by RENEE PATRICK, Cascade A&E Editor
The Signature artwork for the Deschutes Children’s Foundation’s (DCF) Art & Wine Auction on May 3, Cindy Brigg’s Terrazza in Toscana, ties together multiple ideas of home. Home is what the artist feels at her retreat in Tuscany, Italy, where a landscape of rolling hills and vineyards brings to mind her local view of the expansive Cascade Mountains, and home is at the core of the Deschutes Children’s Foundation’s annual fundraiser as it enables the organization to provide a home for 28 nonprofit partners around the high desert.
“Cindy was so willing to support us, I have admired her work and knew she would be able to create something special,” commented DCF’s Development Director Amy Ward.
The artist has supported the Foundation’s mission with both artwork and monetary donations since 2002 and holds the mission close to her heart. “The Deschutes Children’s Foundation from the very beginning has been at the top of my list for what they do for the community, I personally know children that have benefited,” Briggs explained.
“I have an amazing view of the Cascades from my home in Bend. I feel peace and serenity here, and I also felt at home in Tuscany…Italy continues to beckon me – the luminescent light, old world architecture, welcoming locals and beautiful landscapes are an artist’s dream,” she shared.
Briggs brings a lifetime of artistic influence to her work and has created a career surrounding her passion in which travel creates the framework for much of her art.
She enjoys painting alla prima (in one sitting) and take advantage of the spontaneity that watercolor invites. “My painting method is a bit serendipitous – mixing, mingling and manipulating the colors for subtle nuances and unexpected color transitions, then add calligraphy and finesse the edges. After I’ve started a painting I may paint non-stop into the night completely unaware of the time,” Briggs explained. “Watercolor inspires my soul – like life – the more I make the most of its unpredictable qualities the more interesting it becomes. With each painting my goal is to reverently capture the essence of my subject and infuse it with dynamic color and light.”
A recent cancer survivor, Briggs has embraced the simple joy of painting and the peace it has brought into her life. “Now that I’m a survivor it’s a part of who I am, and I want people to know that there is hope…The painting Terrazza in Toscana has a sense of hope for me.” The turmoil of the disease has led her to follow her heart and to paint what she truly cares about: the time that she has and the value of life.
“We feel blessed to be able to honor Cindy as the Signature Artist,” said Kim McNamer, DCF executive director. “She has been extremely generous beyond the Signature piece, offering guidance and other help. The generosity of the artists continues to be the key to the success of the auction.”
by Renee Patrick, Cascade A&E Editor
It was the love of dance that drove Carolyn Brant to found the Terpsichorean Dance Studio & Company almost 40 years ago, and through her passion generations of dancers have come to exemplify the spirit of Terpsichorean.
Named for Terpsichore, one of the nine muses of Greek mythology meaning “delight in dancing,” the studio has grown from its humble beginnings in the basement of Brant’s home, to a beautiful 2,000 square foot space on Newport Avenue.
“I had danced all my life,” Brant explained, “and when I moved to Bend there were no dance studios.” She drew on her years of private study in Eugene and a college career in dance, choreography and dance education at Stephens College in Missouri and the University of Oregon, to open the doors of Terpsichorean in 1975.
Brant had six students for her first class, two of them her own children. “I had a little area down in the basement of the house we lived in, and I started teaching there,” she explained. “The next year I had probably 12 or 15 students, and every year after that it kept growing.”
She continued teaching in her remodeled garage for 20 years before buying the property on Newport Avenue in 1995. “My big success was finding that property at a perfect time,” she said. “We needed to grow.”
At the start Brandt taught ballet and tap, and as she became familiar with other dancers and teachers, she grew her staff and classes offered. Currently students of all ages can learn ballet, point, lyrical/contemporary, tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, creative movement and tumbling classes.
“Two of my teachers have been with me almost 20 years,” she said. “I have a really dedicated staff who have all either been with me for years or grew up in the studio.”
Brandt has given her all over the years and has decided it is time to slow things down a bit and retire. She is selling the studio to Dakota Weeda, a former student and current teacher who has grown up at Terpsichorean.