by KRYSTAL COLLINS
A look of preparation stretches across Ben Hull’s face as he details the layout of the new footwear display at the downtown Patagonia store. Upcycling and elimination of excessive manufacturing are hallmarks of Hull’s build-outs to pre-existing structures (seen at the 1000 Wall location, Pacific Northwest Patagonias, the new Ruffwear showroom and various residential homes).
To design the shoe wall, Hull first considered the height of the space. Then, what materials would suit. He embraced the open layout by fabricating three steel beams stretching floor to ceiling. Perpendicular to the beams, movable steel plates were attached to showcase each shoe. Finally, hanging like a rustic chandelier, Hull designed salvaged sprinkler pennants to hold bulbs and light the display.
When asked how he became a designer he points to his days maintaining the foundry and woodshop at Portland State University where he received his bachelors of fine arts in large scale installation. Emitting equal parts art and design, it isn’t surprising passerbys often mistake his work for functional instillation pieces. Observers describe his design as raw and minimalistic. Hull describes his work as having an “industrial edge without polish,” preferring to keep the engineering process simple.
Though he doesn’t consider his build-outs art, his appreciation for the character a piece of wood or metal accumulates through use would suggest otherwise. A belief that the nicks and scratches reveal an “inherent beauty” is obvious in his display. Hull says “It is this story, the scavenger hunt, the history of the material, that makes reclamation so attractive.”
Describing a cache of re-purposed wooden beams that used to comprise the Shevlin-Hixon building, now stored at his residence/shop/office in Bend, he explains his motivation for this particular salvage, “Straight grain, no knots… You just can’t find wood like that anymore.”
For Hull, ownership in every phase of the project fulfills his needs as a designer, artist, storyteller and upcycler (or self-proclaimed pack-rat). He continues to astound onlookers with his ability to transform architecture into functional installation.
The official unveiling of Hull’s shoe display will be featured at the Patagonia Surf into Spring event, March 13, 6-8pm. To participate in this exclusive event, drop by Patagonia to purchase your tickets ($5), all proceeds benefit Nomadcharities.com. Attendees will receive access to discounts on spring preview merchandise, give-away items and raffled prizes in addition to finger food and brews. Limited space, so reserve in advance.
1000 NW Wall St., Bend. www.patagoniabend.com.
by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor
Bend’s artistic community has recently gained the renowned master pastelist, Gil Dellinger. Drawn to the Central Oregon landscape, Dellinger is looking forward to the change in perspective and the challenge of a new adventure.
Dellinger has a passion for nature’s beauty and has spent years painting the landscapes of his home state - California. Yosemite has been a frequent muse and his work Sheer Elegance has recently been published on the front cover of the 2013 fine art book, Art of the National Parks.
Dellinger’s skill with the brush has made him a very successful artist in the U.S. and around the world. Several honors have included an invitation to paint at the Forbes Chateau in Balleroy, France, a feature in the January 1997 issue of American Artist Magazine and an opportunity to raft and paint in the Grand Canyon with a subsequent exhibit in New York City.
When asked how Central Oregon compares to the monolithic granite beauty of the Sierras, he said, “It’s so breathtaking here. I’m just captivated….and frankly I like it better than Yosemite. Yosemite is so stylized; it has so many icons. I think that’s why [the publishers] picked that un-iconic view for the cover of Art of the National Parks, it’s not just another painting of Half Dome.”
Dellinger’s artistic career began during college at San Francisco State. While he started his studies as a sculpture major, a general-ed course in drawing shifted his focus to the two-dimensional world. “I was always creative, but didn’t have any training before college,” he explained. He left school for a while to embrace his hippy nature - making and selling jewelry in Sausalito, California before returned to the classroom to get his bachelors and masters in fine art.
Soon after school he found himself working as a preparator for The Haggin Museum in Stockton, California. The Haggin’s collections contain many renowned 19th and early 20th-century American and European artists including one of Yosemite’s iconic painters, Albert Bierstadt. “It’s a fabulous small museum with lots of landscape paintings [including] people who painted throughout the Sierras. I got turned onto landscape painting there.”
Following his time at the museum, Dellinger immersed himself in the world of teaching. For the next 30 years he instructed over 3,000 students in drawing and painting at the University of the Pacific. “I loved it …most of the time [the students] didn’t know they could draw…and it changes the way they perceive things.”
