by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor
“For me the artist’s journey is an internal one. And the internal spaces are vast – and as every bit as full of mystery and unexplored territories as the outer universes. Art in all its forms are attempts to map or gain insight on this internal universe, something as critical for our species to understand as our impact on the outer world.” -Mytchell Mead
Contemporary Fine Artist Mytchell Mead has found becoming fully immersed in the present opens oneself up to the serendipitous nature of life, and thus, art. Through his varied past and internal journeys traveling the world in the tech-industry, studying non-western esoteric cosmologies and traveling the country by bike, Mead’s sculptural pieces not only build on his experiences, but reflect his open-hearted approach to life, to adventure and to learning.
Mead is the featured artist for August at Paul Scott Gallery in downtown Bend, and will be present at their First Friday ArtWalk reception on August 1.
His journey to becoming a skilled sculptor began at an early age as Mead worked and learned alongside his father, a talented metal worker. After getting his MBA, he worked for a high-tech firm and traveled all over the world. “Trips to Japan gave me an appreciation for Eastern thought and art. Europe instilled a classical regiment and South America brought out the desire to draw in earth and craft elements,” he said.
Following those experiences, Mead rode his bike cross country only to find himself laid off of his job upon his return. He spent the next five years interning with a yogi, meditating, learning Sanskrit chant and exploring ancient texts. “The content of study helped to assimilate the experiences from the bike trip, and the artwork seemed to come next of its own accord,” Mead explained.
Mead’s flow lead him to open a bike shop in Seattle in the mid 1990s, conveniently located next to an artist-owned foundry. He soon found himself working in metal and within a year it became an impromptu gallery for his work. However, a pivotal moment in his artistic career came when he and his future wife set off for a bike trip across the country in 1999.
“We got to New Mexico, in the middle of nowhere in Santa Fe National Forest, to see this incredible house on the border of the park. Some millionaire built an earth ship that had been vacant for three years.”
Mead climbed up to the house to find the owner there for the first time in years, and the gentleman offered the couple the opportunity to house-sit for the next two years. The beautiful earth ship just happened to be perched above the little house of Alberto Jose Castagna, Argentinean sculpture and artist.
“I got to know Alberto and spent several hours a day there over the next two years,” Mead explained. “In true classic form, Alberto first taught me to ‘see.’ He claimed that our eye is calibrated from birth for dimension, proportion, balance and relation by the human form.”
His experience learning under Castagna lead to Mead’s philosophy: when the artist’s eye and skills are honed, all effort becomes a clear channel for the flow of creativity.
“[I found] if you just step off the cliff and let yourself fall, you will be caught. It’s pouring that into the artwork day, by day, by day,” Mead explained, “that’s always what I need to do, I don’t need to look too far, or plan; what happens will happen at the right time.”
Since that time in New Mexico, Mead and his family moved to John Day, Oregon and he has been working primarily with sculptural forms of metal and wood. He gravitates towards abstract forms in his work, stating, “When you take something that is outside of words, or abstract…it takes you outside the thinking mind. It forces you into a place of growth.
“Many of my works explore the horizon line – very common in abstract art – but for me it’s about the merging of the two. Often there is a space at the joining point, where the ethereal meets the manifest, and for me this is a place to reside. It is here that we can draw from imagination to create in the manifest. It is the seat of creativity.”
Mead is represented by Paul Scott Gallery in Bend and a variety of other galleries around the west. “I was drawn to the natural and historic elements of wood he uses in his work, and how he transforms the color and texture of the steel,” said Paul Scott Gallery Director Kim Matthews.
Mead’s creativity leads him to constantly explore, and to relish everything about the process; recently he has started working with color and encaustics. “I’m always working to increase my curiosity and being an artist is nothing else if it’s about opening up that can of curiosity and letting it pour.”
Have piles of jewelry sitting untouched at home? Wish you had one amazing piece you’d wear every day? Waylon Rhoads could be just what you’re looking for. Rhoads owns a local jewelry business in addition to being a young father and the vice president of Central Oregon Metal Arts Guild (COMAG). He describes himself as a classically trained goldsmith who is “expanding what is possible” in custom fine jewelry.
