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Mother Earth Newest Sculpture Created for Downtown Sisters

Story by JEFF SPRY for Cascade A&E, see video by Joe Leonardi


Read more: Mother Earth Newest Sculpture Created for Downtown SistersIn a creative blizzard of white wood chips, master chainsaw sculptor and world-class artist Skip Armstrong conjured up the spirit of Mother Earth during the Oak Street Block Party in downtown Sisters on June 20. The medium was a canted, 12-foot pine tree trunk left over from a tree-trimming procedure last Spring between The Clearwater Gallery and Sisters Coffee Company.

Residents and visitors gathered to sample coffees and teas and watch the wizardry of Armstrong as he transformed the bare Ponderosa pine tree into a majestic embodiment of nature with chainsaws, Dremel tools and a wildly potent imagination.

Elegantly created in the style of old-fashioned sailing ship figureheads, the nude goddess gazes into the sky, adorned and enveloped in owls, wolves, cougars, otters and a butterfly.

“I call it She’s Cloaked in Wisdom as a nod to the wise owls,” said Armstrong, stopping his wood-shaving machines for a moment to regard his inspiring sculpture. “She’s a personification of Mother Earth as a sort of Gaia princess and the beautiful Earth Ship we’re living on.

“It’s also the wisdom born in nature and the wildness we need to preserve. I’m going to leave it chainsaw-rough and let it emerge from the tree. I may even toss in a fish or two to cover all the basic phyla of our Earth and all of its passengers.”

Armstrong spent over 16 hours manifesting the awe-inspiring statue as onlookers marveled at the detail and design of his impressive Mother Earth. The project was partially funded and supported by The Clearwater Gallery and Sisters Coffee Company. When completed, the pine sculpture was finished with multiple coats of a basic transparent oil to seal, protect and preserve the natural color.

“I wanted to bring us back to Nature a little bit, after being so inundated with technology and electronic gadgets,” he explained. “Leaning the way the tree was leaning, it worked out perfectly imagined as the bowsprit figurehead of an old sailing vessel. We’re all sailing on this same Earth Ship.”

See video by Joe Leonardi: http://www.cascadeae.com/regional-art/sisters/2510-cloaked-in-wisdom-and-wildness-


Master Chainsaw Artist J.Chester "Skip" Armstrong created a sculpture from an uprooting Ponderosa Pine. Skip donated the work to his Hometown Sisters, Oregon.

This is a short doc. by Joe Leonardi of Armstrong's carving process and the community event that was spontaineously held around it.



Birds in the Garden at Sisters Art Works

Read more: Birds in the Garden at Sisters Art WorksBirds In the Garden, a fun and color filled visual experience in Sisters, brings together four artists working in watercolor, ceramic tile, mosaic and fused glass. It’s a celebration of our feathered friends and gardening on the High Desert.... and it’s colorful.

Every year Kathy Deggendorfer, owner of Sisters Art Works, invites her favorite artist friends to fill the Entry Gallery with wonderful artwork. This year she’s pulled her favorite “flock” together and she’s chirping with excitement.

Watercolor artist Deggendorfer has created a whole flock of new images featuring chickadees and bluebirds. She spent all winter working on new tile designs specifically for this show featuring birds from her Sisters area garden. Her original watercolor paintings will be available as well as the tiles derived from them.

“My paintings are full of detail...layers and layers of dots and squares,” says Deggendorfer. “It is very fun to do tile because they are simple and direct -- just the color blocking of the birds and foliage but with a real attention to what makes that bird unique. I really love the pieces done on terra cotta tile...they just resonate with me.”

The show welcomes back Jenelle Kathan, a fused glass artist from the Portland area [moonbeamglassworks.com]. Deggendorfer found Jenelle’s work during an open studio project in Portland a few years ago and explains, “Others do fused glass, but nobody does it quite like Jenelle. She is a creative, innovative artist who really knows her medium. She is always searching for new methods and applications. An astute collector will get a new piece every year.”

Rochelle Rose Schueler of Bend has just burst on the scene with her colorful ceramic mosaics [wildroseartworks.com]. A real Renaissance woman, Rochelle can do it all...and does says Deggendorfer. “Her background in engineering gives her an advantage and enables her to execute beautiful and functional artwork that works on every level. The stepping stones and garden bench she has in the show were poured in her own custom-built concrete forms. Just back from intensive training in public art mosaic installation in San Francisco and New Orleans, Rochelle has created some truly wonderful bird-themed pieces for the show.”

Sisters area artist Susanne Redfield, owner of Kibak Tile, has created some unique, hand-painted tiles just for this show. Redfield is the creative force behind her successful tile company and is known for her simple stylized tile designs that grace the homes of the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow.

“We are thrilled to include some of her original work in this show,” concludes Deggendorfer.

Sisters Artwork s Entry Gallery, 204 West Adams Avenue. Through August 15, artist reception: 3:30-6:30pm July 9, M-F, 10am-5pm or by appointment, 541-420-9695

Cloaked in Wisdom & Wildness

Master Chainsaw Artist J.Chester "Skip" Armstrong created a sculpture from an uprooting Ponderosa Pine. Skip donated the work to his Hometown Sisters, Oregon.