His teaching regime included required studio time, sometimes 30 hour weeks on top of his classes. While he admitted the schedule could be exhausting, it forced him to draw all the time and helped improve his skill. “Sometimes I didn’t have anything left to give to my work…but I love to give something to people who are interested in it.” He hopes to pursue teaching on the college level in Bend.
Dellinger is currently president of The Plein Air Painters of America and enjoys working outdoors. “I have an overwhelming kind of passionate relationship to God’s expression through nature,” he explained of his work. “I try not to be an aggressive religious painter, but show that God exists in the work. I think that beauty is an example of a hope that something exists beyond this.”
Dellinger spends much of his time traveling around the U.S. teaching workshops and has several scheduled for this year. In Bend he will instruct with the workshop series Art in the Mountains. His session, entitled Turning Plein Air Sketches into Finished Work is from August 4-8 (details at www.artinthemountains.com). “That’s how I discovered Bend,” he explained. “I taught for Art in the Mountains years ago and I fell in love with it the area.”
He has workshops scheduled at the Knowlton Gallery in California on March 28 and July 18 and in Wisconsin at the Madeline Island School for the Arts on October 13.
Dellinger is represented by Paul Scott Gallery in Bend and a variety of other galleries around the country. “We are excited to have him be a part of our gallery family and excited to see how he gets inspired by the local landscape,” commented Paul Scott Gallery Director Kim Matthews.
“It’s rather interesting to come to a place where I’m not known,” Dellinger mused. “I spent so many years building a reputation in the Central Valley. Here I know nobody, and I’m having to start all over again, but that’s an nice challenge. We wanted an adventure and we wanted to challenge ourselves, and try new things.
“If I had stayed where I was I would have spent all my time doing what I have always done and not challenging the edges of subject matter. I’ve always wanted to live in the mountains, and I think this place is so beautiful.”
by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor
“I think we are living in a period of time where there is so much more to be discovered than one would think…I’m hoping my art motivates people to get out there and see it for what it is, while we still can. Get out there now and hopefully that appreciation will lead to protection.” - Kolby Kirk
Photographer Kolby Kirk had an agenda. Hike 100 times and 700 trail miles by 2014, while commemorating each hike by creating a number out of natural materials. Sounds ambitious, right? But more than the impressive number of trail miles logged, is the true delight he finds in his wilderness experiences, and the time and craft that goes into creating each 5-6” number.
Kirk’s drive to hike can be traced back to 2009. That May while living in Los Angeles, he became committed to getting into better shape by coming up with a resolution to hike 100 times before the end of the year.
“When I create a goal I want it to be just beyond my finger tips…I thought 50 was a doable number, so I doubled it,” he laughed. “I set some guidelines, each hike had to be at least two miles and had to be on a trail.” On each hike he took a picture of himself holding up the number of the hike…essentially a progress report of his fitness progression.
By the end Kirk had created a mosaic of his 100 images of the hikes that spanned three countries and three states. “That changed my life,” Kirk said. “It propelled me into this life of hiking and nature, I love it.”
In 2010 the goal became 500 trail miles, and in 2011, he spent 159 days walking from the Mexican boarder to Etna, California, or 1,700 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). “I learned this while traveling: where I was, was where I should be. The hike really energized me artistically,” he explained. “I kept journals, over 800 pages of writings and drawings and sketches, and took a lot of photos.” The trip manifested in a creative video Kirk produced called Condor’s PCT Adventure in 3 Minutes (http://vimeo.com/34766625).
Although Kirk had been living in Southern California, he is a third generation Bendite and decided to move here in 2011 after hiking the PCT. “I started thinking about a new goal to have…so combined my 2009 goal with the 2010 goal and gave myself 17 months to hike 100 hikes and 700 trail miles...on average it would be a seven mile hike every five days for 17 months.”
His first hike was to Mirror Lake where he made his first number. “I wanted to use something that I found on the hike to make the number and leave it there,” he explained. “I didn’t want to disrupt the ecology, so I didn’t pull out plants, but pruned them.”
