Contact: Cathi McLain, President, Charbonneau Arts Association,, (503) 702-0216

Clackamas County Cultural Coalition recently announced its most recent grant awards, including $2,500 to the Charbonneau Arts Association (CAA) to support an exciting project which will be created by Benjamin Mefford, sculptor and Charbonneau resident.

In the grant application, Ben describes his project this way: “I’d like to carve a giant stone jack-o-lantern for Halloween 2021, hopefully at least 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet. It’s based on a favorite childhood story of mine, The Biggest Pumpkin Ever, in which two mice work alternately day and night to unwittingly help each other grow (you guessed it) the biggest pumpkin ever, then they agree to share the prize. It feels like a fitting sentiment for the world these days . . . a symbol of collaboration.”

The Charbonneau Arts Association did not take on any financial obligation in relation to his grant but is the organizational sponsor and provides the educational dimension to the project, that will include coordinating with the art teachers at Canby and Wilsonville High Schools to allow students to observe the work in progress.

“I am excited about the opportunities this grant affords us, and the vision of a carved stone jack-o-lantern with a couple mice playing on it brings a smile to my face,” said Eric Hoem, immediate past president of CAA and writer of the grant application.

It is hoped that the sculpture will be on display during the 2021 Festival of the Arts at Charbonneau, November 5-6-7, if a live event is possible. Ben will also photographically record the stages of development, which will document his progress for posterity.