Visit Bend Blog

Category: Pillars of Art

Sweet Pea Cole is the new featured artist for Visit Bend’s Pillars of Art program

November 2nd, 2017

At the Bend Visitor Center, we not only let people draw on the walls—we encourage it!

Once a year, Visit Bend chooses a local artist to create unique chalk drawings on the cement pillars in the Visitor Center lobby. The artist also has his or her framed work displayed and sold in the Visitor Center for the duration of his or her show. It’s part of the Pillars of Art program, which was created to introduce tourists to Bend’s unique arts and culture scene, and to support emerging local artists.

Sweet Pea Cole is the new Pillars of Art featured artist.

The newest Pillars of Art creator is Sweet Pea Cole. She’s a graduate of the University of Wyoming, and has lived in Bend for almost two decades. For her 2017-2018 Pillars of Art installment, she created an array of colorful, whimsical illustrations of people, birds, pets, bicycles, and other scenes sure to put a smile on your face.

You can see Sweet Pea’s work at the Bend Visitor Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also check her out at www.sweetpeacole.com

We caught up with Sweet Pea recently and asked a few questions about her art, her life, and everything in between. Here’s what she shared with us:

 

Visit Bend: Where did you grow up, and how did you end up in Bend?

Sweet Pea: I grew up in Laramie, Wyoming. After mousing around the Pacific Northwest (Missoula, Montana; Seattle, Washington; Corvallis, Oregon) my husband and I landed in Bend in 1999. We were looking to return to big mountains and escape the rain of the west side of the Cascades. We thought that meant returning to the Rockies, but friends kept encouraging us to consider Bend. Upon arrival, we found sun and mountains and wonderful people, but were stunned by the lack of culture. Even to this girl from Wyoming, Bend seemed like a cultural desert.  It’s been wonderful to see that aspect change.

Visit Bend: Tell us about your artistic training.

Sweet Pea: I’m self-taught, and I’ve been drawing and painting and creating my whole life. As I kid, I was always making things. I’d get an idea and I’d work at it until I found a way to make it a reality. I’m intensely DIY (do it yourself), but I also love reaching out to other artists for ideas and inspiration.

 

Visit Bend: How would you describe your artistic style?

Sweet Pea: My work is characterized by hand drawn lines, slightly shaken and smooth. There is an intended quirk to my work—a celebration of the slightly flawed reality that exists everywhere and for everyone.

 

Visit Bend: What’s your favorite medium?

Sweet Pea: Currently, my work is dominated by printmaking—specifically screen printing. But my favorite medium is whatever it takes to create the idea that is in my mind. That may be fabric or paper or wood.

Visit Bend: Who are your artistic influences?

Sweet Pea:  Wes Anderson. Patti Smith. My contemporaries in the handmade/maker made realm. Street artists. It is an ever expanding list….

 

Visit Bend:  What do you like best about living in Bend, and how does it influence your artistic style?

Sweet Pea: I love my community; the kind, energetic, creative, adventurous souls who I am lucky to call friends. Their generous spirits are at the core of so many of my ideas. Of course, I love the mountains… they are more requirement for my mental health than an influence on my work.

 

Visit Bend:  What do you enjoy doing in Bend when you’re not creating art?

Sweet Pea: Skiing is my all-time favorite thing to do, ever. When I can’t do that, friends are visited, bikes are ridden, hikes are taken, camps are set up, etc. Also, a considerable amount of coffee is consumed.

 

Visit Bend:  What’s your impression of the Bend art scene, and how do you think the Pillars of Art program fits with that?
Sweet Pea: As I mentioned before, the art scene in Bend has come a long way in the time I have enjoyed living here, though I think it is still in its infancy. I truly believe the work Visit Bend is doing to promote cultural appreciation and tourism is so important. Programs like Pillars of Art, Tin Pan Alley, and Tenth Month are vital for artists living in Bend because they draw attention to the city’s creative side.


There are many artists here, but it’s very challenging to sell art in Bend. In the past, you’ve had to take it somewhere else. People don’t come to Bend for the art. They come for mountains and rivers and all the outdoor activities. But by bringing awareness to Bend’s art scene, Visit Bend has positioned it as another great thing for tourists to see and do. They can come here to mountain bike, but also spend an evening checking out galleries or admiring the Pillars of Art at the Bend Visitor Center.

