Fall on the Deschutes

Cool mornings and bright fall colors greet cyclists on the Western Chehalis bike trail. Here the path winds through a birch forest alongside the Deschutes River near Rainer.

A sculpture has been donated to Rainier by Myrna Orsini, a member of the Rainier Arts Commission and owner of the Monarch Sculpture Garden, and it is set to be placed along the Chehalis Western Trail in Rainier.

The donation comes following a Rainier Arts Commission meeting where the city council received feedback on the likelihood of having a standalone art festival. 

The discussion took place at the Tuesday, Nov. 12, council meeting. 

"We have discussed having a standalone arts festival and we kind of said 'Let's do it,'" said Council Member Dennis McVey. "Well the arts community has decided that they are not in favor of that."

The original plan was to have a festival, separate from Round-Up Days, that was specifically for featuring local art and artists.

"They don't think it would generate enough business in a small community like this to make it worth while," noted McVey. "What they would rather do is stay with the vendors at our Round-Up Days."

Council members are now looking at the possibility of adding additional sculptures, but are looking for ways to counter costs. McVey thinks donations will play a big role in that.

"We would like to put various artwork like sculptures of metal, stone, wood, whatever, and just space them along the trail for the walkers and bikers to look at as they come through town," said McVey. "We're not looking for anything in particular. That is kind of up to the artists."

The dedication ceremony for the sculpture donated by Orsini will take place at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21, along the Chehalis Western Trail.

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