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

A walk in the park: PAFAC sets solstice celebration with new exhibit

PORT ANGELES — For more than two decades, a fresh display of art has been installed in 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.

They also are adding a bit of interactive art for the public.

“Installing new sculptures in our park is always an exciting time,” said Jessica Elliott, PAFAC executive director..

“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.”

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 refer to them while taking a socially-distanced walk through the park.

Solstice 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 head wear.

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.

Crown Kits are available for shipping or pickup, 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, so buyers are encouraged to order early.

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