As we reflect on the inaugural Vancouver Arts and Music Festival, Esther Short Park, and the surrounding cityscape echo memories of the transformative three days in August. Our beloved Vancouver transformed into an artistic and musical sanctuary, drawing both residents and visitors into its vibrant embrace.
The throngs of art lovers, families, and intrigued visitors bore witness to the remarkable showcase of visual artistry, a core component of the festival, organized by Columbia Arts Network. The National Art Show at the Hilton proudly displayed 43 pieces, while the Regional Art Show, set in a tent beside City Hall, showcased a whopping 169 pieces of art, championing the talents from our very own SW Washington. Collectively, a remarkable 108 local artists enriched the festival with their unique perspectives and artistry.
The community’s reception was heartwarming; thousands attended, and 27 artworks found new homes, generating sales of nearly $10K. This is a testament not just to the talent on display, but to the support and appreciation of our local arts community.
Yet, beyond the vibrant canvases and the resonant sculptures, there are tales of those who wove this festival into the masterpiece it was. The undying spirit and sheer dedication of our volunteers, especially those hailing from local art organizations, formed the backbone of this event. They worked with passion, ensuring every brushstroke had its moment, every artist felt celebrated, and every visitor left inspired.
Judging art is inherently subjective, especially when presented with a diverse and high-caliber array of pieces. Yet, our esteemed judges, Susan Kuznitsky for 2-Dimensional works and Chas Martin for 3-Dimensional pieces embraced this intricate challenge. Their judgment was "blind," ensuring an unparalleled level of fairness and objectivity. By focusing solely on preview images and the in-person artwork, they honored each artist's vision and skill.
VAMF Regional Art Show Awards
Best in Show Steven McCarthy - Cello
1st Lisa Raymer – The Cart
2nd Virginia Bittler – Peace on the Canal
3rd Abhisar Gupta – Seven Cardinals
HM Ed Martin - Kona Nightlife
HM Lisa Raymer – More Rain Forecast
HM Leslie Struxness – True Colors
1st Virginia Bittler – Yellow Peonies
2nd Mary Emert - Peony
3rd Judith Howard - Sunshine
HM Peggy Patton – Autumn Duo
HM Sue Tellock - Summer Night Sky
HM Mary Emert - Blooming
1st Blue Bond - Teamwork
2nd Chris Briggs - Resilience
3rd Leslie Struxness – Underwater Wonders
HM Sally Lemon – It’s The Bobcat
HM Lori Holliday - Mooney Blues
HM Mary Emert – Blue Cat Blues
1st Joan Cavallaro – First Light
2nd Phillip Vourvoulis – Circle of Life - 2021
3rd Katey Sandy - Abstract Landscape #1
HM Allen Oliver – Rumors of War
HM Renee Bryant – Tangerine Dream
HM Joan Cavallaro - Macaw
1st Blue Bond – Cuban Cigar Lady
2nd Richard Ferguson - Medusa
3rd Michael Lindberg – Portrait Study in Vermillion – Over The Shoulder
HM Earlene Holmstrom – Tommy Emerging
HM Marian Neumann – Chief At The Round-up
HM Lisa Raymer – The Smoker
1st Stephen Walter – Untitled #1
2nd Teri Fehrendorf – Crow Shaman
3rd Arnold Schwantz – Is That You?
HM Linda Kliewer – Black Geranium
HM Cheryl Hazen - Elephants
National Art Show Awards
BEST IN SHOW Ann Fleming – Midori Spring
National 2-D Show
1st Wendy Davis – C’est La Vie
2nd Christopher Mooney – Cleveland Bridges
3rd Deborah Morales – Bunny Foo Foo
HM Ann Fleming – Long Afternoon
HM Claudia Chapman – Sea Dance
1st Phillip Vourvoulis – Blue Illusion
2nd Richard Britscghi – Desert Scorpion
3rd Phillip Vourvoulis – Cosmic Amoebas
HM Kenneth Meyer – Dawn Patrol
HM Richard Britscghi - Mosquito
A special acknowledgment to the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Symphony is in order. Their belief in the power of arts and their commitment to the festival amplified our efforts, making the event truly resonant.
Amid all the art, music, and celebrations, there were the unseen heroes of our festival — our volunteers. The inaugural Vancouver Arts and Music Festival couldn't have thrived without the dedication of the 38 volunteers from the Columbia Arts Network (CAN) who were diligently coordinated by CAN's Volunteer Coordinator, Richard Britschgi. Their fervor and love for the arts weren't merely visible in the way they passionately engaged with the public, but also palpably felt during the critical phases of setup and breakdown. From those who spared an hour or two to the unyielding spirits who dedicated a full 4 1/2 days, each volunteer was an invaluable pillar, turning our vision into a heartwarming reality.
Finally, A heartfelt salute to the relentless dedication of the Columbia Arts Network/Vancouver Arts and Music Festival Committee: Earlene Holmstrom, Christine Wichers, Rick Jones, Richard Britschgi, Jane Wolfe, Abhisar Gupta, Steve Baer, JoyLynn Woodard, Cheryl Herndon, Michelle Hanlon, Ed Martin, Kevin Fitzgerald, and Tamara Dinius. Months of meticulous planning and preparation not only brought this event to life but also set a benchmark for the future. We've gleaned invaluable insights for the road ahead, and the entire local art community owes them immense gratitude for their contribution to the arts in Clark County.
In summation, the Vancouver Arts and Music Festival transcended the realm of an event; it was a testament to the city's love for arts, culture, and community. Columbia Arts Network is humbled by the overwhelming support and response. As we eagerly anticipate the next edition, we're reminded that at its core, it's not just about art but about community, connections, and cherishing Vancouver's enduring spirit.
With gratitude and anticipation, thank you, Vancouver. To art, music, and a tapestry of future celebrations!
Created by Angela Swanson, CAN Member, and Webmaster