(Royal Nebeker, War Cry, oil on canvas, 60 x 64 inches and Blind Pilot | Photos courtesy of At Liberty)
Following the announcement of their summer exhibition of work by the late Oregon artist Royal Nebeker, At Liberty announces a collaboration with Nebeker’s son, Israel Nebeker, founder and lead singer of the renowned band Blind Pilot. They will be playing a concert at the Tower Theatre on Saturday, August 3. The gallery will host an event for the band and concert attendees immediately following the show.
“For nearly a year I’ve been dreaming of a particular show we have coming up in August, at The Tower Theatre in Bend,” said Israel Nebeker of Blind Pilot. “I love old Oregon theaters, and Bend’s high desert holds you so well in late summer with the juniper, pine and sage all drying on its breeze. But this will be a unique night, which is why I’ve been looking forward to it. Opening the night before our show at The Tower and just two doors down from the theater, At Liberty Arts Collaborative is hosting a large show of my father’s paintings.
“My dad, Royal Nebeker, was one of the Pacific Northwest’s most prominent artists of the past few decades. I wanted these two shows to coincide because the link between his work and my own has always been a strong one. He was my biggest mentor in songwriting and I made Blind Pilot’s first recordings in his painting studio. People have told me that they hear his images in my songs, and my music in his paintings, so it seemed like a fun thing to celebrate with anyone that loves music and visual art, and the links that cross between them.
“We’ll play some old and new Blind Pilot songs for you at The Tower, and then you’re all welcome to come join us for an after party in the At Liberty gallery where my dad’s paintings are hung. It’s not often we get to invite a whole theater full of people to come hang out with us after a show, and I’m excited for it. I hope to see you there!”
At Liberty is honored to present this first solo exhibition of Royal Nebeker’s work in Central Oregon. Working from Nebeker’s extensive oeuvre, the exhibition will feature a selection of paintings, monotypes, watercolors, etchings and lithographs. At Liberty is working closely with the Nebeker family to bring this exhibition to Bend and is developing extensive programming which will include family members and will highlight Nebeker’s influential art career.
Royal Nebeker was a true visionary and a central figure in the Oregon arts landscape. First and foremost as a gifted and prolific artist, working in many different mediums over the course of his career. His work has been exhibited extensively in galleries in the United States and Europe and featured in museum exhibitions across the country. Nebeker also dedicated himself as an arts educator: as a full time faculty member at Clatsop Community College from 1978 through 2004; and as a visiting artist-teacher and guest lecturer at Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland State University and the University of Oregon, among others. Nebeker was appointed to the Oregon Arts Commission in 2006 and was instrumental in developing programs that provided grants directly to individual artists. Upon his appointment to a second term on the Commission, he told The Oregonian, “It is gratifying to be able to facilitate the growth and development of our many fine artists and arts communities here in Oregon.” Nebeker passed away in 2014.
“Royal spent his life equally passionate in developing his work and developing his arts community, as a professor, as an Oregon Arts Commissioner, and as an ambassador on his travels.” says Sarah Nebeker, the artist’s widow. “It brings me great joy to witness Bend’s arts community flourish in recent years, and it would him too. Our family is very excited for this unique opportunity to show his work At Liberty this summer.”
The exhibition title, ‘The Night Window’ refers to a metaphor Nebeker frequently used to describe the intention behind his work. “This process of painting resembles looking through a night window. I peer out, observing and at the same time see the reflection of the interior conditions of my own reality,” said the late Nebeker for an exhibition at the BYU Museum of Art, “It is my intent that as the viewer peers into my painting, he will not only see a visual record of meaning in my life, but will discover the reflection of meaning in their own, as in a night window.”
Nebeker’s work focuses on the figure, examining each relationship within the unique framework of the composition. Using rich colors, bold brushstrokes and recurring motifs, he leads us on an intimate journey examining the spaces between the material and the spiritual. Common themes include personal stories, childhood memories, and vivid dreams which are often combined with song lyrics, poetry, or prose to create deeply powerful and emotional imagery. His work was strongly influenced by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, the German Expressionists, and by the Vienna Secessionist artists Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and others.
About Blind Pilot:
Blind Pilot is an American indie folk band based in Portland, Oregon. Blind Pilot, which consists of Israel Nebeker, Ryan Dobrowski, Kati Claborn, Dave Jorgensen, Ian Krist and Luke Ydstie, was formed in Portland, Oregon in 2007 when songwriter Israel Nebeker and co-founding member Ryan Dobrowski went on a west coast tour via bicycle. Eleven years later, Blind Pilot has released three studio albums, 3 Rounds And A Sound (2008), We Are The Tide (2011) and And Then Like Lions (2016) and has sold out concerts throughout the U.S., Europe and the UK since its inception. The band has performed on Ellen and The Late Show With David Letterman as well as at Newport Folk Festival, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza among others.