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Blue Ribbons

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Category: Leslie's Doings

The Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts is an ambitious affair that has been going on for over fifty years. For almost twenty of those years we lived in Southern Oregon oblivious to the goings-on in the Portland area.

This year Jill Randall, a high school friend I paint with nearly every week, and I decided to toss our paintings into the fray of the Open Exhibit. This is a non-juried show where whoever wants to exhibit can show up with their work and have it displayed in a massive tent with 1500+ other paintings.  I was intrigued with how this would be managed  and was pleasantly surprised with the grace and efficiency with which the check-in was handled by the Festival volunteers.

Jill thought she would skip the Opening but at about 10:30 pm the night before, when I was already in bed, she called.  “I guess I’m going to the Opening after all because I got an email saying I am being awarded a Blue Ribbon! Did you get an email?” I checked; I did not.

Back in bed I was pondering which of Jill’s three paintings would have won an award (turned out I guessed right- here it is) when the phone rang again. ” Leslie, you are on this list! Check your email again.”  Ah, yes- there it was.  We chuckled over the honor of a strip of blue satin, but out of 1500 entries? – not bad.

On Opening night were called to the stage along with the other winners and were surprised to find a $100 check in the folder holding our award certificate.  Nice! That covered my entry fee and paid a summer utility bill and I’ll take that. Many thanks to the Lake Oswego businesses that donated these cash awards; I doubt they know how much  it means to the artists receiving them.

My Blue Ribbon painting was “Stir it Up”, oil on panel. The original and print options are here.


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