by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor
“There is no measuring with time…being an artist means, not reckoning and counting, but ripening…” - Rainer Maria Rilke
Pastel artist Norma Holmes is featured at Mockingbird Gallery this February. The popular landscape artist embodies the serendipitous nature of plein air (she describes as “opening up to the moment”) to capture the unique spirit of the high desert in her work.
“I’ve always liked to work outside,” Holmes explained. “Painting [en plein air] is like crossing over a new threshold every time you put that first stroke down; you are in a different world, almost like a meditation.”
The artist studied oil painting at the Academy of Art in San Francisco where she experimented with watercolors along with drawing and charcoal. “Drawing is a good basis [to become an artist],” she said, “because painting is basically fluid drawing.”
While she is well known for her pastel work, Holmes started her painting career in oils. An unfortunate allergy to turpentine (used to clean oil-based paints) caused her shift in 1980, but a recent discovery of water soluble oil paints has her excited to once again use oils.
“I love the texture of oils,” she explained. “I can get some texture with pastels…but there is something about the texture of oil paints that I love…I like to be able to see the brush strokes and the palette knife strokes.”
With Mother Nature as her inspiration, Holmes has no trouble finding scenic locations to paint. “In Central Oregon my subject matter changes,” she said. “I love the mountains, but I also love the rabbit brush and the openness of the high desert.” When asked which location is her favorite she listed off several: the Metolius River, Three Sisters Mountains, Eastern Oregon, but ultimately she said, “Maybe my favorite place to paint is wherever I am.”
She has been working on a painted travel guide of Eastern Oregon for the past seven years, and hopes to see it to completion in 2015. “What’s really fun [about this project] is the people you meet along the way, and the places you visit,” she said. “I love nature, and at times it’s a social event. I meet a lot of people when I’m out painting in location…if you are an artist and your job is solo it’s fun to share what you do with others.”
Holmes is a signature member of the Northwest Pastel Society, and her work has appeared in publications like The Pastel Journal, International Pastel Magazine and Pastel Highlights American Artists Collector’s Edition.
Make a visit to Mockingbird Gallery on First Friday Artwalk, February 6, to meet Holmes, explore her high desert inspirations and hear some of her stories.
Mockingbird Gallery, 869 Northwest Wall Street, Bend
In addition to the popular hawks, eagles and falcons currently on exhibit, the High Desert Museum now has a fifth owl species: the barred owl.
The barred owl is native to the mixed deciduous/coniferous forests of the East Coast.Throughout the 20th century the species made a rapid westward expansion across the northern Great Plains, into the Washington Cascades, and now south into Oregon and California. The owl has become controversial due to its status as an invasive species and its effect on spotted owl populations in the Northwest.
“The recent declines in spotted owl populations are strongly correlated to the invasion by the barred owl,” said John Goodell, curator of natural history at the High Desert Museum. “The northern spotted owl is a habitat/prey specialist, whereas the barred owl is a generalist. They’re opportunistic, feeding on a wide variety of small mammals, rabbits, reptiles and birds.”
Goodell said the barred owl is bigger, more aggressive and nests in higher density. They disrupt the nesting of the spotted owl, compete with them for food, and literally chase them out of the area. “In habitats where the barred owl competes with the northern spotted owl, the barred owl tends to win every time.”
Wildlife managers entrusted to protect the spotted owl’s dwindling populations are now faced with a painful choice: Allow the invasive barred owl to continue displacing the spotted owls – likely resulting in the eventual extinction of the northern spotted owl — or, protect existing populations of spotted owls by removing barred owls found within spotted owl habitat.
“The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service believes proactive removal of barred owls may be critical to the future of the spotted owl,” Goodell said. “Habitat protection doesn’t seem to be enough, so they’ve started an experimental barred owl removal program.”
The High Desert Museum’s barred owl joins four other owl species on exhibit: The barn owl, great horned owl, burrowing owl and screech owl. The barred owl is housed indoors, in the Donald M. Kerr Birds of Prey Center. In all, there are more than 20 birds of prey in the Museum’s live collection.
In an interview with mother-daughter designers Cecile and Nicole Cuddihy, I felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. The Cuddihy home studio is a wonderland of past costumes, sketches, display boards and raw material and was the venue where they shared their inspirations, recent projects and upcoming plans with me one afternoon.
