Night & Day — There are very few artists who can say they were exhibitors at the first Lewiston Art Festival 47 years ago.
But Ron Becker, now 61, was there, and he’s also going to be at this weekend’s festival on Saturday and Sunday.
Becker, a former Lewiston resident, who graduated from Lewiston-Porter High School in 1970, obviously started young. He was only about 13 when he showed his paintings at the first festival on Center Street, when vendors set up on the grass adjacent to the sidewalks rather than in the closed off streets as they have done for many years.
“For a ninth-grader I did pretty good,” he said recently in a phone interview from his home on Long Island. “I sold a couple of paintings.”
He credits growing up in Lewiston, in a house built upon an apple orchard, for the way nature has since influenced his work. “Growing up in Lewiston definitely gave me a love of nature and the beauty around us,” he said.
Although his life took a circuitous route which led him into dancing, acting and years as a therapeutic recreational director, he returned to his art several years ago when he began a class to teach senior citizens how to paint.
He came home to Lewiston for last year’s Art Festival, and was delighted by the growth of the festival, as well as all the people that remembered him and his parents, Arnie and Nel Becker. Arnie, a building inspector, and owner of a marina, was also a local entertainer.
Ron is hoping to see more friends and family at this year’s festival, which runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and says that compared to other outdoor art shows he’s entered lately, Lewiston’s is at the top of the list.