There’s a new local festival that caters to the creatives.The first-ever Art in the Country Festival will be held on Saturday, Aug. 4 at Applegate Regional Theatre campus near Veneta, and will showcase the talent of dozens of local artists and authors – both professional and ameteur.
This free festival will feature live music, juried professional art, Oregon published authors, selected amateur and children’s art, food and readings.
Pat Edwards, Chronicle columnist, is among the local talent.
Edwards has worked on series of books based on the early Lane County families with Lorane connections, and was the managing editor for the literary quarterly, ”Groundwaters.” The publication was distributed throughout all of Lane County for over 10 years, including at the Creswell Library.
”Groundwaters” is now being published as an annual anthology. The annual anthologies are the equivalent of four of the magazines and each feature short stories, poems, nostalgia, adventure, science fiction and essays are written by over 60 contributing authors and poets, mostly from Lane County.
Also being showcased from Lorane is Michael Matchulat, a metal artist. He will be sharing a booth with Margie McNutt, a fused glass artist, who he has been working with to combine their two forms of art.
There will be Springfield talent at the event also, like indie-pop duo Alexandria and Nathan. Nathan is a drummer who brings latin flair to the music, while Alexandra plays electric guitar and is the vocalist for the group.
Vicki Sourdry, event coordinator said that this festival serves as a way to get people to their venue and to show off all the local talent that surrounds us in this area.
This is a family-friendly event and will offer activities for kids, including face painting and a Kids Creative Zone, where Materials Exchange Center for Community Arts (MECCA) will bring their materials and lead the activities.
The event is being put on by Applegate Regional Theatre Inc. (ART Inc.), whose vision is to, ”Create a performing arts and community center in Veneta.” They want to cultivate a place to enjoy plays, art shows, dances, concerts, classes, workshops, movies, meetings and celebrations, all without leaving the West Lane County area.
The organization was formed in 2004, as ”homeless thespians,” performing in empty storefronts, at granges and at high schools, Soundry said.
In 2012, the former Central Elementary School became available and Art Inc. rented the building for years before buying it in 2016.
”Our permanent home has been a long time coming, but we are thrilled with the venue,” Soundry said. ”We have many projects we want to do to improve the theatre, inside and out. But compared to when we moved in, it has been transformed from a school gym into an intimate, welcoming theatre. But there is still much to do.”
Art Inc. partners with Applegate Art Guild, who is already at the theatre with their gallery and classes. Other arts nonprofits already occupy space there, and the organization’s eventual goal is to create the Applegate Regional Arts Center on the old school campus.
The festival will be held from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at Applegate Regional Theatre, 87230 Central Road. Parking and admission are free.
Find out more on Facebook @Theaterisfun, @Artinthecountry, and online at art-inc.org.