Wild Arts Festival Brings Crowds for Nature, Art, and Books

by Sarah Swanson, Event Specialist

For two days in December, the Viking Pavilion at Portland State University was transformed. On the court, pottery and paintings replaced the usual hoops and three-point lines. The mezzanine hosted a book fair and a silent auction instead of rowdy fans. Loud cheering was traded for enthusiastic chatter as this sports venue metamorphosed into a wonderland of nature-inspired art. The Wild Arts Festival was a big winner for Bird Alliance of Oregon, raising more than $190,000 to help us protect Oregon’s wildlife and wild places. The purchases made at the Festival also support the work of more than 80 local artists and authors.

Wild Arts Festival, Authors

Putting on an event of this caliber and complexity takes an immense amount of work, most of it done by our fantastic volunteers. Thank you to our incredible Wild Arts Festival Committee, a group that includes 29 volunteers, some with more than a decade of experience on the committee. These dedicated folks organized artists, authors, the silent auction, and volunteers and made it all come together for one big weekend. I can’t say enough about how much we appreciate this hardworking group! I also want to thank the 200+ Festival volunteers from the Bird Alliance of Oregon community. You all brought incredible energy to the Festival and created a wonderful experience for all who attended.

I give a heartfelt thank-you to our presenting sponsor, Backyard Bird Shop, and the rest of our sponsors for their crucial support of this unique event, which brings together so many who love nature and art. Thank you also to the many generous donors to the silent auction, the fabulous artists and authors, and, of course, the over 4000 of you who joined us. I look forward to seeing you next year!