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Visit Bend gears up for an awesome June 1 Art Walk with a new featured artist and a special guest signing custom-illustrated Bend playing cards!


Artist Aaron Trotter sketches Deschutes Brewery (left) for one of his custom-illustrated Bend playing cards (right). Aaron will be signing & selling his cards at First Friday Art Walk June 1.

It’s shaping up to be an incredible First Friday Art Walk this week, and Visit Bend is thrilled to be part of it.

First off, artist Aaron Trotter will be on hand signing and selling copies of his custom-illustrated playing cards featuring 52 Bend landmarks. You might remember Aaron from our earlier blog post about his awesome Bend playing cards. They’ve been selling super-fast, and this is your chance to snag some for yourself or as gifts.

Next up, Visit Bend will be unveiling a new featured artist for the Pillars of Art program at the June 1 Art Walk.

Visit Bend launched the Pillars of Art program to introduce tourists to Bend’s unique arts and culture scene, and to support emerging local artists. We pick one local artist every three months to create unique chalk drawings on the cement pillars in our lobby. The artist also has his or her framed work displayed and sold in the visitor center, including First Friday Art Walks.

Sam Fisch is the new featured artist for Visit Bend’s Pillars of Art program.

Our new artist kicking off his show at the June 1 Art Walk is Sam Fisch.

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.

Here’s what Sam had to say about art, nature, and what it’s like to be an emerging young artist in Bend:

Visit Bend: What artistic training have you had, and what do you plan for the future?

Sam: I have been developing my artistic abilities all of my life. As a child, I took private painting lessons, and growing up, I have made a point to take art classes all throughout school. I am taking as much art as I can in college, and I plan on transferring to an art school to get a Masters in Fine Arts.

Visit Bend: How would you describe your artwork, and what’s your favorite medium?

Sam: I enjoy working in oil paint a lot, but recently I have been experimenting with three dimensional art, and it has opened a whole new world to me. It is my hope to work with more 3D mediums in the future. My artwork is hard for me to categorize because I like trying so many different styles. I used to be really into realism, but lately I have been exploring a variety of other modes of expression. I enjoy using lots of color, and I try to make every new piece of art I make different from the last. I don’t ever want to get stuck into only making art in just one way because it feels safe. I try to always keep my mind open to new ideas.

Visit Bend: Who are your artistic influences?

Sam: I am most inspired by nature and the universe. Life is beautiful. I am most inspired by the one who made the universe, which is my personal favorite work of art. Music, math, science, and psychology are my biggest inspirations. I enjoy the work of many other artists as well, like Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gough, Alex Grey, Chuck Close, and Claude Monet.

Visit Bend: As an artist, what do you like best about living in Bend, and does it influence you from an artistic standpoint?

Sam: I love Bend; the mountains, trees, and clouds here are wonderful. I love the quality and angle of light here in Bend. I see rainbows, and perihelions (sun dogs), and moon rainbows all the time here in Bend.

Visit Bend: What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t painting?

Sam: When I am not making art I am spending most of my time in class at COCC. When I finally get enough free time from school I love getting into the outdoors. I love backpacking, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, rockclimbing, running, biking, spelunking, and spending time on the coast.

Visit Bend: Tell us your impressions of the Bend art scene, and how Pillars of Art fits with that.

Sam: I am grateful to live in a town that has such a great art scene as Bend. There are lots of opportunities for artists. I have had a First Friday showing last year, and multiple showings in the COCC gallery. I have had some great opportunities to participate in public art during Winterfest and Springfest here in Bend. The Pillars of Art at the Bend Visitor Center is the best opportunity that I have had to show my art here in Bend.

Thanks so much, Sam!

And for the rest of you, don’t forget to stop by the Bend Visitor Center at the corner of Lava Ave. and Oregon Ave. between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Friday, June 1. See you there!


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