(Photo above: Sage Ferrell participating in Ken Marunowski’s community painting at Layor Art + Supply | Photo courtesy of Layor Art + Supply)
From its conception,and ultimate opening in 2016, Layor Art + Supply was to be more than “just” another retail store in Downtown Bend. Owners Pauland Lacey Champagne began with the goal of supplying Bend with a desperately needed art storeand a gallery dedicated to Central Oregon artists. Yet, just as important, is Layor’s goal of becoming a place of community. Now, over a year later, the Layor crew is drawing amazing breadthand width of people. And it’s not just artists coming into the store — people such as business professionals, students, entertainers, professors, members of local creatives, local charitiesand many others throughout the community are becoming regulars. “We are discovering our community,and our community is discovering us,” says Lori Stites, manager of Layor.
Looking back on a successful first year in business, one can see Layor Art was indeed focused on community. Layor welcomed dozens local artists into its shopand onto its gallery wall. They featured shows by the Sage Brush Society, Ken Marunowski, Sarah Helen More, KC Lockrem, Katie Daisyand Karen Elandand Matt Nicolau, just to name a few. The year 2017 also saw Layor volunteering beyond its brickand mortar footprint. Layor enjoyed participating in Bend Octoberfest, The Bend Design Conference, The Pacific Crest Middle School Art Cluband Downtown’s Halloween, along with donating to many local charities.
As for the New Year, Layor plans to continue to expand its commitment to activities with the community at large, including showcasing professionaland emerging local talent. Layor has shows planned this year with Kristine Cooper this month, Erik Hoogen in February, Carolyn Parker in Marchand Megan Myersand Mary Lee Harris later in the year. When asked about their calendar, owner Lacey describes a unique approach to business planning. “Being artist ownedand operated, we definitely approach business in a more creative, organic way. We naturally allow for flexibility in our business. So while much of the year is planned, we keep a fair amount of openness that allows us to be responsive to the community as needsand talent arises,” Lacey said.
Beyond selling premium art suppliesand providing a wall for local artist’s to display their work, Layor has been building a solid offering in art classes held at the store’s fantastic downtown location. They have featured classes in beginning watercolor (led by Layor’s own Kathleen Branch), drawing classes with Carolyn Parker, mixed media with Sondra Holtzmanand oil painting with Debra Stein. This coming year will see an expansion in classesand topics.
Layor Art + Supply is adding to Bend’s local scene,and if you haven’t yet got to know them or their multi-faceted business, you should. “Layor is an awesome place for all artists. All the workers are so friendlyand supportive. They are always there to give tips on how to improve. There is a warmand sweet atmosphere around them when you walk in. It will always be top on my list of awesome places,” says Dessire Cufley, a young local artist.
For a list of classesand general information visit www.layorart.com, follow their Instagram account layorart, subscribe to their monthly newsletterand definitely grab a friendand stop by the store on Wall St. in downtown Bend.