by Corey Buchanan,

The festival, titled ‘Art with Flair,’ will include online galleries and musical performances

Uncertain about whether state restrictions to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus will be lifted in time for an in-person event, the Charbonneau Arts Association has decided to move its annual Charbonneau Festival of Arts online.

The virtual exhibition, titled “Art with Flair,” will feature galleries from artists of various forms, as well as musical performances starting this summer and running through October and a silent auction in October. The association is seeking registration from artists. For more information, visit

“It will be completely different. People love going to festivals because they can walk around, look at things, talk with friends,” said organizer Eric Hoem. “We were going to have some interactive features this year that would involve more youth. All that in-person experience will be missing. What we can do is give a place for students to exhibit art. For artists and artisans, the people who (make) jewelry, at least they can provide that menu (of art).”

Hoem said the impetus for the decision was Gov. Kate Brown’s announcement that large events like festivals would be tabled until at least September.

“It just didn’t look like we were really going to be able to have the same festival that we had in the past which was a huge disappointment,” he said.

“One of the reasons why they wanted to move forward with the festival is to continue to support Wilsonville High School and Canby High School art programs, which could be affected by potential budget cuts due to a state revenue decline. The festival has raised about $4,000 for both schools each of the last two years,” Hoem added.

“Seeing what was happening in the schools, we felt like it would be more urgent to get more fundraising support to those programs,” he said.

Hoem wasn’t exactly sure how the festival would work but he said association members will figure that out over the course of the next few months. He also said Elaine Swyt, a web administrator and multiple-time festival award recipient for her photography, would lead these efforts.

“She works with us on a volunteer basis as a community contribution. We’re fortunate to have someone that can take this on,” Hoem said.

After it announced that its event normally slated for early June was canceled, the Wilsonville Festival of Arts said that it would participate in the Charbonneau festival instead.

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