Creating the numbers started as a way to document his hikes, similar to the 2009 project, but soon became his favorite part of the goal. “Not only did I learn a lot about the area and can identify many plants, but it really opened my eyes to what was on the ground. I love looking at grand views, but I could spend an hour on a square yard of the trail looking at lichens and mushrooms,” he said.
Kirk will spend about 40 minutes creating each number and is very intentional about not only the materials he uses, but the background for the image. Number Twenty-Two was created on New Years Eve next to a fire pit at Virginia Meissner Sno-Park. “The photos tell a story,” he explained. “You see the footprints and spilled wine… Later when I see the numbers I’m thinking of the hike as well. Hike 100 will be there too.”
Always up for a challenge, Kirk has been getting creative with how he makes the numbers, and has been experimenting with three-dimensional or sideways numbers. “I need to gain some engineering skills to create some of them,” he laughed.
Kirk explains there is an incredible amount of detail in each photograph, and plans to make prints of each number. He has also include a puzzle in some of the photos. “I like puzzles, I grew up with books which have something hidden in the artwork… I’m waiting for someone to discover it. I love that, it makes me excited!” he exclaimed.
Dubbed What Rhymes with Egypt, the project consists of Bend local creatives MOWO, Kaycee Anseth, Kristina Cyr, Euijin and Nathan Gray of theBedouins.org, as well as Tunisian artist VAJO and Moey Zakaria of Jordan. They are actively formulating a trip to Cairo and Alexandria to engage the creative community and ‘put down on paper’ their responses to the current cultural state of Egypt.
The experiences will be culminated in the form of an art book of rhymes in three parts: Book one is a photographic conversation between culture and tradition. Book two is a visual and verbal compilation of the collective experience in Egypt. Book Three will illustrate with collage traditional Egyptian children’s rhymes.
A Kickstarter “all or nothing” campaign was launched to raise funds for the project and will run thru December.
Creative rewards from the artists will be available to the generous funders.
PUSH Tunisia and What Rhymes With Egypt? will be at the Tin Pan Theater on December 19 at 6pm.
by ALLY HAND CASCADE A&E INTERN
Creating art is Jason Waldron’s passion, but creating unique art pieces with wood is his specialty. Waldron has over 12 years of experience as a professional sculptor. His work has been shown all over Bend and all of the wood he uses for his creations is local.
To create a beautiful wood sculpture, Waldron starts the process by establishing an initial sketch for clearer understanding for himself, or a client. Each design is based on his own inspiration, usually sparked by the wood’s innate character or discovering who the client is and what inspires them.
In the primary stage of creation, his focus is on the basic elements of sculpture such as form, silhouette, proportion, movement, composition, emphasis and so on. From there Waldron starts the secondary stage which focuses on placement of features, adding texture and refining some of the forms.
The final stage of sculpting perfects tiny details with small power tools. The finished piece usually has some differences from the original sketch but Waldron states, “The beauty of this process is that I’m not exactly sure what the end sculpture will look like until it’s finished.”
One of the best aspects of creating sculpture, he says, is working with his hands. Waldron adds, “Wood, especially high desert wood, is my favorite medium to use because of its organic nature and seemingly endless character which is continually inspiring and unpredictable.”
If Waldron is using wood or ice he will use chisels, chainsaws, angle grinders, die grinders, dremels,and also drills. If he’s working with metal he will use a torch, welder, grinders and various shaping tools. If working with clay he uses various modeling tools.
Waldron’s most recognized sculpture is called Boundless. It is a wall hanging assemblage/carved sculpture of an eagle in flight with a wingspan of almost 10 feet. It is constructed from foraged, weathered pieces of Central Oregon High Desert wood; such as Manzanita for the base and compliments of Juniper, Sage and Pine filling out the rest.
While creating Boundless, Waldron was struggling within himself and life regarding his perceived limitations, a fortress of deception imprisoning his soul. “In this creative process of discovering God’s true word, He shattered the walls of false identity, insecurity, independence, control, etc., giving me the realization that alone I am bound and enslaved, yet when united with Jesus through faith I am free and boundless!”
The main creative expression behind Waldron’s work is God. He declares that, “Through life, creating sculpture and His word, God reveals his and my true identity by process of discovery and transformation.” It is Waldron’s hope that the passion for understanding and living in God is shown through his life and specifically his art in ways that inspire others.