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Oakdale Area Gears Up For Symbiosis
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Symbiosis artists, Luis Guerreiro of Portugal and Verjene of France are pictured next to their art piece entitled Everver, which focuses on light and architecture. This piece will be one of many beautiful art installations on display at the event. - photo by Laura Morgan

It’s called the “Symbiosis Gathering” and for the Oakdale area, the name couldn’t be more fitting. By definition, symbiosis is described as a merging together of two dissimilar organisms for a mutually beneficial relationship. Such beneficial merging is at the heart of this special gathering, as we see brought together, a small cowboy town and an explosion of art and culture from all over the world.

Carrying the vibe of a big event, while retaining the warm spirit of a small town arena, event creators Mikk Engesmoe, Bosque Hrbek and Kevin Rowell have endeavored to bring something truly special and unique to the Oakdale area. Their gathering will be a true feast for the senses, offering not only entertainment through music and many other festivities, but by having art at its center. By sharing ideas and beauty though the medium of expression, creators and artists present a vision of a better, more united world through the many facets of art and creation, while also incorporating key principles like sustainability and quality human interaction.

Such principles have been present for those involved, from the very beginning. When looking for somewhere to house large-scale event necessities, the coordinators were contacted by local ranch owners John and Laura Corral, and their daughter-in-law, Renee Corral, who offered the family’s ranch for their use. Showing the hospitality that one could only hope to find in a small town setting, the Corral family not only graciously housed many crucial pieces of this event, but also created a friendly work environment for two of the artists, whose work will be displayed on location.

These two artists, Luis Guerreiro of Portugal and Verjene of France are the minds behind several art installations that will be present at the event. Their piece entitled “Everver” has light and architecture as its focus. The artists described how the piece was made using scrap wood and metal that they collected from all over the San Francisco area. They talked about how it was designed to represent the different kinds of architecture that one might see throughout that part of the world. Another piece by these same two artists entitled “Atzaro” is made of bamboo pieces and also shows a ‘symbiosis’ of light and movement, as well as the ability to create beautiful architecture though sustainable processes, such as using recycled materials.

In addition to these two, the event will house many other “world renowned” artists and art pieces, of all shapes and sizes, including some large scale ‘art boats’ that will be seen gliding throughout the waters of the event at Woodward Reservoir outside of Oakdale. There will even be art present to represent the town of Oakdale. Through the generous donation of several hundred horseshoes by local business, Oakdale Feed & Seed, and an organization called Natural Leaders, a feature at the event called “Kidzbiosis” will put its focus on sharing the many ideas of art and sustainability with the kids in attendance. This area will be using the donated horseshoes to allow kids to construct their own unique art piece representing ‘good luck’ from Oakdale, while simultaneously learning a little about the area that they are in.

The “Symbiosis Gathering” will be taking place at the Woodward Reservoir in Oakdale, starting Thursday, Sept. 19 and running through Monday, Sept. 23. It will host an array of festivities to keep attendees thrilled and amused, but ultimately brings with it much more than just entertainment. It is a coming together of like-minded people from all over the world bringing a message of the importance of building and creating sustainably, with an impressive art microcosm at its center.