PAFAC Community Outreach Coordinator Lauren Bailey, left, and volunteer Wendy Cutting show off handmade Solstice Crowns at last year’s summer art festival. Photo by Sarah Jane

PAFAC Community Outreach Coordinator Lauren Bailey, left, and volunteer Wendy Cutting show off handmade Solstice Crowns at last year’s summer art festival. Photo by Sarah Jane

PAFAC sets solstice celebration with new exhibit

For more than two decades, a fresh display of artistry has come to the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center’s Webster’s Woods Sculpture Park, marking a celebration of the summer solstice.

This year, despite numerous cancellations of other community events in the wake of the coronavirus threat, art advocates are continuing the solstice tradition.

Port Angeles Fine Arts Center (PAFAC) staff are working to install new artwork in time for solstice on June 20, and producing an updated park map and virtual tour so that visitors can enjoy the park and its art collection while practicing safe social distancing all summer long, and adding a bit of interactive art for the public.

“Installing new sculptures in our park is always an exciting time,” PAFAC executive dirctor Jessica Elliott said. “Although our event will be different this year, the PAFAC is determined to continue with our mission of connecting people to the arts, so whether you’re visiting us in person or virtually, you will get the opportunity to engage with and explore incredible art in our unique setting.”

Park visitors can look forward to seeing several new sculptures installed throughout the 5 acres of second-growth Olympic forest, located at 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd., Port Angeles.

“We’re finalizing the list of artwork and selecting appropriate locations for each piece right now,” said Sarah Jane, who serves as the center’s gallery and program director. “Many of the artists are familiar with the park, and it’s great when we can collaborate to find a spot that really fits with their vision for the piece.”

Included are Seattle artist Steve Jensen and Port Angeles artists Mary Sue French and Scott McClellan. Jensen’s Bronze Viking Vessel will set sail just north of the Webster House gallery, where it will be framed against views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. French’s colorful, teardrop-shaped sculpture trio are constructed from hand-felted fibers and will dangle from tree limbs. McClellan incorporates local Clallam County clay into a cement structure that references monolithic rock formations and his finished installation will find a home in a quiet grove on the north edge of the meadow.

A new park map and virtual park tour will be available on the center’s website beginning June 20. Visitors will be able to access these materials from home, or to reference them while taking a socially-distanced walk through the park.

Solstice Crown kits

Inspired by a popular activity at last summer’s solstice gathering, the center is offering Solstice Crown Kits for those wishing to celebrate with festive nature-inspired headwear.

Kits contain everything necessary to assemble natural items such as twigs, greenery, fresh flowers, etc. into a unique crown, which can then be further decorated with ribbons, beads, or twine.

The project is suitable for all ages, and would make an excellent activity for families to do together this summer.

Crown Kits are available for shipping or pick-up, and may be pre-ordered at pafac.org. Each kit costs $12, with all proceeds supporting the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center.

A limited number of Solstice Crown Kits are available, and buyers are encouraged to order early.

Visit pafac.org for the most up-to-date information about this and other arts center programming.

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