Rhoads has been involved in the arts his entire life, enjoying everything from drawing and painting to sculpting and wood carving. Currently in the 12th year of his career, he has extensive training including his study of fine arts at Iowa State University, followed by a goldsmith apprenticeship in Waterloo, Iowa. While initially trained in the technical side of jewelry, focusing on repairs and gem setting, he later learned custom manufacturing and design working for a high-end jeweler in Eugene, Oregon. There he learned techniques such as wax carving, casting silver and gold and laser welding, which he has now spent over 20,000 hours mastering.
After moving to Bend with his family, Rhoads worked as a retail goldsmith for several companies. In 2012, he opened his own shop in downtown Bend at 835 NW Bond St., Suite 200. Rhoads offers numerous jewelry services including repair and restoration, custom design, up-cycle services, hand engraving and gemstone and diamond identification. He also provides these services to other local jewelry store owners, which serves as the “backbone” of his own business.
Rhoads has a distinct approach, intentionally creating each piece with the specific customer in mind. “There is nothing to enjoy, nothing special about mass produced jewelry,” he commented. Because he makes each piece from start to finish, he can meet nearly any request. Rhoads encourages collaboration with his customers; involving them in the process allows him to turn their visions into reality.
“I was told I don’t have a ‘style’ and that’s ok...I want every piece to be unique,” he explained. Valuing quality over quantity, Rhoads will take as much time is needed, spending anywhere from 25-50 hours on a single piece. “It’s a part of my life that I’ve given to [an] object. That’s my way of immortalizing what I do...by making stuff that lasts longer,” he said.
While he’s the youngest fine jeweler in town, Rhoads hopes to “bring back [the] finer art” more commonly found centuries ago. He’s inspired by limestone carvings on Buddhist temples, Victorian era embellishments and gun engravings. There was “an unparalleled attention to detail [back then],” Rhoads said. He is deliberate in getting the details right, even using a microscope in his shop.
Although he’s now rooted in Bend, Rhoads has customers from all over the U.S. With a large Facebook following of over 9,000 likes, he is earning popularity and working to become a well-known name in the luxury jewelry industry. Rhoads hopes to grow his business to the point he’s manufacturing on a larger scale and sharing his passion with the next generation. So, if you find yourself tired of buying ordinary jewelry that clutters your closet, look into Waylon Rhoads and the possibility of creating a beautiful piece that will last forever.
by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor
The love of art, metal and fire has unified the members of the Central Oregon Metal Arts Guild (COMAG) for several decades; what started as a social club for those involved in the metal arts is refocusing on educational opportunities and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit in their members.
“COMAG President Kellen Bateham and I realized how valuable the concentration of talent and skill is in our members,” explained COMAG Vice President Waylon Rhoads. “We see how valuable these skills could be to the community. We would like to serve as an outlet for metal arts knowledge and education.”
The guild is 55 members strong and open to professionals, students and hobbyists. Many members are already involved in the community and regularly participate in activities like the fire pit competition at the Fall and Winter Festivals in Bend, and most recently live demonstrations at TEDx BEND.
“We want to allow for a bigger membership and offer a scholarship program too,” Rhodes said. “The scholarship will be a way for the group to be able to pay for certain workshops or classes for members. [The idea is] for them to learn a new skill or technique and bring it back to the group…Our members are a big library of knowledge, and it’s a good way for new people to meet those who have been doing it for over 40 years.”
Monthly meetings on the first Tuesday of the month are rotated among the members’ studios and workshops, and while a portion of the gatherings still involve sharing stories and networking, live demos and education are taking on increasing importance. “We are in a transitional time, and are trying to be more of a non-profit community group centered around metal arts education, and [supporting] members of the group in becoming entrepreneurs to serve the community with their skills.”
Many COMAG members are already entrenched in the local arts scene and regularly engage the public in demonstrations and live demos. “Our members are pretty active in the community,” Rhodes said. “It gets people excited about what we are doing, especially with blacksmithing - it has been a dying art, but we are seeing a resurrection.”
The guild is working to obtain non-profit status with the long-term goal of being able to raise funds to bring in national and international educators and artists to Central Oregon, and eventually establish a permanent education facility. “We want to make COMAG a premier metal arts guild in the nation,” he said.
Rhodes and the other board members have looked to successful groups like the Creative Metal Arts Guild in Portland (CMAG) and the Metal Arts Guild of San Francisco (MAG) for inspiration. “The one thing we are really trying to reach towards is establishing a place like the Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee,” he explained.
