Canby’s Newest Festival Is Celebration of the Arts Like You’ve Never Seen, Heard — or Tasted — Before

The newly revived Canby Arts Association is celebrating its 40th year with a new festival showcasing art in all its forms this weekend, and all indications are that they have hit it out of the park — literally.

The Through the Looking Glass Art Festival will feature nearly 30 booths promoting local arts and authors as well as a full day of stage entertainment, including an astonishing variety of music, street magic by local illusionist Scott Anderson and live performances by Canby Community Theatre.

The culinary arts will also be on full display, courtesy Wayward Sandwiches — serving up smash burgers and andouille sausages along with beer and wine — Odd Moe’s Pizza and Claudia’s Kitchen.

Kids’ activities will include a bouncy house, make-and-take art, face painting, balloon animals and a photo booth.

The inaugural celebration will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 23, at Wait Park. But, for the astute downtown visitor, signs of the imminent fête have already been popping up on the sidewalks surrounding Canby’s central park.

Megan Waterman, owner of The Book Nook and member of the board of directors for the Canby Arts Association, which is presenting the festival, explained that the faux rabbit prints are a bit of viral marketing by chalk artist extraordinaire Emra Nation, whose work often graces the walls of the Graham Building outside Art-O-Maddic.

The chalk prints are designed to lead visitors to Wait Park, Waterman said, adding that a surprise chalk art display will also be an element in Saturday’s festival.

Local author and Canby Current co-founder Tyler Clawson will be manning one of the booths, showcasing his latest work, The Penny Lich: A Fantasy Sitcom, and hosting interviews for his literary podcast, Between Lewis & Lovecraft.

Other featured artists, crafters and authors include Holly Kroening, Allison Seger, Jeanne Cardana, Tamara Scott, Susan Woodworth, Rhoda Bohr, Joann Brown, Jakye Orr, Sarah Kraft, Bailie Litsey, Sheri Walsh, Ken Buckles, Kristin Davis, Danielle Cooper, Cathy Rowe and many others.

A sampling of the Through the Looking Glass Festival’s featured artists, courtesy of organizers:

First founded in 1982, the Canby Arts Association is a volunteer-managed nonprofit organization with a rich history in Canby.

It grew out of the earlier efforts of a group of local artists known as the Canby Art Squad and did much to shape the community fabric so many residents now enjoy, including founding the original General Canby Days and leading the construction of the iconic gazebo in Wait Park.

The group spearheaded the Canby centennial murals on the historic police building by prolific muralist Larry Kangas, and also helped launch the Slice of Summer concert series and Canby Wine and Arts Festival, as well as the Richard Brown Fine Arts Center at Canby High School.

But it had lain dormant for several years before Shelley and Eric Arndt, of Art-O-Maddic, Paul and Megan Waterman, of The Book Nook, and Kayla DeShazer, of Spark Social Media Solutions, came on board.

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