Atelier 6000, a printmaking studio and gallery space in Bend’s Box Factory, takes a leap forward with a name change to Bend Art Center this month. A Grand Opening on Thursday, July 6 from 5-8 pm will introduce Bend Art Center to the community. This free event features live music, creative studio play and a preview of July’s exhibit, Lee Kelly: Sculpture and Prints.
Over the past eight years, A6 struggled to build public awareness. “Our formal name, Atelier 6000, was not easily understood by the public—or grant panels,” explained Bruce Emerson, board president. “Our nickname, A6, also left people guessing what we were about.”
After weathering a financial crisis this spring, staff and board felt a greater urgency in addressing the name issue. A generous outpouring of community support provided the means to tackle a rebrand and purchase new signage.
The name Bend Art Center was chosen not only for clarity, but because, “We wanted to give the community a sense of ownership,” explained A6 Founder Patricia Clark, who has introduced scores of local artists to printmaking and book arts.
This new identity opens up exciting possibilities for long-term growth and the board believes the new name will foster public understanding of its programs.
Bend Art Center will stretch beyond its roots and present a broader array of art—including photography and sculpture—in the main exhibition space. The Center will host guest artist speakers and monthly art appreciation programs to showcase a wide variety of contemporary and historical art.
The A6 studio will live on within Bend Art Center and carry on Clark’s legacy. A6 will continue to offer workshops in printmaking and book arts, and foster the development of local artists through studio membership.
The switch to Bend Art Center happens to coincide with a change in leadership. Dawn Boone, executive director since 2014, recently stepped into a new role as education manager. Alexis Chapman, on staff since last fall, became the new executive director as of
Bend Art Center recently received $1,500 from Art on the River and $3,600 from Clabough Foundation to provide arts education to underserved schools in Redmond and La Pine. After a test run in 2016, Bend Art Center is poised to begin offering off-site programs to schools across the region this fall. These programs reflect a growing commitment to address equity and arts access in
Bend Art Center is open to the public Monday-Friday 10-7pm, Saturday 10-6pm and Sunday 12-5pm for exhibit viewing. Admission is free.