Pie from the mayor was the unusual twist at Hood River City Council on June 26. Mayor Paul Blackburn, who holds periodic citizen conversation sessions called “Pie with the Mayor,” presented a round baked good to the Art of Community committee in thanks for their completion of a new gallery of art works installed around the city.

“Thank you to the artists and their contribution to our community, discussion, culture and economy, making the Gorge an inspiriting and healthy place to live,” said AOC co-founder C.J. Rench. “It is all made possible by our sponsors, who include both public and private entities and individuals. This collaboration contributes to our vitality as a community.”

Revisions to the Art of Community walking tour (aka Big Art) gallery, now in its third year, are complete. The online map (web address below) was scheduled for update this week, according to Kristen Godkin, coordinator. Many works are new, while others have been moved to new sites.

New works include Foster Kalama’s “N’Chi Wanapum,” a life-sized tribute to the Celilo falls fishing platforms used by indigenous people before its inundation 50 years ago. It is funded in part by Oregon Cultural Trust Grant. It is located near the Columbia River, at the Nichols basin trail.

A total of 21 works are displayed downtown, on the waterfront, and on the Heights. Check art-of-community.com for an updated map. Printed maps will be distributed soon.

Noteable additions include “Mama Bear,” by Anne Fleming of White Salmon, which is only two feet high and sits on a table at New Yasui Building, First and Oak, and just a few steps to the east, “The Paddler,” by Tom Herrera of Mosier.

AOC committee members Rench, Cathleen Rehfeld and MacRae Wylde all have works in the AOC gallery, including the first painting to be included in Big Art: Columbia Gorge Morning, at a new site in the gallery of The History Museum of Hood River County.

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