“They have in-house blacksmiths and jewelers year round, give live tours of the facilities and people can even sign up to become an apprentice. That’s what we want to do. Bend is such an artist-driven and entrepreneurial kind of town; getting a facility would be the best way to do [something similar].”
COMAG will have their first annual show on August 2-3 from 10am to 5pm at the Oxford Hotel in downtown Bend. Over 20 members will exhibit their work, and the group will focus on strategies of making a living in the metal arts. The entrepreneurial spirit is an important part of what the guild leadership hopes to foster in their members.
The Central Oregon Metal Arts Guild has already been an important part of the creative industry in the high desert for years, and their new focus is poised to create even more opportunities for metal arts professionals and hobbyists to elevate their craft.
Community Figureheads Partner with Students to Create Collaborative Art
by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor
Education for peace is at the core of the Montessori school’s approach, and the River Song School’s third annual art show takes this mission to heart. The Animal Spirit Show at Paul Scott Gallery on June 6 seeks to instill an awareness of universal peace, both with their students and the community, by creating a collaborative artistic process that focuses on art: the most universal means of communicating basic truths and emotions.
“Here in Bend, the culmination of our [education for peace] program will be a celebration of our children’s art depicting their visions of peace. This year the inspiration will be Animal Spirit, a celebration based on Native American knowledge about the ways of animals,” shared River Song Founder Robin Johnson. “The purpose of this program is to promote children’s awareness about the goal of world peace expressed through art.”
The River Song annual art shows were created with the cooperation of the Dali Lama Foundation’s Missing Peace project which focuses on the development of a sense of universal values that are likely to be universally recognized. “Education must develop the ability of non-violent conflict resolution. Maria Montessori believed establishing lasting peace is the work of education…The Dalai Lama Missing Peace project has been a source of inspiration for me as I develop my school’s peace curriculum,” Johnson continued.
New this year is the community leader collaboration component. The Animal Spirit theme was introduced to 15 children (ages 5-6) through various exercises, conversations and yoga where students learned the corresponding animal yoga poses to help them access their creative spirits. They then painted a depiction of their spirit animal. The students were paired with 15 community leaders who added their own creative inspiration to the canvases with the goal of sharing their expression of peace on the artwork.
New River Song Board Member Orit Schwartz was central to developing the show and commented, “When we asked people to participate in this unique endeavor, folks were scared, in a good way, of working with a child’s artwork. We figured we would pick people that could roll with it!” she laughed.
“I have absolutely no artistic talent for visual art except to know what I like...in fact the painting is sitting on my counter at home and I am terrified of touching it!” exclaimed community leader Pamela Hulse Andrews. “A young artist painted this delightful painting and I am struggling for a way to improve it…or even enhance it. But that’s the good part: it’s stretching my own creative thinking.”
Jay Henry, another community leader commented, “I have a great passion for creativity, but it doesn’t typically manifest in the visual arts....I love connecting dots that wouldn’t necessarily be connected otherwise. I hope that this skill will translate into something that adds meaning to my young colleague’s artistic gift.
Henry received student Harper Warne’s painting but instead of adding to the work, he took a unique approach to the assignment. “I chose to frame Harper’s painting – both spiritually and physically - with pieces of aged wood taken from my treasured grandfather’s desk,” he explained in his artist statement. “He wrote his sermons and crafted his messages on this desk, pursuing peace for all. I hope his spirit of unconditional love serves as a nice frame for Harper’s vision of peace.”
The paintings will be displayed at Paul Scott Gallery on June’s First Friday ArtWalk with the proceeds of the sale benefiting River Song’s fine arts program and 10 percent going to support CASA of Central Oregon which provides trained citizen volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in the court system.
“Paul Scott Gallery was very generous in allowing us to have the children be the artists,” Schwartz said.
“I think it’s important for the kids to be exposed to the art world and see that you can make a career out of being creative,” said Kim Matthews, Paul Scott Gallery director. “It’s good exposure for the children to learn all the different aspects of being an artist.”
Mosely Wotta, another community leader said, ”Every gallery in this town could use a “breath of fresh air.’ This is an opportunity for us to gain perspective on the meaning and value of Art. [I am] grateful that Paul Scott Gallery is making advantage of this collaborative opportunity.”
