By: TORI YOUNGBAUER Cascade A&E Feature Writer
Artist Shelli Walters has a long history with the Deschutes Children’s Foundation (DCF), so when she was selected as the featured artist for their annual fundraising event, she was absolutely thrilled. “I’ve been an art director since the late 90’s, and I had a hand in creating an identity and brand for DCF through my graphic design,” explains Walters. “It’s an amazing organization that helps so many families and children within our region.”
The artwork featured for the Art and Wine Auction and cover art for this month’s A&E was developed through the values DCF instills in their work.
“I was inspired by the work they do, and really wanted to capture the sense of community and family,” says Walters. “I thought back to my own childhood and thought about my first introduction to community. My neighborhood, filled with family, friends and neighbors, was the first time I remember being involved in such a giving community, so I wanted to create a piece that expressed that same joyful time of celebration.”
Walters has been creating for as long as she can remember. “I was very lucky to have people in my life who recognized my talent and encouraged me to pursue my passion for art,” she recalls. “I worked to save money for college where I studied graphic design. I have been an art director and designer for the past two decades.”
While she was producing digital art on a regular basis, she was eventually drawn back to fine art. “I recently realized how quickly time can pass and because of this, I wanted to get back into painting and make it a bigger part of my life.”
Inspired by vibrant colors and textures, Walters took a collage workshop and immediately fell in love with the process. “I became completely addicted to it,” Walters states. “Sometimes I cover the entire canvas in a collage first and then I start painting over it to bring out that amazing textured quality. I think the layered effect conveys to the viewer a sense of joy and energy.”
One of Walters’ clients summed up her artwork in a perfect statement by describing, “layers of collage reflecting layers of life.” Her exuberant paintings depict exactly that.
Shelli’s work can be seen at Tumalo Art Company in the Old Mill District.
The Art & Wine Auction
The Art & Wine Auction benefitting Deschutes Children’s Foundation (DCF) will be held Saturday, May 14 at the Riverhouse on the Deschutes Convention Center. The Auction is Deschutes Children’s Foundation’s largest fundraising event. All proceeds will provide 26 children and family nonprofit agencies, including KIDS Center, Healthy Beginnings and Family Access Network with rent free office and classroom space and no-cost facility management at four community campuses in Deschutes County.
The Art & Wine Auction will feature artwork from local artists including this year’s Signature Artist Shelli Walter’s original mixed media composition, Block Party. The live auction will feature works by Michelle and Michael Gwinup, Bruce Jackson and Barbara Slater in addition to world class wines and a special selection of travel adventures and experiences.
The first portion of the event features live music by Todd Haaby and Sola Via, a silent auction, raffle and wine and beer tastings. A seated dinner follows with the highly anticipated live auction. The Bend High Culinary Program returns this year to create the dessert dash. The students are creating a delicious array of sweet treats and have dedicated much thought, time and talent to this project. Foley Family Vineyards is providing wine for the dinner.
“We’re so grateful for the local artist and business communities that support us so generously at the Art & Wine Auction,” said Amy Ward, Deschutes Children’s Foundation development director. “We are proud to feature the stunning works of talented local artists. Many local businesses support us through live and silent auction donations , there are many fun packages at different price levels so it’s easy for everyone to find something special.”
“As we look back on our growth over the past 25 years, the Art & Wine Auction has been tremendous in sustaining our mission. We share this success with the sponsors, artists, businesses, donors and volunteers who join us each year with enthusiasm and generosity,” said Kim McNamer, DCF executive director.
Since 1990, Deschutes Children’s Foundation has managed collaborative community campuses and partnered with nonprofit agencies that serve children and families. DCF provides these partners with rent free office and classroom space at four community campuses in Bend, Redmond and La Pine. As a benefit of this partnership, these nonprofits save over $650,000 each year while serving over 20,000 of Deschutes County’s most vulnerable children and families.
Annual Art & Wine Auction, presented by Kirby Nagelhout Construction Company and sponsored by SELCO Community Credit Union, Les Schwab Tires, Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, Knife River and Smart Solutions.
$75 each through April 8.