One great thing about Pillars of Art is that it doesn’t dictate what the art is going to be. Visitors get to walk in and see real artwork, rather than a crafted commercial piece.

 

Megan Phallon is the new featured artist for Visit Bend’s Pillars of Art program

November 3rd, 2016

At the Bend Visitor Center, we not only allow people to draw on the walls—we encourage it!

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Artist Megan Phallon does chalk art on the pillars in Visit Bend’s lobby.

Once a year, Visit Bend chooses a local artist to create unique chalk drawings on the cement pillars in the Visitor Center lobby. The artist also has his or her framed work displayed and sold in the Visitor Center for the duration of his or her show. It’s part of the Pillars of Art program, which was created to introduce tourists to Bend’s unique arts and culture scene, and to support emerging local artists.

The newest Pillars of Art creator is Megan Phallon. For her Pillars of Art installment, she created an array of scenes featuring Central Oregon landmarks and landscapes. There’s even a hat-tip to Bend’s craft brewing industry and dog-friendly nature!

You can see Megan’s work at the Bend Visitor Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

We caught up with Megan recently and asked a few questions about her art, her life, and everything in between. Here’s what she shared with us:

Visit Bend: Where did you grow up, and how did you end up in Bend?

Megan: I grew up mainly in Northern California, but I’ve also lived in South Dakota, Utah, Minnesota, and in the Caribbean. We moved to the Bend area to look for change from the desert. More of a small town artsy vibe.
Visit Bend: Tell us about your artistic training.

Megan: I’m a self-trained artist, and I’ve joked with friends that I have no idea if I’m doing any of it right. I’ve loved art since I was a kid.

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Some of Megan Phallon’s artwork for the Pillars of Art program.

I started doing commissioned artwork about eleven years ago after I’d done some paintings on my friends’ kids’ walls. After that I started getting requests. I took it slowly when I lived in Utah — just, thematically, my stuff’s a little odd. I love surrealism and bright colors, but at the time I lived in Southern Utah, which was just landscape or religious art.

I just kind of put it on the back burner for a couple of years, and then we moved out of the country to the Caribbean. The last place I lived there was in the Dominican Republic. We had a ton of street artists who would come over from Haiti, and they loved the school-bus yellows and reds and oranges and blues. They were just so refreshing after living around very kind of oatmeal landscapes in many ways. I loved the mixture of colors.

 

Visit Bend: How would you describe your artistic style?

Megan: I love surrealist art. I have narcolepsy, which causes excessive, uncontrollable daytime sleepiness and occasional hallucinations. Very vivid dreams are part of the nervous disorder. I dream in sight, sounds, audio and visual, and even have sense hallucinations, which sounds really creepy. I see things from my dreams when I open my eyes. My dream-world sometimes blurs with reality, and when I channel that into my art, it results in vivid, surreal images with bright colors.

 

Visit Bend: What’s your favorite medium?

Megan: I really like to work with acrylic, but I also enjoy pen and ink and charcoal.

Visit Bend: Who are your artistic influences?

Megan:  I like Kyle P. Stuart, as well as several local artists, August Vielle, and Roxanne Patruznick, and Cristiano Tweny.

 

Visit Bend:  What do you like best about living in Bend, and how does it influence your artistic style?

Megan: I love the Bend area! I live in Sisters where there’s a mix of people from every side of the country and the locals are intent on getting the best of life for themselves and their families and pets.

Living in Bend is to be inspired every day. The high contrast between the soft yellow fields and the sharp jagged snow-covered mountains and trees is stunning.

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More of Megan Phallon’s chalk art on the pillars in the Bend Visitor Center.

Visit Bend:  What do you enjoy doing in Bend when you’re not creating art?

Megan: When I’m not painting, I enjoy spending time with my two sons, ages 15 and 12. They both love climbing and mountain biking.

I love running and coming up with inventions. And of course, napping, because of my narcolepsy!

 

Visit Bend:  What’s your impression of the Bend art scene, and how do you think the Pillars of Art program fits with that?

