Bend is an art lover's town. The galleries of Bend present art that is unique to the high desert, created by some of most notable artists in the country.
The first Friday of every month, Bend residents and visitors alike celebrate the art community by "hopping" from one gallery to another, sharing wine and stories and enjoying the variety of new art pieces showcased by each gallery. During First Friday Art Walk, music sounds through the streets, restaurants are overflowing and many artists are available to discuss their work. Information on the monthly First Friday art event can be found in ArtsON! and the Bend Gallery Guide which are available in locations all over town and in Bend Gallery Association member galleries. Ride GETIT's free green energy bus as it loops all evening between Downtown and the Old Mill District galleries. For more information on First Fridays, gallery locations and specialties, visit the Bend Gallery Association website or visit member galleries and pick up a copy of the Bend Gallery Guide or Arts ON!. The GETIT shuttle runs from 5:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. and leaves from 900 Wall St. beginning at 5 p.m. The loop is about an hour and is free for riders. Be sure to stop by the Bend Visitor Center during First Friday Artwalks to catch a glimpse of the Pillars of Art program featured artist.
For more information on artists at individual galleries, contact the Bend Gallery Association or pick up a copy of the monthly Cascade Arts and Entertainment magazine.You can also check out the listings below of all of the Bend art galleries.
Art lovers will be delighted to find that art is not just confined to galleries in Bend; it is everywhere you look. Thanks to a public initiative called Art in Public Places. Bend is home to 39 pieces of original public art on display in prominent locations through the city, ranging from a flying phoenix at 14th & Galveston to a bronze sculpture of dancing salmon outside the Bend Public Library. In 2005, Americans for the Arts honored these sculptures as being among the most innovative approaches to public art in the country.
Finally, a few inventive artists in Bend have organized to bring the gallery experience outside, with the Art in the High Desert Festival, every year at the end of August on the shores of the Deschutes River. One hundred juried artists from around the country display their ceramics, paint, photography, sculpture, jewelry, glass, wood and fiber arts. The festival organizers believe that much of the success of the festival is due to the growing cultural reputation of the city as a destination for the arts.