This is a short doc. by Joe Leonardi of Armstrong's carving process and the community event that was spontaineously held around it.



From The Nest at Black Butte Sculpture by H. Curtis Finch & Paintings by Lisa Finch-Wiser

Portland area artists Curtis Finch and his daughter Lisa Finch-Wiser announce a combined exhibit of recent paintings and sculpture in the Black Butte Ranch Lodge Gallery. The exhibit will run through June 28.

Read more: From The Nest at Black Butte Sculpture by H. Curtis Finch & Paintings by Lisa Finch-Wiser Read more: From The Nest at Black Butte Sculpture by H. Curtis Finch & Paintings by Lisa Finch-Wiser The chance to finally exhibit with her 87 year old father, retired architect, Curtis Finch is a lifetime goal. “We are thrilled to share our vision of Central Oregon’s beauty through our indiviual interpretations of the area. Family and friends have urged us to exhibit our work side by side for years,” comments Finch-Wiser. “It also brings focus to our personal relationship as we accelerate through the constructs of aging. The Lodge Gallery is an ideal venue.”

Finch-Wiser’s dynamic representational paintings paired with her father’s freestanding sculpture will draw the attention of all who enter the naturally lit lodge entry. Landscapes in acrylic, watercolor and oil capture the nuance of seasonal color found in the Black Butte Ranch and the Metolius River areas. Her father simplifies nature’s patterns in wood construction and explores figuative work in cast bronze. Both artists’ work sensitively resonates with the intrigue of nature.

Finch was born in Boise, Idaho in 1926. He moved to Oregon in the early 1960’s to form the award winning architectural firm Fletcher and Finch. He holds the prestigious honor of being a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. His noted design for the golf course condominiums at the brand new Black Butte Ranch Resort in the early 1970s was a career highlight. This involvement initiated a formidable relationship with Central Oregon that resonates to this day where he relaxes in “the condo” (GC #103) throughout the year.

Curtis draws upon 40 years of practicing architecture to investigate and articulate his sculptural work. The foundation of his sculptural process is in wood and cast cement constructions. He cuts chunks, glues strips, casts and assembles. In a search for providing support for his constructions this inventive sculptor discovered cast concrete and soon found himself creating concrete shapes and juxtaposing them with the wood.

Finch’s latest artistic passion is bronze casting. Winter months spent in San Miguel, Mexico introduced him to an art studio that facilitates the complex process. Exploring figurative work adds a representational dimension to his body of assemblage pieces. His favorite new piece is an intimate sized canine most likely influenced by the dogs that proudly guard the roof tops in the charming central Mexican town.

Finch-Wiser was also born in Boise, Idaho and traveled west with the family when her father began practice in Portland. Her lifelong interest in art led her to a degree in art education. She made the decision to become a full time painter after a short term of teaching and after her three children were out of the nest.

Finch-Wiser’s representational style reflects the formidable training received while studying art and art history in Italy for a year. “I spent hours captivated in front of the most historically significant artworks created in the western world. These observations have been my greatest teacher and inspiration.” 


Hood Avenue Gallery Grand Opening

Hood Avenue Art (HAA) announces their grand opening on May 23 in Sisters. This date coincides with the new road opening and the first of the Fourth Friday Sisters’ art and retail event.


Hood Avenue Art is an artist owned and operated fine art gallery featuring paintings, jewelry and custom-fabricated accessories for the home. Sisters’ newest gallery specializes in superb quality, unique and hand-crafted art by Central Oregon artists. HAA is comprised of mid-career, professional artists who exhibit a high level of commitment and caliber in their work.


Read more: Hood Avenue Gallery Grand OpeningPainting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, metal works and photography are all represented at HAA in a range of contemporary and traditional styles. Many of the artists are available for custom projects.


HAA artists represent a span across cultures and generations, from the original oil painting of long-time favorite wildlife painter Rod Frederick to hot young metalsmiths, Justin Kelchak and the team of Orion Forge, who bring their waterfalls, stair railings and award-winning fire pits. Katherine Taylor, a contemporary oil painter with an old masters influence, exhibits figurative, still life and landscapes and offers commissioned portraits, Winnie Givot is an internationally known watercolor artist whose paintings are in the collections of Barack and Michelle Obama, John Kitzhaber and the Chilean Congress.


Tina Brockway and Mitch and Michelle Deaderick represent one-of-a-kind ceramic fine art, as well as custom tile and pottery commissions for the home. Kathleen Keliher, Patricia Freeman-Martin and Vern Bartley exhibit paintings, photographs and mixed media prints that speak of their personal artistic journey through the landscape.


Finally, the hand-crafted jewelry and Oregon Sunstones from Douglas Fine Art Jewelry partners Steven and Elyse Douglas bring sparkle and wearable elegance to the gallery.


357 West Hood Ave., www.hoodavenueart.com, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 541-719-1800.