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Film Fever in the High Desert - BendFilm’s 11th Season Begins October 9

by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor


Central Oregon loves BendFilm. As over 100 filmmakers make their way to the high desert, the venues ready the popcorn and the public pours over the festival schedule, the excitement is palpable.


With the goal of elevating the art of filmmaking and their connection to Central Oregon, this year BendFilm has increased their outreach to include screenings at Warm Springs Reservation.


“I know for a fact that there is filmmaking going on in Central Oregon [outside Bend]…and it seemed natural to expand the programming,” said Todd Looby, BendFilm’s new director. “We have the biggest film fest in the area and we want to be a film promotional organization [in addition to] a film celebration hub.”


Read more: Film Fever in the High Desert - BendFilm’s 11th Season Begins October 9The collaboration with Warm Springs was spearheaded by BendFilm Board Member Juli Hamdan, but was solidified at an Arts & Culture Alliance meeting, of which both the Warm Springs Museum and BendFilm are members. “The ACA has as its core the desire of the membership to bring diverse arts organizations together to create opportunities for all communities in Central Oregon to participate in the arts,” explained Warm Springs Museum Executive Director Carol Leone.


“The Bend Film Festival is a fantastic event and their willingness to reach out to Warm Springs will encourage potential young Warm Springs film makers,” Leone continued.


In fact one Warm Springs filmmaker, LaRonn Katchia, will be premiering his short film, Awakening, before the showing of Winter in the Blood at the new Warm Springs K-8 Academy on Saturday evening, October 11.


Awakening is a tale about a young man living on the Warm Springs Reservation and the struggle between his modern self and the quest to face his inner Native American. “The short film was entirely written for and shot on the reservation of Warm Springs. Growing up there 18 years of my life I felt it was only right to create my film based around my hometown,” explained Katchia.

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.”