Megan: I appreciate the variety of local artists here. For small area, there’s some phenomenal representation.

The pillars are interesting because many of us are not used to working with chalk, so it helps us to express ourselves in a different way and to learn from it. I like the pillars because it reminds people to look at the ordinary and imagine the beautiful.

Sheila Dunn is the new featured artist for the Pillars of Art program

November 5th, 2015

You know how your mom used to get mad when you’d draw on the living room wall?

Here at the Bend Visitor Center, we don’t get mad at all. In fact, we pay artists to do it.

2015-Sheila-Dunn-Pillars-©-nate-wyeth-midres-89 smallEvery six months, Visit Bend chooses one local artist to create unique chalk drawings on the cement pillars in the Visitor Center lobby. The artist also has his or her framed work displayed and sold in the Visitor Center for the duration of his or her show. It’s part of the Pillars of Art program, which was created to introduce tourists to Bend’s unique arts and culture scene, and to support emerging local artists.

The newest Pillars of Art creator is Sheila Dunn. For her Pillars of Art installment, Sheila paid homage to the high desert, chalking bright images of raptors, Native American imagery, and Central Oregon scenery. You can see her work at the Bend Visitor Center on the corner of Lava and Oregon Ave. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also scope it out (and purchase some!) on her website.

2015-Sheila-Dunn-Pillars-©-nate-wyeth-midres-1 smallWe caught up with Sheila recently and asked a few questions about her art, her life, and everything in between. Here’s what she shared with us:

Where did you grow up, and how did you end up in Bend?

I grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado, a town quite similar to Bend in its love for breweries, bikes and all things outdoorsy. After traveling around for a bit and teaching yoga following college, I decided to relocate to another town for a change of pace. The potential list included all the usual suspects (Missoula, MT, Asheville, NC, Flagstaff, AZ, Bellingham WA, Bend OR, insert other hip mountain town here). So when my college friend serendipitously sent me a job opening at Bend Yoga, I sold most of my belongings and moved here sight unseen. The rest, as they say, is history. I never expected to be here – or anywhere – for six years, but the Bend vortex is strong.

Tell us about your artistic training.

2015-Sheila-Dunn-Pillars-©-nate-wyeth-midres-42 smallI received a BFA in painting and minor in art history from Colorado State University. I also studied abroad in Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy my junior year of college, where I had the distinct pleasure of learning from an amazing Italian professor, Paolo. He was a true Renaissance man – a painter, sculptor, historian and linguist – and I still carry his passion for art and commitment to learning with me on my creative path. Since then, most of my artistic training has simply consisted of hours upon hours in the studio.

How would you describe your artistic style?

I primarily paint figures with a strong emphasis on color, movement, and geometric brushstrokes.

 

What’s your favorite medium?

Water-mixable oils.
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Who are your artistic influences?

Oh geez, so many. I am greatly influenced by a wide variety of art forms and some of my biggest inspirations are actually musicians and poets. But to narrow it down to a few contemporary figure painters, I adore Jenny Saville, Alex Kanevsky, and Andrew Salgado.

 

What do you like best about living in Bend, and how does it influence your artistic style?

2015-Sheila-Dunn-Pillars-©-nate-wyeth-midres-72 smallI love the synthesis of community and wilderness that exists in Bend. As an artist, I crave the connection of being surrounded by other creatives and the comfort found in community. Yet I equally crave the wide open spaces, the time spent in dialogue with the landscape of this deeply beautiful place. The balance of the two is quite extraordinary here, something I hope to never take for granted.

 

What do you enjoy doing in Bend when you’re not creating art?

Yoga, (slow) trail running, climbing occasionally, and drinking obscene amounts of kombucha.
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What’s your impression of the Bend art scene, and how do you think the Pillars of Art program fits with that?

I think the Bend art scene is becoming more and more vibrant and diverse. But what I most appreciate about it is the sense of camaraderie among artists here. In a line of work that is so often laden with comparison, competition, and self-doubt, I feel like fellow artists in this town truly support and celebrate one another.

Bend also seems to place great value on the importance public art (YES!!!) and Visit Bend has done so much to spearhead this movement with both Pillars of Art and the Tin Pan Alley Art Collection. In a day and age where the arts are too often undervalued and underfunded, I am oh-so grateful to see businesses and communities that recognize the vitality and depth they bring to a place.

