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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment August 22, 2017

5/16/2017 11:59:00 AM
Stroll, parade kicked off arts weekend
Artists donated to the My Own Two Hands art auction, which raises funds for the programs of Sisters Folk Festival. photo by Rob Kerr courtesy Sisters Folk Festival
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Artists donated to the My Own Two Hands art auction, which raises funds for the programs of Sisters Folk Festival. photo by Rob Kerr courtesy Sisters Folk Festival

By Ceili Cornelius

This past Friday Sisters turned out for the annual My Own Two Hands parade and art stroll. The event, started 17 years ago and then called "Painted Strings," has developed into a two-day event/fundraiser for the Americana Project and arts programs in the schools and other outreach programs of Sisters Folk Festival

The parade and art stroll kick off the weekend through town. Art- and music-lovers strolled through town to the various art galleries and viewed some of the art pieces that were donated by various artists for Saturday's fundraising auction. Along the way, they got to listen to some great local music.

"One of the things I love about the community is the connection with everyone here. It's great knowing the artist gallery owners and coming in and saying hello to the people you know during this event," said attendee Greg Weiland.

Sisters Gallery & Frame Shop co-owner Helen Schmidling told The Nugget, "This event means so much to us because most of Sisters' local artists contribute and have their work framed here. It is our way of giving back to the next generation, by sponsoring these artists with their donated pieces."

The Schmidlings are also a part of the Sisters Arts Association, enhancing the arts community and sponsoring local artists by framing and selling their work in their gallery.

All the pieces in the art stroll are donated by artists and are then auctioned off at the private auction event at Ponderosa Forge and Ironworks on Saturday evening. Artist and contributor Wendy Birnbaum said, "It feels good to contribute to art in schools and have a part in making programs for kids to learn art."

It is Birnbaum's fifth year being a part of My Own Two Hands and the art programs at the schools. This year, Birnbaum and Susie Zeitner collaborated on a photograph taken by Birnbaum and then inlayed onto metal with glasswork done by Zeitner.

Another artist, Jennifer Hartwig, contributed a beautiful scratchboard cougar piece.

"When I first learned scratchboard, I was in high school, I never took art outside of school. I think it is sad to think schools are taking away arts programs. It builds an immense amount of character in students. I think the more the contribution the better to keep art in our community and to keep love in our society," Hartwig told The Nugget.

The Friday art stroll was followed by a free concert at The Belfry, with rockabilly dance band Petunia and the


Saturday night's auction at Ponderosa Forge raised thousands of dollars for Sisters Folk Festival's outreach programs. Artists donated paintings, sculptures, jewelry and woodcrafts for the auction, and bidding was brisk. The highlight moment came when Sage Dorsey - a longtime volunteer supporter of SFF - announced that he would match the winning bid for the wooden bench he hand-crafted for the auction in memory of Dorro Sokol, Boyd Wickman, and Jack Hartman. The winning bid was $5,000, which meant the total was $10,000 - an example of the generosity the community shows in supporting arts and education in Sisters.

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