The Audubon Society of Portland 35th Annual Wild Arts Festival celebrates the work of regional and national artists and authors Saturday, November 21, from 10 am to 6 pm and Sunday, November 22, 11 am to 5 pm at Montgomery Park, 2701 NW Vaughn. The Fest features 64 artists and 32 authors and the public can purchase original works while interacting with the artists. Admission is $8 for adults and those 16 and under are admitted free. See wildartsfestival.org.
Authors include novelists, photographers, poets, children’s authors, non-fiction writers and all are noted for a commitment to the natural world. Audubon’s Educational Birds are presented in continuous live bird presentations all weekend and the 6X6 Wild Art Project features 200 local artists painting a bird theme on a donated 6×6 canvas. There’ll be a silent auction for art, pottery, jewelry, books, gift certificates to restaurants and more. .
Carol Greiwe and Babette Harvey are two of this year’s artists from SE Portland.
Carol Greiwe had the rare opportunity to apprentice with a second-generation jeweler in a shop in Lake Oswego eighteen years ago. Tita Heaton took Greiwe under her wing and taught her the craft. Four years ago, she took off on her own selling at juried festivals.
Every piece of jewelry she makes is hand-fabricated and there is no casting. “One of the important details I learned from Tita Heaton is to feel good about the finished product,” Greiwe said. No matter how long it takes.
Her works are made primarily from sterling silver sheet metal and wire, gemstones and handmade ceramic stones that are cut, formed and kiln-fired from a slab of clay. They have texture and patina that give them an aged, edgy look. Each piece of jewelry is one of a kind and very wearable.
“My favorite jewelry to make are rings so the wearer can see them.”
Greiwe’s inspiration comes from nature, color and architecture.
“These supply infinite possibilities for design.” See carolgreiwe.com for more.
Originally from Southern California, Babette Harvey was a year out of high school when she hit the road with her older sister to visit northern California. “When I saw and felt the lush green, cool, forests I felt as if I had ‘come home’. I felt as if I was moving to where I belonged – to the land of wild nature, beauty and wholeness.”
After ten years there, she moved to Oregon and has lived in Portland since 1981. She’s been making clay art professionally for almost twenty years.
“I turned thirty five and went back to school, enrolled in the ceramics program at Oregon College of Art and Crafts,” Harvey said.
She’s been a member of Portland Audubon and the National Audubon for many years. “When I first moved to Portland I lived in NW near McClay park and walked in that park almost every day. Audubon Society’s nature sanctuary is located at the top of one of the trails and became a place I would end up a lot. They have built a beautiful gazebo next to a pond where you can sit and watch turtles, frogs, and all kinds of wildlife.”
“I am part of the their Backyard Habitat program helping to restore native wildlife habitat to backyards in the city and have participated in the Audubon Wild Arts Festival for the last three years.”
Known for her imaginative “animal stacks”, usually starting with a book on the bottom then a nest or a planet and an animal on top.
“I like to end with a bird on the head of whatever animal I have made because I think of them as having a conversation or at least juxtaposing them as creatures who would not usually be hanging out together such as a bird and a cat. It is part of the underlying theme throughout all my work; talking about humanity and nature and our connection to each other.
Most recently I have been working on larger fun sculptures which include women riding cats – humanity riding on the back of nature into our future.
In answer to the query: ‘If you had the chance to live during a different artistic movement other than now, which one would you choose?’, Harvey replied “I think I would choose to live in the early 20th century and I’d probably want to be a painter. I think the artistic movement at the time was called American Modernists. So much new energy, creativity and community change was happening.
“Strong new women’s voices were showing up in art and social circles. I think of Georgia O’Keeffe, Imogen Cunningham, and Dorothy Day.
“Art was going through a huge change along with the social attitudes and changes throughout the world.”
Audubon Society of Portland is one of the oldest conservation organizations in the nation founded in 1902. Their mission is to promote the enjoyment, understanding and protection of native birds, wildlife and their habitats. See audubonportland.org.