 

Avlis Leumas is the new featured artist for Visit Bend’s Pillars of Art program

November 25th, 2014

2014-november-avlis-finished-pillars-of-art-1SMALLAt the Bend Visitor Center, we not only allow people to draw on the walls—we encourage it!

Every six months, Visit Bend chooses one local artist to create unique chalk drawings on the cement pillars in the Visitor Center lobby. The artist also has his or her framed work displayed and sold in the Visitor Center for the duration of his or her show. It’s part of the Pillars of Art program, which was created to introduce tourists to Bend’s unique arts and culture scene, and to support emerging local artists.

The newest Pillars of Art creator is Avlis Leumas. For his Pillars of Art installment, Avlis crafted a delightful collection of superheroes depicted in fr2014-September-Pillars-Avlis-32 SMALLont of Central Oregon landmarks and landscapes. This brightly-colored exhibit is proving particularly popular with young children.

You can see his work at the Bend Visitor Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also drop by after 5 p.m. during First Friday Art Walk on December 5 when the Visitor Center will be open late.

We caught up with Avlis recently and asked a few questions about his art, his life, and everything in between. Here’s what he shared with us:

Visit Bend: Where did you grow up, and how did you end up in Bend?

Avlis: I grew up in the Bay Area and spent 30 years there before leaving for Bend. When I was a child, my family would spend weekends working on a home near Lake Tahoe. The plan was to eventually move there, but my father passed away when I was in eighth grade and things changed. I always envisioned going back to the mountains; we found Bend in 2004 and put an offer on a home the second day we were here.

Visit Bend: Tell us about your artistic training.

Avlis: Nothing formal—a couple art classes in the two high schools I attended. Other than that, I grew up co2014-november-avlis-finished-pillars-of-art-10SMALLllecting comic books because the art was fascinating, dynamic, and told a story. I tried for years to emulate that style and finally gave up on art my junior year of high school to play bass in a band. It was a better fit for me at the time.

Visit Bend: How would you describe your artistic style?

Avlis: I don’t know, perhaps comic-pop art. I like hard, defined lines that create movement. It took a long time to figure out how to bring movement into a piece and not have it look stiff or rigid. Once you understand that approach, it’s hard to define what it is, but you know it is happening because it comes out effortlessly.

Visit Bend: What’s your favorite medium?

Avlis: I love pencil sketches over anything because they show that intangible place where imagination and intuition sync up with creative expression. It’s a map of connection with our highest consciousness; it’s creativity’s dwelling place coming into manifestation in its most raw form.

Visit Bend: Who are your artistic influences?

Avlis: Da Vinci, Van Gough, Tim Vigil, Mike Deodato, and Bernie Wrightson. Local influences and loves a2014-September-Pillars-Avlis-25 SMALLre: Alex Reisfar, Sheila Dunn, Meghan McGuiness, and Kaycee Anseth.

Visit Bend:  What do you like best about living in Bend, and how does it influence your artistic style?

Avlis: Freedom from chaos. I felt this every day during my final years in the Bay Area. It feels timeless here; almost like I moved to Neverland. I’m not sure how it influences my artistic style, but it did cause me to pick up the pencil again after almost 20 years. I can say I love the art community and how much everyone supports each other’s work.

Visit Bend:  What do you enjoy doing in Bend when you’re not creating art?

Avlis: I have been an instructor at COCC for almost seven years and love it so much. When I’m not there, I love being with my wife and son—we spend time with friends/family, but just being out in Bend. It’s nice to leave Central Oregon too, but you know you’re in the right place when it feels good to be home each time.

Visit Bend:  What’s your impression of the Bend art scene, and how do you think the Pillars of Art program fits with that?2014-november-avlis-finished-pillars-of-art-2SMALL

Avlis: The Bend art scene is incredible! There is so much talent in this little city and everyone’s style is so different. I think the pillars are great because the medium of chalk and the confined canvas of a pillar forces the creative process to manifest in a very different way than the artist is used to—it’s brilliant!