Cecile is an architectural designer at Tozer Design and Nicole is her 18 year old daughter, a recent Summit High grad who will soon begin a program in Costume Design at Arts University Bournemouth in England. This creative duo share a passion for design and have participated in three of the past four Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Shows.
Most recently they created over 90 costumes for the Summit High School performance of Shrek, The Musical, one of many theatre productions for which they have designed costumes.
Though they work in different media, Cecile says the similarities are surprising. “I work in buildings and Nicole with clothing. In both there is the design, the construction and the end result is a tangible product.”
And while design is Cecile’s profession, from an early age Nicole had chosen her art form. Cecile commented, “As a Montessori preschooler, Nicole’s journals would be filled with entries like, ‘Today, I am wearing purple tights.’ As she got older she’d draw pictures of herself and her friends in outfits she’d make up. Fashion has always been her world.”
Nicole’s shift toward costuming came in 2005, when she witnessed Oscar-award-winning designer Jacqueline Durran’s take on the clothing of 19th century England in the film Pride and Prejudice. She also loves watching ballet and opera, “art forms in which there are no spoken words, as costumes become the vehicle through which the characters express everything.”
In previous Rubbish Renewed shows, the Cuddihys have created very inventive pieces. Last year, Cecile’s motorcycle jacket and pleated skirt fashioned from architectural plans for the Desert Rain living building by Tozer Design was a favorite in the 2014 Business Challenge. Then a high school senior, Nicole saved volumes of college marketing materials from which she made a corset-cage, which she paired with a graduation robe made of college letters. Previously, Nicole made a cape dress of Back Porch coffee bags and Cecile constructed a party dress out of men’s shirts as well as a striking shift dress from paper road maps.
This year’s inspiration for Nicole came from a Samurai Warriors exhibit they visited in Portland. She comments, “I was particularly intrigued by the small segments of different materials woven together in close proximity to each other. I’d like to bring that into my piece this year, and push the non-fabric side of fashion.”
“Rubbish Renewed gives us a chance to try out different techniques and materials, and there are always people cheering for you,” comments Cecile. “Seeing the variety of entries in Rubbish Renewed is both impressive and inspirational.”
To step into the world of Cecile and Nicole, even for a few hours, is to become intrigued by the possibilities that exist for creative expression. “I am always learning of new places I can go with costumes,” concluded Nicole. I, for one, can’t wait to see where this passion takes her.
Rubbish Renewed is an eco-fashion show that features the work of local designers and students made from recycled and repurposed materials as a fundraiser for Realms, a charter middle school.
The evening includes a live and silent auction, marketplace, food carts and beverages, and will be held Thursday, January 15, 2015 with shows at 6 and 8pm at the Bend Armory.
Advance tickets are $20 (adults) and $10 (students) at WabiSabi downtown, the Workhouse at the Old Ironworks, Realms School and online at www.rubbishrenewed.com.
Scott Emmerich has spent his adult life keeping alive the age-old tradition of custom handmade boot making. It’s almost a lost art and one only a handful of boot craftsmen worldwide today.
“I have in-house, six of the best master boot makers in the world and four who are older and pickup work and take it home,” Emmerich says with a chuckle. Emmerich then sighs and adds, “My master boot makers range in age from 57 to 86. When we’re gone, we’re gone. There’s no boot makers like us anymore.”
Emmerich owns and operates The Tres Outlaws Boot Company in El Paso, Texas. From tanning their own leather to the finishing polish, Emmerich and his team create custom western boots that are not only molded to fit a customer’s foot perfectly, but every stitch and detail are meticulously and completely done by hand.
Emmerich proudly says, “I like the artistic side of me that can create boots that have never been done before. You have to engineer them because my boots are art that can also be worn.”
This fall, Central Oregonians will get a rare treat and opportunity to meet Emmerich and see some of Tres Outlaws’ prize boots at a special one-day event on Saturday, November 8 at Desperado Boutique in the Old Mill District.
Joanne Sunnarborg has been a fan of Emmerich and his boots since she opened her store 18 years ago. “I have a collection of Tres Outlaws Boots and just when I tell myself I have enough, we do a show and I discover a pair I just have to add to my collection,” says Sunnarborg. As proprietor of Desperado Boutique, Sunnarborg says,“Bringing Emmerich to the store gives people a chance to learn about boot making and the opportunity to create their own pair of wearable art.”
