Fair court members enjoy fine art

Umatilla County Fair Court Chaperone Barb Cleveland and the members of the court listen as Roberta Lavadour talks about the works on exhibit at the Pendleton Center for the Arts. <i>Contributed photo by Arts Center staff</i>

PENDLETON?- The Umatilla County Fair Court got a royal tour of the Pendleton Center for the Arts last week, along with a primer on art appreciation and community service.

Queen Emily Lyle and princesses Sara Smith, Nancy Platt, Kati Leetch and Emily Jane Wagner were treated to a tour of each facet of the center, including the galleries, artist studios and performance space.

Director Roberta Lavadour also talked to the group about tourism promotion in the county and the wealth of other cultural organizations that add important vitality to the region.

"This is a very impressive group of young women," Lavadour said. "We heard that Queen Emily was interested in art and we wanted to let her and the other girls get acquainted with the broad range of offerings here. After meeting them I really feel proud to know that they're out there representing us."

Lavadour emphasized in the talk the personal nature of art appreciation.

"Your own reaction to a work of art is valid," she said. "Sometimes artwork that doesn't represent things that are familiar to us can seem puzzling, but after a few moments you find yourself responding to the colors, textures and shapes that begin to latch on to your own unique memories and emotions. Sometimes you just don't like a particular piece, which is OK, too. Looking at art is a contemplative act that can be very enriching."

"It actually was really interesting," Princess Nancy Platt said. "There's a lot going on (at the center), and the teen program sounds fun."

"I'm glad the girls got an opportunity to do this," Chaperone Barb Cleveland said." It's good for them to learn as much as possible about the region so they can be good ambassadors, and to understand how all of the area's attractions work together to create an interesting and vital community."

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