 

DON’T FORGET! Stop by the Bend Visitor Center on the corner of Lava and Oregon in Downtown Bend to check out this great collection of artwork by Alvis. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also drop by during First Friday Art Walk after 5 p.m. on Friday, December 5.

To check out his art online, visit http://avlis-leumas.com/

 

Just in time for October Art Hop! Visit Bend features artwork by Kaycee Anseth in new Pillars of Art installment

October 3rd, 2013

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.

Artist Kaycee Anseth works on her Pillars of Art installment.

Artist Kaycee Anseth works on her Pillars of Art installment.

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:

 

Visit Bend:

Where did you grow up, and how did you end up in Bend? 

Kaycee:

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.

 

Visit Bend:

Tell us about your artistic training.

Kaycee:

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.

Visit Bend:

How would you describe your artistic style? 

Kaycee:

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.

Kaycee Anseth and her Pillars artwork in progress.

Kaycee Anseth and her Pillars artwork in progress.

 

Visit Bend:

What’s your favorite medium? 

Kaycee:

Paper.

 

Visit Bend:

Who are your artistic influences?

Kaycee:

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.

 

Visit Bend:

What do you like best about living in Bend, and how does it influence your artistic style?

Kaycee:

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).

KayceeBikes copy

Visit Bend:

What do you enjoy doing in Bend when you’re not creating art?

Kaycee:

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.

 

Visit Bend:

What’s your impression of the Bend art scene, and how do you think the Pillars of Art program fits with that?

Kaycee:

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.

***

Thanks, Kaycee!

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.

Visit Bend unveils new artist for Pillars of Art Program: Introducing Katie Daisy

February 14th, 2013

PoA-Katie-0725_for webWarm weather might be months away, but the lobby of the Bend Visitor Center is looking rather springy, thanks to Katie Daisy.

Katie is the latest artist chosen for Visit Bend’s Pillars of Art program, which features one local artist every six months. The chosen artist creates unique chalk drawings on the cement pillars in the lobby, and her framed work displayed and sold in the Bend Visitor Center.

Katie Daisy has lived in Bend for less than a year, but she’s no stranger to the art scene. Her clients include Target, American Greetings, Pottery Barn, Papyrus, Walkers, Madison Park Greetings, and more. She also has a line of home and garden products for Demdaco, a stationery line with teNeues Publishing Group, and a series of drawings featured in a book by bestselling self-help author Louise Hay.

Visit Bend is lucky to have her artwork gracing our pillars and walls, and even luckier for the chance to ask some questions about her life, art, and what it’s like to be a young creative professional in Bend.

Visit Bend: Where did you grow up, and how did you end up in Bend?

Katie: I grew up on a farm in Northern Illinois. As much as I loved it, I knew there was more of the world to see. I’ve lived in eight states so far and have always had a desire to explore the Pacific Northwest, so the move was inevitable!

Visit Bend: Tell us about your artistic training.

PoA-Katie-0668_for webKatie: Art has been my passion since I can remember. Right after high school I attended the Minneapolis College of Art & Design and graduated with a BFA in Illustration. Since then I’ve sustained myself by running an Etsy shop and licensing my creations out for a variety of different items.

Visit Bend: How would you describe your artistic style?

Katie: My creations come from a deep appreciation for my rural upbringing. The beauty I find in nature is something that holds a wealth of inspiration for me. Much of my work reflects the open spaces and wild beauty I’m so familiar with. When I paint I’m trying to recreate a profound sense of those things for others: the peace of a meandering creek, the wonder of a starlit field, or the bubbling anticipation of early summer. To achieve this, I mix a vintage illustration style with modern techniques. I also use a lot of hand lettering, specifically in a Tuscan/Western style.

Visit Bend: What’s your favorite medium?

Katie: I find the combination of watercolor and acrylic paints to be flexible enough that I can achieve both transparency and bold, velvety textures. I always mix them.

PoA-Katie-0657_for webVisit Bend: Who are your artistic influences?

Katie: Frida Kahlo, Olaf Hajek, Nathalie Lete, Grady McFerrin, Kandinsky, and Matisse.

Visit Bend: What do you like best about living in Bend, and how does it influence your artistic style?

