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‘Art of The Wild’

Hood River show celebrates 50th year of Wilderness Act

The hallmark of First Friday events in Hood River on Aug. 1 will be the new U.S. Forest Service exhibit, “Art of the Wild – Celebrating 50 Years of the Wilderness Act,” at Columbia Center for the Arts during the month of August.

First Friday events also include the opening of The Remains art gallery (story at left) and a 5:30 p.m. breakdancing contest at the Horse and Hound pub, Fourth and State streets.

The “Art of the Wild” reception runs 5 to 7 p.m. at the Center for the Arts, 213 Cascade St.

The show is the result of a unique collaboration between 21 different artists from around the Pacific Northwest and the U.S. Forest Service. The 21 artists were selected competitively and assigned to one of six different Wilderness Areas on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, the Mt. Hood National Forest, and the Columbia Gorge Scenic Area.

The show is a celebration of the Wilderness Act that was signed into law on Sept. 3, 1964, by President Lyndon B. Johnson. This historic bill established the National Wilderness Preservation System and set aside an initial 9.1 million acres of wildlands for the use and benefit of the American people.

Participating artists are Renee Couture, Jonathan Erickson, Gillian Freney, Anthony Gordon, Rachel Harvey, Leah Hedberg, Jurgen Hess, Darryl Lloyd, Peter Marbach, Alex McDermott, Jan Muir, Sally O’Neill, Venka Payne, Ann Chadwick Reid, Mary Rollins, Liz Roth, Jeff Stewart, Donna Van Tuyl, Hannah Viano, Paul Zegers and Greg Zuck. Sarah Burr Arnold curates the show.

“We are thrilled to highlight the Wilderness Act in partnership with the U. S. Forest Service, by bringing this incredible show to the Center,” said center executive director Gregory Smith.

He said “Art of the Wild” is one of the premiere shows of the center’s “Oregon Wild” gallery series from May through October featuring artists celebrating the outdoors and the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.

Coming special events also include:

Aug. 13 at 7 p.m., talk by Mark Harvey, author of “Wilderness Forever.”

Aug. 20 at 7 p.m.: John Concillo: William O. Douglas presentation. Join Portland filmmaker and researcher John Concillo for a discussion and preview of the documentary-in-the-making Liberty & Wilderness on the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.

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