By Barbara Curtain, Statesman Journal
If the 2009 Salem Art Fair & Festival reminds you more of the gardens of Giverny than Bush's Pasture Park — well, that's no coincidence. April Waters, the Salem artist commissioned to do the poster, admires impressionist painter Claude Monet. She plans to visit his studio and gardens in France this summer. Given the freedom to create art of any kind for the fair, she chose a Monet-esque study of water rather than a literal representation of the art fair or the park.
Waters often paints her favorite subject from afar, as in her bird's-eye views of the Mid-Valley with the Willamette River snaking through rich farmland. The art fair poster, by contrast, is a detail of a pond seen close up.
Lily pads in brush strokes of green and red practically vibrate against water of royal blue and other shades. Three blossoms, shimmering in white, pink and gold, give the poster its name, "WaterFlowers."
The fair commissions a poster every year as a fundraiser, according to Debbie Leahy, the art fair director for the Salem Art Association. This year's 60th anniversary edition is likely to sell out, she said.
For her efforts, Waters will get an honorarium plus a booth at the fair without charge.
Vicki Amussen was among the fans who stopped by Waters' table at the June First Wednesday, when the poster was introduced.
Amussen said she was in the midst of a move from Salem to Bozeman, Mont., and was trying to simplify her life. Even so, she couldn't resist buying a signed poster for herself and one for her daughter.
"Two-thousand-nine will be a special year for me," she said.