Above:  Holly Kroening, featured artist for this year’s Charbonneau Arts Festival,  with her family and Eric Hoem, President of Charbonneau Arts Association and Chair of this year’s Art Festival.

Article written by Eric Hoem, President, Charbonneau Art Association

What do I mean by “the Charbonneau Way”?  The answer is easy: wonderful community involvement!  Need I say more?

Well, yes, there is a lot more to say.  Before getting to the volunteers who are the real heroes, let me explain a couple facts:  with roughly 1000 patrons during the weekend, nearly double the amounts of proceeds from our silent auction, very high marks for the student gallery, record sales for some artisans and fine art sales topping two dozen, this year’s festival was one on the very best!

To all our patrons, I send a huge THANK YOU!  If no one shows up, there is no “festival,” but you did and we hope you had a wonderful time!

To the Festival Organizing Committee, also a huge THANK YOU for putting together a truly great event for our community.  You are Joan Vedder, sponsorship chair; Erica Dally, graphics and PR; Jenni Kadwell, high school liaison; Lynda Huber & Sharon Porter, reception coordinators;  Elaine Swyt, silent auction; Shirley Hoem, volunteers and artisan fair coordinator; Dick Miller, labels and badges; and Leslie Leeper, art gallery coordinator.

But wait, there’s more: more than 60 more, in fact.  These are all the Charbonneau volunteers who all contributed to making this weekend such a festive success.  (I list them with apologies to anyone that I missed.)

Let’s start as if you are attending the Charbonneau Art Festival.  Friday night and then Saturday and Sunday, you were welcomed in foyer of our Country Club by these community volunteers: Ruth Voltz, Rollie Siebert, Colleen Ramisky, Pat Stuckman, Victoria Koach, Helen Heestand, Joanna Sawyer, Deb Stonebraker, Karen Giardina, Deanna Morgan, and Cathy Loffink.

At the check in desk for Friday night’s opening champagne reception, more volunteers helped.  Elaine Swyt, who also coordinated the silent auction, led the team at check in: Kathy Gibbon and Mike and Sandee Brown.  When we had a computer problem with the process, I helped out by visiting with folks waiting in line.  Thank you for your patience.

First entering the lounge area, you experienced examples of the high school art programs that our proceeds support.  For many of you seeing the example of all this talent and creativity was a highlight of the festival.   The student gallery show was created by Wilsonville teachers, Christopher Shotola-Hardt,  Angennette Escobar and Canby High’s Jennifer Dorsey along with their students.   Art Association liaison to the schools, Jenni Kadwell, also helped organize demonstrations by several art students from each high school.  You saw these students working on one of their art projects: Eleanor, Jaslean, McKenzie, Kameron, Melody, Amanda, Honour, Reyton, Logan, Max, or Mairen.

After strolling through the student art exhibit, you were offered a glass of champagne or sparkling cider.  This is a champagne reception after all!  Your servers were: Terri Royse, Carole Hill, Karen Miller, Carol McLeod, Deb Stonebraker, Rose Mason, and Myrna Tienken.

At the Friday night reception, here is where the temptation begins: more than $7200 worth of silent auction  goodies to bid on thanks to the work of Joan Vedder and Elaine Swyt.  This magical display did not just magically appear.  A days’ work had gone into presenting all these inviting items.  Elaine Swyt headed the team made up of Kathy Fuller, Joan and Murm Vedder, and Mike and Sandee Brow n.  As the silent auction proceeded and then wound down, they were joined  by volunteers Jim Gibbons and Lynder Huber.

In the reception area (aka, the country club dining room) you heard the lyrical melodies of the baby grand piano by Marilyn Anderson, who played two long sets of favorite popular music and show tunes.

But what have you been waiting for: hor’s d’oeuvres donated by Tom’s Wilsonville Catering and Cutsforth Marketplace in Canby.  Your servers, again all Charbonneau volunteers: Darlene Crosby, Cherie Conway, Candy Ferguson, Carol McLeod and Paula Johnson.   Special thanks go to Kathy Fuller who jumped in to help.  Bon Appetite!

Completing your experience Friday evening, you would have strolled around our Main Art Gallery in the Fireplace room where you experienced local and regional artists of many media: oil painting, acrylics, collage, fine photography, stone sculpture, glass creations, and metal sculpture.

Lesile Leeper and her many volunteers turned this space in a downtown gallery space.  Ron Leeper, Dale Owen, and Don Larson brought in the display panels and set them up.  Yours truly led the team that checked in the artists along with Dick Miller, Chris & Jim Raish, Leslie leeper, and Betty Cyphers.  Then Leslie led the folks hanging the main gallery, which included Bob Miller, Dick Miller, Kathie Barton and Betty Cyphers.

