by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor
Natasha Bacca’s artistic process is unique. And by unique, we mean one-of-a-kind. The local professor and artist has captured light and color using an innovative process that has garnered national and international attention. Through pushing the boundaries of the traditional photographic process, her patented technique explores the world in vibrant hues, shades and silhouettes.
Bacca has always been an artist. “Early on I was interested in anything I could get my hands on,” she explained, “ceramics, drawing, painting, photography…everything!” In high school after she had taken all the art classes offered, she looked to the local college, Modesto Junior College, for her next creative outlet.
Once at the University of Oregon for her bachelors degree, Bacca continued her exploration into different art forms, but found a powerful draw to photography. “During the time I was pursuing my photography-based art degree I witnessed meteoric changes within the photographic world. The once commanding darkroom was being replaced by the newest computer lab, while prosperous photography businesses were closing their doors forever,” she explained. “I both embraced and questioned the digital world photography was being assimilated into. I delved further into the basic concepts of photography; where it came from, what it meant and where it was going.”
Her exploration into the discipline, and even root meaning of the word “photography” (photo meaning light, graph meaning to write) brought Bacca’s attention to a very literal translation: writing with light.
“Following extensive research, I developed various methods of painting with light on photosensitive paper and designed different tools for this purpose,” she said. What followed became an unexpected journey into the world of patents. Bacca knew her process was unlike anything else out there, so kept her exploration a secret. The impetus for a patent came when her husband suggested attending a meeting with the Central Oregon Inventors Guild.
by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor
Kimry Jelen’s brush strokes are a journey, not a destination. Her paintings express a love of working with horses, and are made all the richer for the individual connection she has with each animal. She is a firm believer that the balance between her work training horses and her career as a painter is essential to her happiness and productivity. The deep hues and rich colors of her pallet create intimate portraits of the majestic animals, all inspired by the astonishing array of colors she finds in the mountains outside her Sisters studio.
“The wilderness is where I find my inspiration and get grounded when I ride horses or even hike; nature is better at complementary colors than I will ever be,” Jelen explained. “I study lichen and moss and think it’s amazing how many lessons nature gives us as far as color studies, I may not paint that lichen on that rock, but I’ll go home and have those colors in my mind and combine that in my paintings.”
Jelen’s path to becoming a successful painter began with a nurturing and artistic family, however because art was seen more as a hobby than a profession, she was encouraged to choose a more “career” track in college. “The closest thing I could find was fashion design,” she explained, “so I found ways to do art like painting colorways (color palettes in the fashion industry), but then the computer took over and the creative process wasn’t there like before. Even sketching the clothing was all computer generated. I was in for 12 years, and then I decided to move to Montana to be a cowgirl and get in touch with the outdoors.”
She has always been drawn to horses and explains getting her first horse at 16 was a pivotal moment. “Art and horses were my loves growing up,” she said. The two passions finally came together in Montana. I started painting for fun again, started to get back to my roots,” Jelen stated. While she was learning the horse trade, she became more and more confident in her paintings, creating a powerful combination that stands in her life today.
A move back to Portland for family reasons prompted her to tap into the numerous opportunities to take art classes. “I was self taught until that time, and I thought I should learn how to use the mediums,” she explained. “I took weekend workshops, and during a figure drawing class one afternoon when we were drawing a women who was on her side, [I thought] her hip, waist and shoulder looked like a horse; the outline looked like the back of a horse, so I started drawing a horse instead of the model. After that I started painting horses, it just kind of happened.
Artists’ Gallery Sunriver Village
The Best Present is a Gift of Art! Artists’ Gallery in the Sunriver Village features a collective of 25 local Central Oregon Fine Artists. The gallery is in its fourth year in Sunriver - from wall art to handcrafted fine jewelry, functional and decorative pottery, art glass, quilting and hand-loomed wearables, functional wood art and metal wall art. Unique collectible gifts!
Hours: Open 0am to 5pm, Closed Tuesdays. The Village at Sunriver, Building 19, 541-593-4382, www.artistsgallerysunriver.com
Cascade School of Music
Give the gift of music this holiday season with a gift certificate to Cascade School of Music. Music lessons and classes make a perfect gift for aspiring music students of all ages and abilities. For families with very young children, the school has an outstanding Kindermusik program that builds a great foundation and nurtures a love of music. For older children there are instrumental classes like beginning piano or guitar, as well as private lessons on all instruments.
200 NW Pacific Park Lane, Bend, 541-382-6866, www.cascadeschoolofmusic.org
Desperado Boutique located in the Old Mill District brings you fashion, footwear & gifts as unique as you. This holiday season Desperado features jewelry by Lenny & Eva. This one-of-a-kind line of jewelry lets you build and interchange pieces to make every necklace or bracelet as individual as you like. Pieces range from $8.95 to $37.50 and come with a guidebook to help inspire you. Desperado offers free gift wrapping and no-hassle returns.
330 SW Powerhouse Drive, Ste. 120, Bend, 541-749-9980, www.desperadowesternwear.com
Douglas Fine Jewelry
For over 30 years Steven and Elyse Douglas have been designing and creating original designs together. Douglas Jewelry Design specializes in the Oregon Sunstone, a unique gemstone native to Oregon. The gemstone crystals are responsibly sourced from claims near Plush, Oregon. The natural, copper bearing feldspar, Oregon Sunstone, has a wide range of colors from rich reds to exotic greens. Douglas Jewelry Design has the largest Sunstone gem and jewelry collection in the State of Oregon.
920 NW Bond St., Bend, 541-389-2901, www.douglasjewelry.com
High Desert Museum
Give the gift of discovery with a High Desert Museum membership. Visit otters, porcupines, raptors, reptiles and lynx. Connect with the past by engaging with living history characters. Explore changing exhibits and enjoy special events throughout the year. Family memberships start at $7.50 per month.
59800 S Hwy. 97, Bend, OR 97702, 541-382-4754, www.highdesertmuseum.org
Lumin Art Studios
Mckenzie Mendel Jewelry
The Winter 2014 collection is perfect for the holiday season. She specializes in high quality jewelry for women made of sterling silver and high karat gold. Her line includes earrings, necklaces and rings. www.MckenzieMendel.com
Meditative abstract artwork based in nature, feeling into the space where life’s energy and timelessness meet.
Bold, expressive abstract paintings and prints that will add soulfulness to your life, home and work space. Grab some of Alisha’s art prints for a unique and heartfelt gift, sure to make anyone’s living space hum. www.AlishaVernon.com
19855 Fourth Street, Bend, 541-510-7535, www.LuminArtStudios.com
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.”
The 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.
by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor
Art 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.