Visit Bend doesn’t mind if people color on the walls at the Bend Visitor Center. In fact, they’re willing to pay for it.
In September 2011, Visit Bend kicked off the Pillars of Art program. Pillars of Art is designed to introduce tourists to Bend’s unique arts and culture scene, and to support emerging local artists. The City of Bend Arts, Beautification & Culture Commission (ABC Commission) honored the Pillars of Art program in 2012 by giving the Bend Visitor Center the ABC Award that honors individuals, organizations and businesses that have made significant contributions to the celebration, promotion, beautification or preservation of the City's arts, culture, natural environment or public spaces.On a rotating basis, Visit Bend will choose one local artist to create unique chalk drawings on two large, cement pillars in the lobby of the Bend Visitor Center. The chosen artist will also have his or her framed art displayed and sold in the Visitor Center.
Those interested in seeing the artwork are encouraged to stop by the Bend Visitor Center between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
Megan was born and raised in Portland, Oregon in the early 90’s. Surrounded by the creativity and culture of the Pacific Northwest, she grasped at every chance to express herself and reinvent the natural beauty around her. Beginning with her first solo art show at 13, Megan knew drawing and painting would be a passion for years to come.
Megan moved to Bend in January of 2010 and fell in love with the unique art culture that is here. She loves attending Downtown First Friday Art Walks and trips to Pak-it to find re-usable materials to paint on. Megan mixes realism with surrealism and adds a pinch of repetition to create a whimsical movement to her paintings. She hopes to make the viewer's eyes dance with her quirky imaginings, bright colors, and fanciful characters.
Megan was a resident at Poethouse Art for six months and spends time in the summer volunteering at a 4-H camp in Salem, Oregon, recently completing an all camp mural and teaching art to children. When not painting, She brings her unique touch to Ida’s cupcake cafe on Bend's Westside. Megan hopes to continue pursuing an education in Fine Arts, but enjoys being a student of the amazing life and natural beauty Bend has to offer.
Artist Kevin Schwarting grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and spent ten years in Montana before moving to Bend in the spring of 2010. He began drawing and sketching as a child, initially fascinated by charcoal until colors took him into another realm. Pastels, oils, and acrylics are his favorite medium, and winter landscapes are his favorite muse.
“There has always been this sense of peace and stillness in cold, snowy winter landscapes,” he noted. “I try to create the movement in a skier, flying in snow, breaking through thousands of frozen crystals and throwing that majestic spray of snow on each turn. I dream of a never-ending ski run because the way it makes me feel is beyond compare.”
Kevin was drawn to Bend for outdoor pursuits like skiing and fishing, but it didn’t take long for him to find his place in Bend’s vibrant art scene. “Bend attracts so many artistic people because it has created an atmosphere that suits an artist. From the festivals to the art walks, Bend has a wide array of talent. The Pillars of Art program is great for emerging artists like myself, and I’m absolutely honored to be displaying my work here.”
A native of Ithaca, New York, Sam moved west when he was five and spent most of his life in northern Idaho and Eastern Washington. He’s been drawing since he had the coordination to pick up a pencil or marker, but got serious about his artwork as life experiences taught him to use it as a form of soulful expression. He began working primarily in pen and ink, but has spent the last four years exploring color with paint. He works with watercolor, oil, and acrylic, though oils are his favorite medium. He’s lived in Bend for the last two years and is a student at Central Oregon Community College.
Read more about what Sam had to say about art, nature, and what it’s like to be an emerging young artist in Bend...