JOSEPH — Due to rising coronavirus cases in Wallowa County and the new mask orders from the Oregon Health Authority, the Josephy Center for Arts and Culture will not be able to produce this year’s Wallowa Valley Festival of Arts as planned, but it is going on, according to a press release.

Adjustments are being made that will keep people safe while still exhibiting, appreciating and selling the 95 pieces of artwork accepted and the 54 artists who deserve to be celebrated. In order to do this in the safest way possible, the center will dial back many of the events for the weekend.

“The Big Night” — Friday, Sept. 17 from 7-8:30 p.m. — will see the gallery open for a viewing of the artwork. All attendees must wear masks and will need to follow the social distancing protocol. A limited number of people at a time will be allowed to stay within the regulations. There will be no libations, food or live music. The festival will continue to hold a silent auction to help raise funds for future festivals. They also will hold the En Plein Competition exhibit on the second floor of the center.

On Saturday, Sept. 18, the center will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free and there will be live music. There will also be an Art Walk in Joseph from noon-4 p.m. Artist Steve Arment will do a wood carving demonstration from noon-1:30 p.m. outside the center. The Quick Draw event on Saturday, will start at 2 p.m. at the Mount Joseph Lodge’s lawn (directly across from the center.) Artists complete their works and bidding takes place while they create their pieces (90 minutes) at 3:30 p.m. All completed art will be for sale in a written auction format at each artists’ station. Bidding and artwork will be moved to the front of the hotel and bids will continue until 4 p.m. Masks and social distancing are required.

On Sunday, art viewing and silent auction bids will continue until 2 p.m. All purchased artwork can be picked up at that time. The festival will continue until 2 p.m. Sunday’s Summer Arts Classic Concert has been cancelled due to safety protocols. All artwork will be previewed and awarded by this year’s judge, Dennis DeHart, a photographic artist whose interdisciplinary projects are informed by the connections, conflicts and intersections of the natural and cultural worlds. He is a professor at Washington State University.

The center plans an online component to the event.

For more information, Dawn Norman at exhibits@josephy.org or call 541-432-0505.

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