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- Just in time for October Art Hop! Visit Bend features artwork by Kaycee Anseth in new Pillars of Art installment
Just in time for October Art Hop! Visit Bend features artwork by Kaycee Anseth in new Pillars of Art installment
Oh, Bend Visitors—you’re in for a special treat this Friday.
Well, pretty much any day you stop by the Bend Visitor Center during the next six months, but let’s focus on the October 4 Friday Art Hop for now, shall we?
This Friday, we’re unveiling our newest Pillars of Art installation featuring artist Kaycee Anseth.
In case you’re unfamiliar with it, Visit Bend’s Pillars of Art program features one local artist commissioned to create unique chalk drawings on the cement pillars in the lobby. The artist also gets to display and sell framed artwork in the Bend Visitor Center.
During the October 4, Art Hop, swing by the Bend Visitor Center on the corner of Lava and Oregon from 5-9 p.m. to enjoy a tasty sample from Atlas Cider, and of course, Kaycee Anseth’s artwork.
We had a chance to sit down with Kayce to chat about art, inspiration, and the beauty of Bend. Here’s the inside scoop:
Where did you grow up, and how did you end up in Bend?
While I was born in North Dakota, I claim Middle Tennessee: I’m a Southern girl who has the wide open space in her blood. Shortly after I graduated from college, I felt strongly called to the West, and Oregon felt like it had all the things I needed: namely a wide sky. (Some friends say it was the Volcano Vortex calling, hmmm…) I never made it to Portland, the supposed final destination, because Bend just immediately felt like home. That was ten years ago August 15th, and I am still crushing hard on this place.
Tell us about your artistic training.
I’ve been drawing and painting since childhood. I studied art at MiddleTennesseeStateUniversity and have a BFA in painting. I also feel like time spent working at a frame shop for five years, handling art and design every day, was another form of training in itself, as well as involvement with the PoetHouse and other arts organizations in town.
How would you describe your artistic style?
I use discarded fashion and home decor magazines as fodder for creating intricately detailed and brightly colored collages that explore the realm of myth and fairytale as they pertain to personal narrative. My process is akin to painting with paper, incorporating the eye-popping palettes of high gloss magazines into intricate patterns and whimsical figures. It aims to be both illustrative and expressive.
What’s your favorite medium?
Who are your artistic influences?
The German Expressionists, especially Franz Marc, were probably the most influential to my early artistic development. I am in love with color more than anything. The Bay Area Painters continued influencing that respect for knowing color. The figurative work of Marlene Dumas. Lately I’ve been looking at Emily Carr, and considering her connection to the Northwest. Illustration and narrative photography are both very influential to me, especially when overlapped like the work of Dave McKean, or a young artist from Norway named Uli Kestere. Textile design and pattern are very influential. Non-visually, story and song are a huge influence, especially when they have a Southern Gothic creepiness to them.
What do you like best about living in Bend, and how does it influence your artistic style?
I adore both the landscape of this place, and the people that are drawn here. You can’t ignore the tremendous beauty all around. For a while, I shied away from “beauty” after so much Art Criticism and Philosophy, but I feel like living here has allowed me to realize that beauty doesn’t have to be a facade or shallow or manipulative like so many critics argue. The beauty here has a depth to it that resonates with me and feels very nurturing and wild. I aim to channel that (even though my meticulous process is quite the opposite of wild).
What do you enjoy doing in Bend when you’re not creating art?
I do lots of yoga. I try to be outside as much as I can with my dog, usually exploring and dabbling in all the sports here. I also sing harmony with a few local bands: the rural demons, The Sweet Bonnie Gayle Band; and I write music and attempt to play guitar with The Gold Rust. All three are country-ish, so I keep my Southern accent in use.
What’s your impression of the Bend art scene, and how do you think the Pillars of Art program fits with that?
I feel like the art scene in Bend is youthful and curious, and I am constantly amazed and inspired by how many people are creating in unusual ways. Art doesn’t just live in gallery walls in this town, and there is a thought that permeates with a kind of “what else can we explore in a beautiful and lovely way?” I think the Pillars is a great champion for that curiosity.
As for the rest of you, we look forward to saying hello when you stop by the Bend Visitor Center on the corner of Lava and Oregon for the October 4 Art Hop. We’ll be here from 5 p.m. until the crowds dwindle down around 8 or 9, and Atlas Cider will be pouring tasty samples.
If you can’t make it this Friday, stop by the BendVisitorCenter during regular business hours to check out Kaycee’s artwork. You can also see one of her pieces as part of Bend’s Tin Pan Alley art collection.
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