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Art Central’s Black & White Supports Arts Education for Children & Adults Across Central Oregon

by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor


Read more: Art Central’s Black & White Supports Arts Education for Children & Adults Across Central OregonArt was my favorite class in school when growing up. I learned how to throw clay, carve soapstone, draw, etch and the best part: get messy with paints. The climate for arts education in today’s schools is much different than it was 20 years ago: budget cuts, curriculum changes and the impact of No Child Left Behind has created a vacuum for creative arts in schools. That’s why the Black & White Fundraiser for Arts Central’s work is so crucial to the health and vitality of our children and communities, through their efforts to make the arts accessible to all, and by integrating the arts into all aspects of community life, they can mitigate some of the impact of dwindling arts programs in schools.
“The need for arts education in the schools is extremely serious,” explained Arts Central Executive Director Cate O’Hagan. “Almost 25 percent of our budget (or $100,000) comes from the Black & White Fundraiser, with all proceeds going to support the organization’s arts education programs. This event is critically important.”

The programming offered by Arts Central ranges from the Art Station, Central Oregon’s only nonprofit visual arts school; Artists in Schools, a team of over 30 professional artists working with students and teachers; and VanGo, a community outreach program giving children in rural communities and at-risk youth access to arts education.

“Art Station is the largest freestanding art school east of the Cascades,” O’Hagan said. “If we were extracted from this market there would be basically no visual arts education. There are a number of instructors, artists and studios who are doing smaller scale programs, but the breadth of what we cover is greater than what anyone else is doing.”

Arts Central took a hit during the recent recession, as they saw an almost 40 percent drop in their budget. “During the recession a lot of our students left town…and to protect our ‘internal organs’ we hunkered down and weren’t doing as much outreach as we didn’t have the staff,” O’Hagan explained. “Standing today, we did pull through. We are now in the process of carefully rebuilding and figuring out the best ways to proceed. The environment for arts education has changed since 2007. We are assessing: what is the new environment? What can we do and how?”

O’Hagan touts the Art Station as their biggest asset as it serves as Arts Central’s laboratory where they develop new curriculum, train teachers and test the results through programs like VanGo. VanGo, the decorated Honda Element, is a mobile art studio complete with supplies and an art instructor. To date, VanGo has traveled to 30 sites in four counties, reaching over 2,250 underserved kids.

Art of the West Exhibit at High Desert Museum Kicks off 25th Anniversary of Rendezvous

Read more: Art of the West Exhibit at High Desert Museum Kicks off 25th Anniversary of Rendezvous

Once again the High Desert Museum is unveiling a stunning collection of western-inspired art, both traditional and contemporary, in the Museum’s annual Art of the West exhibition. The exhibit and silent auction for Art of the West opened July 31 with an artists’ reception and culminates on August 23 at the annual High Desert Rendezvous.

“This year we will showcase works by several artists who haven’t exhibited with us before, including Caely Brandon from San Francisco, Julie Oriet from Wyoming and Sherry Salari Sander from Montana,” said Faith Powell, curator of collections at the High Desert Museum. “We also have Travis Humphreys from Utah and some local favorites, including Marty Stewart of Bend.”

Art of the West features more than 30 paintings and sculptures from well-known regional and local artists. The public is invited to view the work and bid on individual pieces any time before the Rendezvous event. Minimum bids for the art range from $250 to $5,280, with proceeds helping support the Museum’s educational programs.

Art of the West is an important part of the 25th Annual High Desert Rendezvous, the Museum’s primary fundraiser of the year. The educational programming offered by the museum ranges from discovery classes and tours that take school children through the historical and natural environment of the area, to learning expeditions which offer free materials for a focused course of exploration during museum visits. Eighty-six percent of the museum’s funding goes towards education.

Can’t make it to the show? To bid, call 541-382-4754, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , www.HighDesertRendezvous.net

Stunning Fine Art from Around North America at Art in the High Desert

by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor


Read more: Stunning Fine Art from Around North America at Art in the High DesertThe grassy banks of the Deschutes River in the Old Mill District come alive the last weekend of August every year for one of the premier fine art shows in the country: Art in the High Desert (AHD). Recently ranked among the top 15 shows in the nation, AHD’s vision is simple: to bring truly original fine art and craft to Central Oregon.


“These artists bring with them a wealth of stories and accolades as well as amazing art,” commented Show Director Carla Fox. Of the over 100 hand-picked visual artists coming to Bend from 19 states and British Columbia for the weekend, over half will be attending for the first time.