“Bend is our home. It’s so important to us that we are able to participate or give back when we are able. While growing up, we didn’t have much exposure to culture or the arts, so we like to think that whatever we can contribute may help bring more diversity of experience to the community,” said Lisa and Lori Lubbesmeyer, both artists and community leaders in the Animal Spirit Show.
“Art is so important to the development of our youth through creative education increasing critical thinking skills, social tolerance, improved historical empathy and developing an understanding of our culture. And art is fun, enlightening, inspirational and interpretive...doesn’t get any better than that!” said Andrews.
Art will be up for auction May 30 - June 7 at Paul Scott Gallery, 869 NW Brooks Street. Reception June 6, 5-8pm.
Community Leader/Student Pairing
Pamela Hulse Andrews - Sophia Bartlemay
Bea Armstrong - Walter Petkun
Sandy Brooke - Riley Beard
Jay Henry - Harper Warne
Julia Junkin - Logan McMahon
Lubbesmeyer Art Studio - Grace Ozolin
René Mitchell - Maddison Gibbons
Mytchell Mead - Fritz Petkun
MOsley Wotta - Sienna Magana
Jesse Roberts- Alex Bucklin
Holly Rodes Smithey - Roman Ardeljan
Amanda Stuermer - Madeleine Stassen
Ruth Williamson - Connor Davis
Valerie Winterholler - Brennan Johnson
Donald Yatomi - Esme Garcia
When you step into 10below Restaurant & Lounge, you know you are somewhere special. The northwest inspired modern décor has been described in articles as hip and stylish with a cosmopolitan flair. A respite from the heat of the summer, visitors appreciate the cool charm of the intimate setting on the lower level of The Oxford Hotel. Even the restroom has been featured in publications including the Oregonian’s living and hotel business sections.
But the artistic touch doesn’t end with the ambiance. That’s just the beginning. The true art is in the preparation and the presentation of an exquisite meal, something 10below’s new chef, Ingrid Rohrer-Downer, has mastered. Being a locavore at heart, Ingrid was a perfect fit for 10below, where the focus from day one has been on offering selections created from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. 10below has built a reputation around urban-organic northwest cuisine, a reputation that is sure to grow under Ingrid’s tutelage.
Since her arrival, Ingrid has introduced a new menu, which is proving quite popular with local clientele and hotel guests alike. Ingrid’s experience with Bon Appétit and Earthbound Farm in Carmel Valley influenced her dinner selections, which include a full range of proteins such as pork tenderloin with a chipotle onion marmalade and polenta green chili griddlecake or a lemon herb roasted half chicken with garlic thyme fingerling potatoes. A ribeye steak, with 10below’s secret dry rub, served with roasted shitake compound butter and potato crusted onion rings is a must try.
Not your mom’s pot roast, the Oxford pot roast has a savory, tender texture with absolutely perfect garlic mash potatoes. As a special treat, Ingrid offers a pasta or fish selection daily. Whatever you order, it is almost too pretty to touch, with Ingrid’s artistic flair evidenced not just in the ingredients but in the overall presentation of the dish.
For lunch, locally sourced soups and salads abound. 10below’s soups are made in-house with carefully selected ingredients ensuring a full, rich symphony of flavors. You simply must try the cream of cauliflower soup which is truly second to none. 10below’s signature lunch selection – the 10 10 10 – offers great taste and value for those in a hurry. In 10 minutes, you can have the 10below special for $10! Commuting to downtown Bend on a bike? Order the 10 10 10 for lunch and you’ll be back to work by 1pm, no problem.
Joining Ingrid this spring is Gretchen Smith, 10below’s new restaurant manager. Gretchen conducts the orchestra of serving professionals, who are well-versed on the intricacies of each dish, paired with just the right glass of wine. Her focus is on your dining experience, making sure no detail is overlooked. Gretchen has previously served the greater Bend community in similar capacities, making her uniquely able to anticipate the needs of local clientele including those seeking gluten free alternatives.
This summer, come down to 10below for a cool, hip dining experience. Whether breakfast, lunch or dinner, experience firsthand the masterpiece that is 10below.
The Oxford Hotel / 10below, 10 NW Minnesota Ave., Bend, 541-382-1010, www.oxfordhotelbend.com.