Katie: I have an amazing community of friends here that encompass everything from writers and musicians, to other painters. It’s incredibly close-knit, and we’re able to share our ideas freely with one another. We also offer feedback on each others’ work, despite our differing media. When you experience those sorts of relationships it creates a powerful sense of self discovery, which is something I find essential to furthering my creativity.

Visit Bend: What do you enjoy doing in Bend when you’re not creating art?

Katie: I love having rooftop parties or creative gatherings that involve music, visual art, and poetry. It’s important to me to create an experience where everyone present can be in their element and find something to appreciate. I also love browsing the antique shops and local boutiques for inspiration on a regular basis. I frequent the many coffee shops in Bend (chiefly Lone Pine!) to reply to e-mails or sketch out new projects. In the warmer months, I enjoy taking my hammock to Drake Park and lounging by the river with my sketchbook.

PoA-Katie-0695_for webVisit Bend: Tell us your impression of the Bend art scene, and how do you think the Pillars of Art program fits with that?

Katie: The Bend art scene is incredible. It’s small, and very close-knit. I feel privileged to be within in a group of such diversely talented individuals. I think Bend is very proud of its artists and creatives. By creating the Pillars of Art program, it’s made that evident to anyone who comes here to experience our community.

Thanks to Katie for taking the time to chat with us, and for making the Bend Visitor Center look so very lovely right now. Want to come check out Katie’s work? Her pillars and other artwork will be on display now through June 1. The Bend Visitor Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Stop by and check it out!

 

 


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!

May 30th, 2012

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.

Sam puts the finishing touches on one of the pillars.

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!

 

Meet an artist who shares our passion for winter landscapes & recreation in Bend, Oregon

February 1st, 2012

At the Bend Visitor Center, we want people drawing on the walls.

Kevin Schwarting chalks up one of the pillars in the Bend Visitor center.

Well, not just people. Artists, specifically, and talented ones at that.

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.

With Art Walk scheduled for this Friday, February 3, we’d like to introduce you to our latest artist, Kevin Schwarting. A native of Chicago who moved to Montana for college ten years ago, Kevin migrated to Bend last spring. He specializes in winter landscapes, and his artwork on the pillars has drawn rave reviews and gasps of approval from visitors.

Here’s what Kevin had to say about paint, beer, and what it’s like to be an emerging artist in Bend:

Visit Bend: Tell us a little bit about your artistic background.

Kevin Schwarting: I always enjoyed drawing as a kid, and that is half of what I do today. Designing new ideas all stems from sketching. I worked with charcoal for awhile until colors took me into another realm. Pastels, oils and acrylics are what I enjoy most, but I still sketch for fun. It’s the fastest way for me to feel good about my artistic passions.

Visit Bend:Why did you choose to specialize in painting winter scenes?

Kevin Schwarting: There has always been this sense of peace and stillness in cold, snowy winter landscapes. My work either obeys that calming feeling or it breaks it. I get excited to invent new pieces. 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. Since that will never happen, I’ll keep painting.

Visit Bend: Your art is clearly very influenced by winter recreation and the great outdoors. How has living in Bend impacted you from an artistic standpoint?

Kevin Schwarting: Bend is very diverse. If there’s a town that could take on another outdoor sport, it’s this one. Outdoor enthusiasts definitely feed my passions and living in Bend has made me feel more connected to those types of people. Bend has inspired me to keep pursuing those passions.

Visit Bend: What do you love best about Bend?

Kevin Schwarting: The breweries on The Bend Ale Trail. Boneyard’s RPM is my favorite beer. I think it’s the best IPA in Bend.

This painting titled, “The Face Shot,” is one of dozens of pieces created by Kevin Schwarting on display (and for sale!) at the Bend Visitor Center.

Visit Bend: What do you like to do when you aren’t painting?

Kevin Schwarting: I enjoy skiing, fishing, travelling, and enjoying the outdoors.

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

Kevin Schwarting: 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.

***

Don’t forget to stop by the Visitor Center from 5-9 p.m. this Friday, February 3, to check out Kevin’s work and say hello to this talented young artist! We’ll also have chocolate by Jem Raw Chocolate and Volcano Vineyards wine on hand to celebrate!


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