(Photo Courtesy of Cascade Publications, Inc.)
“I hope my hair really comes back in that color!” yearned Katy as she admired her own beauty in the fine art portrait before her. As a teenager dealing with hair loss from chemotherapy, Katy was getting used to being defined by her cancer. She had simply forgotten that she was the same extraordinarily gorgeous young woman who was gazing out from the surface of the canvas. Katy didn’t see her own richness when she looked in a mirror, but a talented artist could gather her beautiful nature and reveal it on canvas to Katy and to her parents, to caregivers and to the entire community.
The nonprofit that brought Katy her portrait is called Portrait Connection. Their work commissions talented artists to paint portraits for families facing serious childhood medical challenges. Each portrait radiates the beauty of a child, and each provides a sanctuary where tired parents can relax into the glow of their child’s smile.
Portrait Connection and all its dedicated artists remind us that in beauty, there is peace, and peace stimulates healing. Historically, art played a role in healing, but over time it became more of a luxury. Today, scientists report a valid role for art in a holistic program of health. Portrait Connection is unique in the world, because it is moving art beyond hospital settings to the communities and homes where patients spend most of their time. The focus on portraits as a form of healing art is equally distinctive.
In each community where Portrait Connection organizes a group of portraits, a public ceremony presents the portraits and captivates the entire community in the magic of art and the strength of families. This year, the Central Oregon Portrait Ceremony is generously hosted by Tetherow Resort on April 1 at 5:30pm. Thirteen portraits, painted by talented artists, are being displayed. It is all possible because a group of committed sponsors including Love Your Melon, Storms Family Foundation, Layor Art + Supply, Moda Health and Cascade Publications has joined the effort to infuse beauty and grace where it can lead to healing.
Layor Art + Supply will display all of the portraits throughout the month of April beginning with the First Friday opening on April 5 at 5:30pm. So make sure to enjoy an April outing to 1000 NW Wall Street in Bend to experience the beauty! At the close of April, each portrait will move to its family’s home where the grace and joy and the power of art will change lives.
Keep checking Portrait Connection’s webpage to see each new portrait appear in the growing gallery of artwork. There you can also sign up to receive the newsletter and continue to absorb the beauty of art in your own life!
There’s also a special surprise for you at this year’s Portrait Celebration! Each artist will have an additional piece of work on sale. Support these outstanding artists and you’ll have your own permanent reminder of, The Power of Art!
This year’s artists have produced an extraordinary show of art that is full of life. Each piece is unique and special in its own right. Here is a peek into the spirit and talent of each artist:
Sam Collett — Sam lives in Joseph, Oregon and has made a career of painting portraits. He says that, “Portrait painting is not just the ability to replicate the topography of the subject but to imply something of the inner qualities or essence of the sitter.”
Katie Daisy — Looking at Katie’s work, you can see the truth in her statement that she was raised by the birds and warm breezes in a small town. She captures the seeds of nature in each of us, to remind us that beauty is all around for us to see everyday.
Shiela Dunn — Sheila translates energy through bold lines and colors. Her work builds a relationship between the energy and the people or setting, and that is what she intends — to translate energy into color, texture and movement.
Kristen Eisenbraun — With a vibrant imagination, Kristen uses her art to help others unleash their own creative fantasies. She effectively melds an accurate rendering of what is before her, with a dreamlike vision of what could be.
Karen Eland — Karen carries the creativity of her coffee and beer paintings right on over into the sensitive portraits that she lovingly paints for Portrait Connection. While her preferred medium may be unique, it is her unfiltered talent that shines through all her work.
Luz Celest Figuero — Born in Caracas, Venezuela where she attended the School of Arts, Luz’s heritage adds to the deep spirituality that she enfolds in each of her paintings. You can read Luz’s love for people in each portrait, whether her subject is young or old.
Winnie Givot — Winnie loves beauty and you can see it playfully interacting with mystery in her art. Winnie works in watercolor, because of its natural genesis of beauty through the flow of water and pigments. The artist defines the work but always, nature has a hand in its final glory.
Laurel Knight — Laurel’s portraits are timeless, evoking a universal content like a master of long ago. Each one contains story, meaning, and spirit that can be seen in the eyes of the subject and will speak to people tomorrow as well as today.
Travis Knight — Light is a defining feature in Travis’ art; he wants the viewer to feel the warmth of light and cold of shadows. Working with that light, and thoughtfully combining color Travis captures the spirit of his subject to reminds us of life’s journey.
Joseph Pfeiffer-Hebert — Joseph listened to his college art professor challenge students that, “the human figure is the most complex subject to draw or paint.” Joseph must surely have taken that challenge to heart, because each of his pieces prompts the viewer to gasp at the spirit and life that Joseph elicits in portraits of rare quality.
Jonathan Stasko — Jonathan paints grace, which he captures from a penetrating vision of his world today and yesterday. He likes his art to have purpose, raising humanity and building compassion. Clearly, he succeeds in encouraging people to find their own grace as they get lost in the compassion of his art.
Rodney Thompson — Rodney’s paintings combine rendering with a narrative emotion that speaks differently to each person’s heart. He uses light and shadow as an extension of emotion to produce portraits that provide a glimpse into the subject’s world.
Brooke Walker-Knoblich — Brooke fuses her Renaissance training with a contemporary expressionistic approach. She likes art that tells a subtle story and captures real-life encounters, like the situation of a Portrait Connection child she might be painting.