiple senses.
"I have seen more in the Latino realm and more African-Americans than we had last year. I do feel like that starts at the core," Wolfe said. "We have a West African food cart. We have several people in bands or manning an artist booth or our sponsors that are coming from these communities and so other people from these communities are drawn into the event."
The festival's artwork ranged from figures made out of recycled redwood to photography of autumn leaves, zany license plates, pottery and paintings of Pacific Northwest landscapes.
"I think it's higher quality. Last year was my first year so we only had as many artists apply as we had spots. I just let everyone in," Wolfe said. "This year I had a lot more submissions and I had a jury to decide who was let in or not."
Wolfe also said attendees enjoyed the art installations, particularly Damien Gilley's "Rain or Shine" installation — where people could rush through shimmering silver streamers.
"When the sun was shining it was shimmering and would draw your attention from across the park," Wolfe said. "The kids have been running through the space and they absolutely love it."
Wolfe, though, said new additions such as the film tent, which was located on the periphery of the festival, the beer garden and the silent disco weren't as popular as she had hoped. She said next year she plans to move the film tent to the center, book engaging disco DJs and decrease the size of the beer garden.
Overall, though, Wolfe said the festival was running smoothly Sunday afternoon.