Tres Outlaws Boots start at about $500 and have gone as high as $50,000. The ultra expensive boots include details like exotic leathers, 18 karat gold and precious stones. A simple pair of Tres Outlaws Boots has 210 steps and takes 40 hours to make. The company makes about 10 pairs a week and depending on difficulty customers can expect to wait anywhere from four weeks to a year to get a pair made. Emmerich says, “I am very detail oriented. There are no short cuts when you’re getting the best of the best. My customers know the cost and wait are worth it.”
So when asked in our recent phone interview why people should come see his boots when he visits Bend, Emmerich again says with a long laugh, “All you need to bring are your ideas and your feet. I’ve designed 40,000 boots over the last 32 years and my favorite ones are the ones still in my head.”
Scott Emmerich of Tres Outlaws Boot Company will be at Desperado Boutique in the Old Mill District on Saturday, November 8 from 12-8pm. 330 SW Powerhouse Dr., Ste. 120, Bend.
The Arts & Culture Alliance of Central Oregon (ACA) is partnering with the Oregon Arts Commission to produce the first Central Oregon Arts Summit on Monday, October 6 at the Riverhouse Convention Center in Bend.
This marks the first regional arts summit organized by the Arts Commission, which fosters an environment for artists, administrators and community members to come together for provocative learning exchanges that spark new insights and connections to their work. The Commission has previously hosted annual statewide art summits in Portland.
“Feedback from our statewide arts summits held in Portland revealed there was an opportunity to better address specific regional needs by presenting smaller, geographically focused summits,” said David Huff, the Commission’s assistant director. “We chose to begin a new model with Central Oregon due to its commitment to cultural tourism and diverse array of arts organizations and partnerships.”
The 2014 regional summit, Exploring Connections, will highlight the state of the arts in Central Oregon, with breakout sessions on public value of the arts, art in health care, cultural tourism, Oregon’s art ecology, creative place making and art in business. The summit is open to individual artists, arts supporters, arts-related businesses and volunteers, as well as staff and board members of nonprofit organizations.
The Summit’s keynote speaker, Doug Borwick, is the author of Building Communities, Not Audiences: The Future of the Arts in the U.S. Borwick will discuss the idea that arts organizations need to become deeply connected with their communities and will provide new ways of looking at the arts as a powerful force for building better communities and improving the lives of all.
Following the Central Oregon Arts Summit, attendees are invited to a free reception at the Deschutes Public Library from 5-6:30pm where they can enjoy a local craft brew, meet funders, visit with other nonprofit leaders and artists and learn more about the Foundation Center’s grant information network.
The Oregon Arts Commission, housed in Business Oregon, was established in 1967 to foster the arts in Oregon and ensure their excellence. Recognizing the impact the arts have on Central Oregon and the economy, the Arts & Culture Alliance was formed in May 2010. The ACA understands the need for collaboration and networking; their shared purpose in working together to promote the arts and supporting each other establishes a collective voice.
The partnership with the Arts Commission celebrates the ACA’s recent nonprofit status, which will enable the ACA to pursue additional collaborations to better meet its mission to promote Central Oregon as a cultural destination and to promote and strengthen collaboration within the art and culture community.
Central Oregon Arts Summit
Monday, October 6
8:30am-4pm at the Riverhouse Convention Center
$50 registration (includes box lunch), ($40 for ACA or NAO members.
Call Michelle Solley at 541-508-8785 for ACA membership information.)
Arts & Culture Alliance Members:
2nd Street Theater. Art in Public Places, Art in the High Desert, Arts, Beautification & Culture Commission, Arts Central, Atelier 6000, Bella Acappella Harmony, Bend Chamber of Commerce, Bend Dance Project, BendFilm, Caldera, Cascade Arts & Entertainment, Cascade Chorale, Cascades Theatrical Co., Central Oregon Mastersingers, Central Oregon Symphony Association, COCC Barber Library Rotunda Gallery, Des Chutes Historical Museum, Deschutes Public Library, High Desert Chamber Music, High Desert Journal, Les Schwab Amphitheater, Lubbesmeyer Studio, Mockingbird Gallery, Museum at Warm Springs, Redmond Community Concert Association, Roundhouse Foundation, Scalehouse, Sisters Folk Festival, Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, Sunriver Music Festival, Sunriver Stars Community Theater, Terpsichorean Dance Studio & Tower Theatre Foundation.
Membership is open to creative arts practitioners, nonprofits, businesses, artists, groups and organizations that focus on the arts.