The cultural activities in Central Oregon come to full bloom in August as art and music (and beer, food and craft) festivals become hubs of activity filling our parks and amphitheaters with locals and visitors who want to get a touch of these High Desert traditions. Farmers markets, Twilight Cinema at SHARC, Music on the Green in Redmond, Munch & Music and Munch & Movies at NorthWest Crossing in Bend add to the outdoor gatherings.
Throughout August at the High Desert Museum you can enjoy the Art of the West, an annual exhibition and auction of exemplary Western art. Inspired by the region, the beautiful works depict scenes or images of the High Desert that evoke a connection to the landscape, the people and the spirit of the West.
Entertainment comes out in force at the 2016 Deschutes County Fair & Rodeo (August 3-6) where you can take in the reverbs of Trace Lawrence, Queensryche, Trace Adkins and The Wall Flowers…and see what the real world looks like from local ranchers and farmers who participate in the long tradition of the county fair.
Each summer in August over 200 brightly colored quilts go on display in The Village at Sunriver (August 6). Presented by the Mountain Meadow Quilt Guild members of more than 125 quilters who meet twice a month in Sunriver to share their love of quilts and quilting.
The Annual Juried Sunriver Art Faire (August 12-14) at the Village of Sunriver showcases artists displaying treasures of fine art in an outdoor setting. The Faire includes a variety of entertainers from Bill Keale, Lindy Gravelle, The Notables, Two/Thirds Trio, Sweet Red & the Hot Rod Billies, Franchot Tone and Summit Express Jazz Band.
Sunriver isn’t finished with August though until they unveil the Sunriver Music Festival (August 7-18). Renowned Israeli-American cellist Amit Peled brings Spanish cellist Pablo Casals (1876-1973) cello to Central Oregon. Peled will take the cello he calls “a wild horse ready to run” on a journey across America beginning with two performances at the Festival with a solo recital August 16 and a closing concert August 18. A second Pops Concert featuring Pink Martini’s lead man Thomas M. Lauderdale, the addition of a guest conductor and more performances than ever in Sunriver and Bend highlight the not-to-be-missed concert schedule.
Art in the High Desert (August 26-28) is Central Oregon’s decidedly impressive summer tradition with a more diverse group of artists than ever before. Bend’s Old Mill District becomes filled with nationally acclaimed, professional artists including 58 entirely new artists who have the opportunity to not only sell their artwork, but to speak with the public about their work from 2-D and 3-D mixed media, metal work, paintings, photography, sculpture, ceramics, print making, digital art, drawings, wearables, glass, wood and jewelry. Truly there is something for everyone at the event.
The much talked about Bend Brewfest (August 18) fills the Les Schwab Amphitheater with three full days of craft brew bliss on the banks of the Deschutes River.
Art at The Ranch is one of the oldest and most enjoyable of traditions at Black Butte Ranch that returns the first weekend in September. New this year is a gallery show at the Lodge Gallery starting on August 2 running through September 5 featuring painters, photographers and mixed media. Many of the artists live at the Ranch and have participated in Art at The Ranch over the years.
Stars Over Newberry (August 12) is where nearly 200 attendees will delight at stargazing, live music, an art auction and local beer, wine and cuisine. This year’s festivities will coincide with the height of the Perseid Meteor Showers, giving visitors an unparalleled vista of the night sky. This is the annual fundraising event for Discover Your Forest which supports stewardship, conservation education and volunteer programs in Central Oregon’s National Forests. Live music will be provided by the Moon Mountain Ramblers.
Although the Sisters Folk Festival doesn’t kick off until September 8, An Evening with Darrell Scott on August 24 at the Sisters High School will give us a taste of the kind of simply incredible music the Festival is known for. It has been 10 years since Darrell has played in Sisters and his many accomplishments bring back a revitalized and highly accomplished artist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.
BendFilm and ScaleHouse are introducing a 72 hour Filmmaker’s scramble, an event that challenges filmmakers to create original short films in just 72 hours based on a surprise theme, action or prop assignment. A screening of the entries will be shown on August 15 at The Workhouse, with the winning film shown at the 13th Annual BendFilm Festival (October 6-9).
I hope your outdoor lounge chairs are ready and appropriate because August is filled with concerts. The Athletic Club of Bend Peak Summer Nights Series brings us Rodrigo y Gabriela August 4 and Trampled by Turtles & Lord Huron August 21.
Les Schwab Amphitheater will be constantly busy with Brandi Carlile’s mix of alt-country, Americana, rock and folk, then Jackson Browne one of the ’70s most iconic singer/songwriters, next Michael Franti & Spearhead with their blend of hip hop, funk, reggae, jazz and rock back to Bend for the fourth straight year, Huey Lewis & the News is a San Francisco-based group that has been playing pop rock for three decades and finally one of rock music’s all-time greats, the Steve Miller Band.
Don’t forget the local art walks that provide the camaraderie that brings our communities together and unveils the work of Central Oregon artists: Bend First Friday, Prineville Art Crawl Second Fridays, Redmond Third Friday Stroll, Sisters Fourth Friday Art Stroll, Sunriver Second Saturday and Bend Old Iron Works Last Saturday.
No excuse not to have a busy art-filled summer!