(Photo | by Ross Chandler)
Every summer here in Bend there is a plethora of stellar activities and events that Bendites and tourists alike much anticipate and fully embrace, from outdoor activities to brew / music fests. The premier juried fine art and craft event that, for the fifth consecutive year, stakes its claim as one of the Nation’s top 20 shows for sales is the one and only Art in the High Desert (Art Fair Sourcebook)!
Now in its 12th year and once again located on the glorious banks of the Deschutes River in the Old Mill District, Art in the High Desert (AHD) welcomes 120 diverse artists from across North America this August 23-25. If you have been to AHD before, you may think you know what to expect, but not quite the case! Each year AHD consistently welcomes 35-50 new artists. This year, 50 is the magic number of new additions that will complement the returning favorites. From the humorous and unexpected to the ingeniously engineered and deftly crafted, and across a range of prices to meet all budgets, there is art that will appeal to everyone.
To be accepted into AHD, artists must complete a rigorous application reviewed by a four-person expert jury from a variety of creative genres that ensures the presence of only the highest quality creators and creations. Four criteria guide the jurors as they contemplate and discuss the six submitted images from each artist: 1. Original thought and intent, 2. Overall strong concept, 3. Excellence in craftsmanship and 4. Consistency of style and presentation. A succinct 200-character Artist Process Statement provides further insight to the jury regarding how the artists make their work. For example, Lisa Kattenbraker of Olympia, Washington offers “Batik on cotton fabric: traditional methods, fiber reactive dyes, locally harvested bees wax. 100 hours of wax application & 40+ dyes per piece.” Fennville, Michigan artist Tyler Voorhees makes “Paper collage — Torn bits of craft paper are collaged, painted to a wood panel to create scenes depicting historic jobs. The innovation that replaced the job is hidden in the composition.”
As a means to further support these artists who work so hard year round to bring you the fruits of their creative labors, AHD offers them constructive jury feedback with respect to their application. Jurors first review and score the work independently and then engage in a discussion regarding such elements as strengths, weaknesses, and image order. This year twenty-nine artists took advantage of this inexpensive service ($35) so that they may further enhance the quality of their applications. That the biggest marketers of AHD are participating and past artists who encourage their artistic peers to apply attests to the quality service offered to artists on behalf of AHD and to the sheer excellence of the show itself.
Local show organizers, artists from near and far and the local and tourist public alike make Art in the High Desert a community event par excellence. Co-founders Dave and Carla Fox extend their gratitude to all involved, particularly the Old Mill for their continued hosting of the event. As Dave himself states, “I love being involved with the people in the community. I love to communicate the potential of this event for our lives and for our town.” And we in the community love Dave for doing just this!
Please remember, this is a “no dogs allowed” event for the safety of all involved, especially the dogs. Of course, service dogs are the exception.
See you on August 23-25 at Art in the High Desert!