Art collective hosts neighborhood fair

Learn why ‘Arte Soleil’ held this celebration, and how visitors enjoyed this late-summer outer East Portland event …

Visitors mingle with artists during the fair put on by Arte Soleil, now a fixture in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

On the southeast corner of SE 122nd Avenue and Harold Street, the Lents Gilbert Church of God parking lot was closed off, and numerous canopies signaled the celebration taking place on September 15.

In a free-standing building on the church’s property, an organization called Arte Soleil – an East Portland studio and gift shop – was celebrating its first year in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood.

Pleasant Valley Neighborhood Association Chair Dale Shetler, who also represents Leach Botanical Garden – and Richard Dickinson, representing the Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood Association – spend a moment with Arte Soleil’s co-owner Kris Bella.

“We wanted to celebrate by having a fair, to bring all of our community together,” smiled the studio’s co-creator, Kris Bella.

“I’ve been part of community organizing in East Portland for about 10 years now,” Bella began. “While I’ve been active, primarily in youth activities, I’m also involved with Free Arts Northwest, and I’ve come to realize the importance of community and bringing people together.

Demonstrating his glass work is Devin Mense of Hammer and Vine.

Visitors brows the gift shop at Arte Soleil.

“Through a process of connecting with the church and neighborhood associations, I decided to do something together with our communities that continue to need support,” Bella told East Portland News.

“And, with the [economic and housing changes] happening here that could potentially push people out who live here, we wanted to be part of a positive movement in the area – which is why we opened up Arte Soleil,” Bella explained.

Raven and Rose – also the proprietors of the recently opened Local Grocer in the Centennial neighborhood – musically entertain.

Now, 60 artists, makers, and other creative people, sell their art in the gift shop. “A lot of our artisans live and work here in outer East Portland – but we have artists’ work here from as far as Sandy [Oregon],” informed Bella. “We’re about community; so, in addition to our artists and friends, we’re celebrating today our partnership with folks representing the Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood Association, and Pleasant Valley Neighborhood Association.”

Hot dog chef Tom Faulkner, from the Lents Gilbert Church of God, roasts “red-hots” for guests.

Don’t wait for their next outdoor festival, learn more about Arte Soleil right now – by visiting their official website: CLICK HERE.

>> On our Front Page: Tie-dye artist Alicia Wells shows her larger works; she says her headbands sold out at the Oregon Country Fair in July.

© 2018 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


Comments are closed.

© 2005-2024 David F. Ashton East PDX News™. All Rights Reserved.