Dorothy Freudenberg is 2013’s Signature Artist for the Deschutes Children’s Foundation’s (DCF) Art and Wine Auction. A contributing artist to the event for many years, Freudenberg’s vibrant digital piece, Compassionate Embrace, will be the cornerstone of the auction held at the Riverhouse Convention Center on May 4.
Since 2002, her work has raised over $12,000 to support DCF’s mission of promoting a community of services to the children and families of Deschutes County. “We have always gotten a really good response from our guests about her pieces,” commented Foundation Executive Director Kim McNamer. “Because she has been giving for so many years, we decided to honor her and all that she has done for us. The piece that she has been able to do for us is pretty amazing.”
“I had been in other auction events, [prior to being invited to participate in 2002] and was impressed with the type of event the Foundation put on, how they treated the artists, and was impressed with the outcome,” Freudenberg explained. “It’s a really worthy project, it becomes a part of your agenda...as an artist it is wonderful to give the gift of your artwork to such a worthy cause.”
The signature piece came about while she was working in her garden and photographing her poppies. “I kept returning to this fabulous subject matter; it is so dramatic,” she said. In her photographs of the flowers one particular shot stood out. After working her magic in her digital dark room, the image evolved into a striking piece of art.
The key to turning an image into a work of art lies in her collections of textures, colors and moments captured on camera. Combining her external observations with an internal vision through the medium of digital art, Freudenberg creates unique pieces that radiate with color.
“When I showed the piece to Jacob [DCF’s development coordinator] and Kim and asked what they thought, the look on their face told me,” she said. “The title, Compassionate Embrace, was a complication of ideas I had as well as an embracing of the nature and significance of the event. I am proud to see my art make a difference for the most vulnerable children and families in our community.”
A lifetime entrenched in the art world has enabled Sandy Brooke to work across art movements and discover different media, all the while exploring the influence of travel in her life. Meanwhile, a career in art education has provided her a way of challenging not only her students, but her own work by always striving towards critical thinking and excellence.
Never having had any formal art education prior to college, Brooke initially considered a medical degree at the University of Oregon at her father’s suggestion. Upon learning the study would include dissecting frogs…she turned to the art department. “I can’t kill anything!” she exclaimed. “I walked into the art department…and was told I looked like a painter.”
Whether the professor predicted her long career as a painter, or Brooke took it as a self-fulfilling prophecy, the lasting influence of that decision has led to a rich and rewarding career as an artist and educator.
After graduating with her Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA), her painting continued to evolve. “I was doing very abstract, large geometrical work...Frank Stella was the king of art and everyone wanted to be him, but I didn’t know anything about realism or abstract impressionism,” she commented. “So I tried that.”
Her consistent willingness to experiment with different artistic movements proved to work for the young artist, and soon she was showing in galleries in Portland and teaching art classes in a local junior high when the travel muse struck.
“I went to Africa. My father was with U.S. AID…and we ended up traveling the country on safari,” she said. Brooke came home from the trip with countless photos, mostly of the animals glimpsed on safari, and the lions and zebras turned into photo-realistic paintings.
“Everything I do is influenced by travel, newspapers, magazines, TV and media. I’m completely captivated by it,” Brooke explained. In an acrylic abstract series called Postcards, she drew on inspiration from a trip to Boston and Cape Cod, layering paint to create a depth of imaginary space between the value of colors.