While in the Main Gallery, you were invited to vote for your three “People’s Choice” and more than 100 patrons cast their ballots.  When the votes were tallied, the winners were: First Place, Larry Eischen (photography); Second Place, Ruth Hardie (Acrylics); and Third Place, Elaine Swyt (photography).  Congratulations to them and the 40 artists who exhibited with us.

Finally, you had a chance to see the collection of our featured artist, Holly Kroening in the lobby of the country club, a special stand-alone exhibit in its own right.  Holly has been influenced a number of ways from her connection with Africa and community support there to frequent contributions from her amazingly talented grandchildren.

Oh, let’s say you were one of the two dozen people who wanted to buy a piece of art from Holly or the others.  Helping you would be volunteers Sue Schneider, Jeannie Brandstrom, Laurel Bretzman, Betty Prakken, Mimi Brambilla, or Candy Ferguson.  At the sales desk you would be met by Bob Wiesenthal, the Art Association Treasurer.

When you return for the rest of our festival Saturday or Sunday, you have come to check out the artisan marketplace which now fills the dining and card rooms of the country club.  Friday night, starting when the champagne reception and silent auction ended, volunteers reconstructed the area into the space for a 35 booth artisan market.  Phenomenally, it took less than an hour for Levi Smith, Perry Esterman, Len Zucker to put away the tables and chairs, do some vacuuming, and prep the dining and card rooms.

Then Saturday morning, Shirley Hoem led a group to assist the arriving vendors to set up their booths of handcrafts, including Sara Bennett and Lindy Anderson.  Glass artists, holiday fare, fabric artists, led light displays, metal artists, fine jewelry, handmade creams, lotions, and soaps, and much more.

Were you one of the raffle winners?  Saturday and Sunday, there was a raffle of items donated by the artisans.  Shirley Hoem set it all up and volunteers sold tickets: Roger Arndt, Jane Teunon, Mary and Joe Fieweger, Cherie Sanville and Karina Rubin.

While perusing the striking item offered by the artisans, you were entertained by the rich guitar music of David Lowe who played long sets both Saturday and Sunday, much of it easy listening jazz that made the weekend  ambiance downright classy.

All good things come to an end, right?  When the festival closed Sunday afternoon, we had to clean up the entire country club facility and put it back in usual order.  These volunteers deserve extra kudos for coming in at the end: Leslie and her crew took care of the Main Gallery with the added help of Erica Dally, Virginia Horler as well as Connie and Paul Robertson.  For the dining room and card area, Levi  Smith, Perry Esterson, Len Zucker, along with double-shifting Virginia Horler and Paul and Connie Robertson vacuumed all the carpets, mopped the floor in the bar area, and got the usual tables and chairs back in  place.

In the lounge where we had the student gallery, Jenni  Kadwell,  the high school teachers and  their students cleaned the room, replaced the furniture, and rehung all the pictures normally hanging there.  Kudos to Perry Esterman for his additional help in the lounge with rehanging photos and to stone sculptor Benjamin Mefford for adding his effort to bringing our country club back into normal order.

Lastly, we must thank Kim Hosford and the Country Club staff for all their help in bringing this great event to fruition.

Before signing off for 2018, we need to recognize the 2018 Sponsors of the 35th Annual Charbonneau Art Festival, who together donated $6000 to our cause.  You can help thank them by patronizing their businesses or services.

PLATINUM: Swire COCA-COLA, USA, and Wilsonville Subaru

GOLD: Green Group Real Estate, Wilsonville; Sherie Star, Elite Realty Group, Charbonneau

SILVER: Lynda Huber, Equity Oregon Real Estate (Charbonneau and Wilsonville); Pahlisch Homes, Charbonneau; Republic Services, Wilsonville; Wilsonville Carpet & Tile; Parker Johnstone’s Wilsonville HONDA

BRONZE : Robert Bennett, CPA, Wilsonville; Kyle Bunch, American Family Insurance, Wilsonville; Amy Costello, Windermere Real Estate, Charbonneau; Canby Ford; Chuck Eggleston, ReMax Realty, Charbonneau;  Martin’s Town & Country Furniture, Canby; Roof Masters, Canby; Roth Heating & Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical, Canby; Jay Puppo, State Farm Ins., Wilsonville; and Dr. Michael Lorio, Town Center Dental, Wilsonville.

In-kind Donors: Cutsforth Market, Canby; Tom’s Wilsonville Catering, Wilsonville; Mediaphysics, Wilsonville; The Charbonneau Villager;  French Prairie Living; Charbonneau Live

As we complete this year and move ahead with plans for the 2019 Charbonneau Art Festival, please check back online at www.charbonneauarts.org.  We are a non-profit organization and donate proceeds to the high school art programs in Wilsonville and Canby.  Set aside the date Sunday, January 13, 2019, starting at 2:00 p.m. when we will announce the bottom line: donations from our Charbonneau Art Association to the art education programs at Canby and Wilsonville high schools.