At Liberty Announces Royal Nebeker (1945-2014) Exhibition

(War Cry, oil on canvas, 60 x 64 inches, The Secret Dream, oil on canvas, 56 x 50 inches)

At Liberty, a year-round dedicated arts space and cultural hub in Downtown Bend, announces their late Summer/Fall exhibition: Royal Nebeker: The Night Window. The exhibition will kick-off on Thursday, August 1 with an Opening Reception followed by First Friday Art Walk on August 2. This exhibition will be on view through September 28, 2019.

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.

Nebeker’s creative legacy lives on through the work of his son, musician and songwriter Israel Nebeker, founder and lead singer of the acclaimed Oregon-based band Blind Pilot. Speaking about his father’s influence, Nebeker says, “My dad, Royal Nebeker, was one of the Pacific Northwest’s most prominent artists of the past few decades. 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…”

Exhibition Calendar of Events:

  • Opening Reception: Thursday, August 1st, 2019 from 6-7:30pm
  • First Friday Art Walk: Friday, August 2nd, 2019 from 5-9pm
  • First Friday Art Walk: Friday, September 6th from 5-9pm


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