JOSEPH – Artists and art from around the region will converge at the 30th annual Wallowa Valley Festival of Arts this weekend at Joseph Community Center.
The festival is the largest juried art show in Eastern Oregon and Wallowa County’s premiere arts event.
The festival starts with a festive opening reception 7 to 10 p.m. Friday evening, June 1, and continues Saturday with free viewing and demonstrations 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the Quick Draw 7 to 10 p.m. The show concludes with free viewing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, with an ongoing silent auction ending at 1:30 p.m.
The show, sponsored by the Wallowa Valley Arts Council, will feature works of art by painters, sculptors, print makers, photographers, clay, glass and fiber artists from throughout the west.
Those who attend the opening reception will have the first chance to view the art exhibit and also mingle with the artists, while enjoying hors d’oeuvres, music, the chance to win a door prize, wine-tasting and a hand-painted wine glass to take home.
Tickets for the opening are $25 each and are available at The Bookloft, Sheep Shed, Stewart Jones Designs or by calling 541-432-7535. Advance purchase is recommended because the reception often sells out.
The festival judge and featured artist this year is artist and gallery owner Randal Lee Brown of Boise, Idaho. He will give a critique for artists from 1 to 3 p.m. at the community center Friday.
Everyone is encouraged to vote for their favorite piece of art during the show for the prestigious People’s Choice Award. The art entered into the show is for sale, and many pieces find ready buyers every year. Artists also donate pieces of art for a silent auction to benefit WVAC.
The popular Quick Draw event will be held in conjunction with the festival Saturday night. Admission is $5. The fun part is watching the artists start from a completely blank work surface and create a new art piece in one and a half hours. The quick draw art will be available for purchase by silent auction.
The evening also includes hors d’oeuvres, music by Homemade Jam, desserts and a no-host full bar. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
In addition to demonstrations during the free viewing time Saturday, there will also be music organized by the Wallowa Valley Music Alliance.
The Wallowa Valley Festival of Arts was the very first event sponsored by the fledgling Wallowa Valley Arts Council in 1982 at the dawn of the bronze art era in Joseph and Wallowa County.