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The event produced by the Charbonneau Arts Association features art, music, a silent auction and more

SCREENSHOT - The online Charbonneau Festival of the Arts runs through October.

Like many facets of life during the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Charbonneau Festival of the Arts has ventured into the virtual realm.

The festival — which is put on by the Charbonneau Arts Association, started Oct. 1 and runs throughout October — includes art galleries, musical performances, student art and even a silent auction.

"We've tried to turn that (the pandemic) into a real opportunity for us to do something new and different online," said Charbonneau Arts Association President Eric Hoem. "For people who are online, I think they will really love the site. For people who don't usually go online, it's a place to see where art and culture and student art is continuing in an era where we're mostly closed in and closed down."

Hoem said one advantage of the online arena is that they can fit more art displays than they would in a physical space. Some mediums featured include acrylics, watercolors, jewelry, sculpture, photography, woodworking and mixed media. The website also provides a 3-D option, which gives viewers the feel of actually strolling through an art exhibit.

"That's the part that's going to be really exceptional. You walk through and see how the art hangs," Hoem said.

The virtual showcase also will feature an exhibit where artists show off pieces inspired by the pandemic. Hoem particularly enjoyed one gallery featuring anthropomorphic animals dealing with everyday tasks like going to the grocery store with a mask.

"There are both serious pieces and really whimsical pieces," Hoem said.

And while musicians normally perform in the background at Charbonneau Country Club during the festival, a festival regular organized an online showcase where jazz and Americana artists perform songs and post them on the website.

"That's a pretty exciting development for us. Because of the problem with COVID, it has opened up an opportunity to do more for music," Hoem said.

The silent auction portion of the event will take place starting Oct. 15 and run through the end of the month. The auction, as well as individual donations, raise money to support Canby High School and Wilsonville High art programs.

"We have most of our sponsors from previous years step up at the same level of support. That's been a huge help to us because it's given us the resources, but it's also given us a morale boost to put this together," Hoem said.

To view the exhibit and for more information, visit virtual.charbonneauarts.org.


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