This month’s First Friday promises something special with the 2015 MUSE Art Walk. Twenty-two local artists have been asked to share their inspiration through a series of portraits celebrating women and girls who light the path of creativity, community and social change. The portraits, which range from local heroines to famous muses, will be displayed throughout downtown Bend on March 6.
Part of the three-day MUSE Women’s Conference, the Art Walk is a visual exploration of the ideology presented by the conference. World Muse believes in the transformational power of art; if we offer women and girls tools to transform their personal lives, it will ripple out and create positive change in their communities and in the world.
Painter Katariina Agnes Fagering shares how this sentiment translates to her life. “I chose Anne Brigman (1869 -1950) as my muse because the deep feminine strength of her photos showed me a world I wanted to live in – a world I wanted to create. She was a pioneer living audaciously as an artist at a time when that was not common.”
Similarly, painter Marisabel Jolie will be creating an artwork that honors contemporary American realist Janet Fish (b. 1938). Jolie explains how this artist from the 60’s shaped her own professional and creative life. “She inspired me greatly as a high school student; I learned that I didn’t have to stay on the path that was set out for me and instead make my own.”
The photographers, painters and collagists tapped for this event represent a wide array of backgrounds, styles and perspectives. Yet, all were quick to rally around the idea of creating artwork to celebrate the women and girls who have inspired their lives. The execution of each artwork is as unique as the muses celebrated during this event, which include mixes media artist lloyd mcmullen’s depiction of comedian Tina Fey, photographer Maria Fernanda Bay’s celebration of local athlete Lauren Fleshman and collagist Kaycee Anseth’s tribute to local artist Sarah McMurray.
The impressive assembly of artists includes: Kaycee Anseth, Liz Asher, Maria Fernanda Bay, Kelly Carranza, Amy Castano, Cyr, Katie Daisy, Sheila Dunn, Karen Eland, Katariina Agnes Fagering, Maeve Grogan, Marisabel Jolie, Jenni Kowal, Lark, Megan McGuinness, lloyd mcmullen, McKenzie Mendel, Gretchen Raynak, Jill Rosell, Lisa Marie Sipe, Carol Sternkopf and Brittaney Toles.
Viewing this collection of artworks will prove to be an ephemeral experience, with many pieces being displayed only for the evening, and a handful on display for the month of March. The entire community is invited to view each of the completed portraits from 5-9pm on March 6. You can get started at the MUSE Art Walk hub: Hot Box Betty, or pick up a map at any of the businesses hosting MUSE portraits. Additionally, a photo contest provides extra incentive to see each artwork, with prizes including conference merchandise and a ticket to this summer’s three-day MUSE Camp.
The Art Walk is just one piece of the 2015 MUSE Women’s Conference (March 6-8), an event that brings together local women and teens with internationally recognized artists, activists and social change leaders. World Muse, the Bend-based non-profit that hosts the event, seeks to inspire, support and celebrate women who are stepping up to become agents of change in their lives, in their communities and in the world.
Learn more about the artists involved, the Art Walk Photo Contest, and register for the conference by visiting museconference.org.
In the words of Tina Fey, “Start with a YES and see where that takes you.”