Once again the High Desert Museum is unveiling a stunning collection of western-inspired art, both traditional and contemporary, in the Museum’s annual Art of the West exhibition. The exhibit and silent auction for Art of the West opened July 31 with an artists’ reception and culminates on August 23 at the annual High Desert Rendezvous.
“This year we will showcase works by several artists who haven’t exhibited with us before, including Caely Brandon from San Francisco, Julie Oriet from Wyoming and Sherry Salari Sander from Montana,” said Faith Powell, curator of collections at the High Desert Museum. “We also have Travis Humphreys from Utah and some local favorites, including Marty Stewart of Bend.”
Art of the West features more than 30 paintings and sculptures from well-known regional and local artists. The public is invited to view the work and bid on individual pieces any time before the Rendezvous event. Minimum bids for the art range from $250 to $5,280, with proceeds helping support the Museum’s educational programs.
Art of the West is an important part of the 25th Annual High Desert Rendezvous, the Museum’s primary fundraiser of the year. The educational programming offered by the museum ranges from discovery classes and tours that take school children through the historical and natural environment of the area, to learning expeditions which offer free materials for a focused course of exploration during museum visits. Eighty-six percent of the museum’s funding goes towards education.
Rendezvous Harnesses the Spirit of the West
On August 23 the High Desert Museum will be transformed into an early 1900’s saloon for the High Desert Rendezvous. The Gala will be decked out with all the Western trimmings: a wild west BBQ supper, wildlife encounters and living history personalities as well as a hosted bar, live music and a lively dance floor.
The 25th annual event is the main fundraiser for the Museum’s educational programs, and in 2013 over $240,000 was raised by over 300 guests.
Twenty-five years ago, High Desert Museum founder Don Kerr, along with Lesley and Matt Day, of Hooker Creek Ranch, formed a partnership to create one of Central Oregon’s most time-honored and exciting traditions: High Desert Rendezvous. The initial Rendezvous created a popular and truly exceptional experience for supporters and helped Don Kerr, whose family has deep roots in Portland, attract supporters from all over the state. Renowned for its live rodeo events, western games and an unforgettable evening, the High Desert Rendezvous became a highly successful fundraiser for the High Desert Museum’s well-know educational programs.
“Because this is a banner year, we will be giving guests an experience they will never forget,” said Heather Vihstadt, director of development for the Museum. “Enjoy the Spirits of the High Desert — taste gins, vodkas and other liquors from distilleries around the region. Learn about the history of these — their journey in the High Desert to today.”
Guests will bid on live and silent auction items for Western art, jewelry and fabulous adventures and vacations created specially for the Rendezvous.
The event starts at 5pm, tickets are $350 per couple (includes a family membership) and $200 for one person (includes an individual membership), museum members: $150 per person. Sponsorship packages start at $2,000. 541-382-4754, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.highdesertrendezvous.net