Spring this year in Central Oregon may well be remembered as the season of public art. Sculptures and murals have been appearing at a terrific pace around Bend and Redmond, not only beautifying our roundabouts and walls, but engaging visitors and residents to interact in new ways with our public spaces.
Two new roundabout sculptures have been installed in the last two months, the High Desert Spiral on Mt. Washington Drive and Simpson Avenue, and Milky Way on Mt. Washington Drive and Shevlin Park Road. The sculptures add to the impressive collection of art throughout the City, and were made possible by the nonprofit Art in Public Places. Those interested in visiting the many pieces can take the Roundabout Art Route Tour; a guide is available at Visit Bend on the corner of Lava Road and Oregon Avenue in downtown Bend.
Redmond’s new Peak Finder sculpture can be found at the Airport on the center island in front of the terminal. A handcrafted representation of our Cascade mountains, the new piece will certainly give travelers pause as they learn a little more about our iconic landscape.
Taking in one of the many concerts at the Les Schwab Amphitheater this summer? It will be hard to miss the colorful work of artist Erin Sayer on both the back and front of the stage (see story this issue). The Old Mill District realized the back of the stage was “a giant canvas begging for art.”
The newest public art program is due to bring local artwork to the walls and alleys all around Bend. The Tin Pan Alley Art Collection, spearheaded by Visit Bend, started with four artists installing work in four locations downtown. The project aims to grow a collection that spans the city and gives local artists and arts organizations more opportunities to display their work (see story this issue).
With every new piece of art that appears in the public spaces around Central Oregon, our community becomes more culturally diverse and adds to our collective art collection.