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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment May 27, 2016

4/15/2014 1:10:00 PM
Sisters festival celebrates the arts
The My Own Two Hands parade featured student-made art on the theme “From Where I Stand.” photo by Jodi Schneider McNamee
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The My Own Two Hands parade featured student-made art on the theme “From Where I Stand.” photo by Jodi Schneider McNamee

By Jodi Schneider McNamee

Sisters artist Dyrk Godby laid the groundwork for the 13th annual Sisters Folk Festival fundraiser, My Own Two Hands, by creating a stunning representation of Native Americans watching a wagon train traveling on the Oregon Trail burned on cowhide for this year's theme "From Where I Stand." It was chosen as the image for this year's MOTH poster.

The My Own Two Hands community celebration of the arts kicked off on Friday afternoon with bells, chimes and drumming heard from the Sisters High School Jazz Band as they made their way down the sidewalk behind their Americana Project banner, followed by a parade of happy students from grades K-5, carrying their creative, festive art projects based on the theme. This year the kids sported their art around the Sisters Schools Administration building area as a detour due to the Cascade Avenue construction.

Spectators were all smiles as they watched the colorful displays of artwork on the warm and sunny afternoon.

"This is awesome," said Brad Tisdel, executive director of Sisters Folk Festival. "I think this is the best weather we've ever had for the My Own Two Hands celebration."

Parade emcee Bob Buckmann introduced each grade on the building's lawn, and explained what their bright paper art on sticks was all about.

"The fifth-grade class has decided to go with freedom of speech," said Buckman. "It looks like a couple of students would like more class pets, according to their sign."

For 13 years, My Own Two Hands has celebrated how one individual can change their community for the better by using their own skills in a positive way.

Folks from all around joined in with Sisters residents as they strolled through the community to visit the various venues, mingling with artists and musicians as they explored shops and galleries.

At Sisters Gallery & Frame Shop, Rick Johnson, Sisters High School music teacher, held his guitar getting ready to pluck a few tunes for folks meandering through.

"This is an incredible community event, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it; all the proceeds go back to the kids," said Johnson.

On Hood Avenue inside Sisters Coffee Co., one of the many art stroll venues, folks listened to talented students from the Americana project. Dakota Wagner, Americana student and singer/songwriter, performed a tender original song, "Mountain Heart."

Over on Main Avenue at Preston Thompson Guitars, Thompson explained what his size two parlor guitar, a donation for My Own Two Hands, was all about.

"This guitar was modeled after the original Martin size two parlor guitar that was built back in the late 1800s," he said.

With the sun still shining, folks started wandering into The Belfry, where the community performing arts evening was held.

The show brought everyone together at The Belfry for a beautiful evening of music, with the students from the Americana Project performing on-stage, along with veteran musicians from the Sisters community. The Sisters community and folks that joined in the evening celebration for My Own Two Hands got to watch a stunning performance of the song "Blue Moon," performed on the 109-year-old choir balcony by the Sisters High School Jazz Choir.

Friday's events were followed on Saturday with the My Own Two hands Art Party and Auction at Ponderosa Forge. As they have for years now, artists in the community and beyond donated stunning works for auction and patrons stepped up generously to purchase the art, raising tens of thousands of dollars for the festival's work in Sisters. My Own Two Hands not only supports Sisters Folk Festival programs, including school arts and the Americana Project, but it benefits the community, giving its members a real sense of connection and belonging while encouraging a better understanding and appreciation for the arts.

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