The variety and quality of art are an important part of what makes this show so special, along with the leadership of AHD founders and local artists Dave and Carla Fox. Art in the High Desert and the Foxes were recently featured on Oregon Art Beat, the Public Broadcasting’s regional art program. An artist-run show is a fairly unique situation, and as show artists themselves, the couple are able to bring an appreciated level of expertise to the event.


“The show is run by artists that are familiar with doing good art festivals,” commented Marla Baggetta, a four-year Art in the High Desert artist and Cascade A&E cover artist. “It makes all the difference. The artists are really honored guests and treated very well.”


The artists invited to the August 22-24 show are chosen from one of 14 media categories: 2-D mixed media, metal work, painting, 3-D mixed media, photography, sculpture, ceramics, print making, digital art, drawing, wearables, fiber non-wearables, glass, wood and jewelry.

Shelli Walters Explores the Playful Nature of Collage & Color

Read more: Shelli Walters Explores the Playful Nature of Collage & Colorby RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor


The playful and exploratory nature of Shelli Walters’ artwork manifests in dramatic colors; the layers of collage build to reveal vibrant images of beauty that are strong graphical works, a nod to her 20 years as a successful graphic designer.


“A painting is basically just a design,” Walters explained. “I think it makes me a better painter and designer to [create both] in tandem.”


Walters has painted her whole life. She was born in Montana, but early in life moved to Seaside, Oregon and then Bend. When it came time for college, she teetered on the decision of art school, but ultimately choose to pursue graphic design at Linn-Benton Community College as it provided more stability in a career. “I thought that I could always paint on the side,” she explained. “I love designing, and love doing it, it’s been a really fun and rewarding career.”


Read more: Shelli Walters Explores the Playful Nature of Collage & ColorShe has worked at local firm DVA Advertising and Public Relations for most of her career, but when she turned 40 the realization hit that time was flying by and she hadn’t devoted much spare time to her painting. “Turning 40 really motivated me to get back into it. It has been five years now, and I’m still working hard to get my skills back.”


Walters likes to explore other artistic disciplines: fused glass, sculpture and jewelry are all interests of hers, but found that making jewelry was hard on her hands. “It became really quite painful, and knew I couldn’t sustain it. Everything directed me back into painting.


“One of my favorite sayings about painting is you have to create a lot of really bad paintings to get a good one. You want things to go a certain way and you have to work through it and let go, then you are that much closer to the one you want.”


Walters began her journey back into painting with the help of classes and workshops; one of her most inspiring sessions was with painter Robert Burridge through the Art in the Mountains workshop series. “He has been really influential, I’ve taken three of his workshops now,” she said. “He is inspiring, at 70 years old he is this fireball and incredibly fun and energetic, and real and nurturing. I learned so much from him, he has a similar background as an industrial designer until he [started painting when he] hit 40; I feel a connection to him…It was a process to get back, but it’s been extremely joyful and rewarding.”

The Vibrant Palette of Karen Bandy

by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor


Read more: The Vibrant Palette of Karen Bandy Color is pivotal to Karen Bandy’s artwork. Whether choosing a gem for one of her custom designed pieces of jewelry, or layering paint on canvas in her newer foray as a painter, her use of color drives both disciplines. The result? Vibrant works of art that have garnered awards and accolades both nationally and internationally.

While Bandy has been a professional jeweler for almost 30 years, her painting career is much younger, having picked up the brush about nine years ago. Both disciplines are influenced by her life-long love of art and continually inspired by time spent in nature.
Growing up in Portland, she explored creative outlets like stringing beads and, “aggravating her mother [by] playing in the wax of burning candles, fashioning miniature sculptures.” In high school her wax art took on more structure as she began experimenting with wax model carving and lost wax casting, both foundational disciplines in the art of custom designed jewelry.

“I went to the University of Oregon and took lots of jewelry classes, but wasn’t sure of my direction then,” she said. Bandy graduated with a degree in art education and proceeded to teach art in Eugene on the junior high level for three years.

Read more: The Vibrant Palette of Karen Bandy A casualty of the recession of the ‘80s, her job was eliminated and she chose to move back to Portland to join her boyfriend (and later husband Scott Linden). In the Rose City she began working for a jewelry store where she was inducted into all disciplines of the business including sales, advertising and customer service. “It was a great education,” she said.

A year spent in Sacramento, California prior to her move to Bend in 1987 helped cement her interest in the jewelry business as she became the designer for a three-chain jewelry store. “That’s really how I focused,” she explained. “I took all of those elements [I learned in Portland and Sacramento and used them to] open my business in Bend.”