There’s a Lot of Nice Walls in This Town

Art, after all, is traditionally displayed against vacancies: paintings on dun walls, sculptures in empty spaces, music in quiet halls. ~ John Hart (Edgar-Award winning author of three New York Times bestsellers, The King of Lies, Down River The Last Child).

Local photographer extraordinaire, Carol Sternkopf, remarked the other night at an exhibit of her work at Franklin Crossing: There’s a lot of nice walls in this town. Indeed. Walls can be a visuals artist’s best friend holder of enormous talent.


Paula Bullwinkel, Carol Sternkopf Beth Yoe had several pieces of their photography on exhibit in the Atrium at Franklin Crossing during May. (The show was put together by local art consultant Billy Turner.) The visibility accessibility of the space lends itself to art exhibits numerous artists have displayed their creativity on these walls over the past few years.

Carol, whose photographs elicit deep emotion, fostering a sense of calm identification with the image, is correct in that there are a lot of walls in Bend where artists are displaying their work from restaurants boutiques to medical real estate offices. The use of walls not traditionally designed as exhibit space has taken on a life of its own it’s becoming part of the allure of Bend’s First Friday Artwalk.

Over at Bend’s City Hall the Bend Arts, Beautification & Culture Commission unveiled last month its inaugural show of City Walls at City Hall with the work of 13 artists interpreting the theme of how the city’s past inspires the present future.

With no criticism in mind of the city’s elected officials nor the staff I have say: this is the best thing that has happened at city hall in the last twenty years. A couple hundred people at city hall, not to complain, not to cajole or influence, but to simply enjoy the work of local artists share their experience interpretation of the city’s past.

It is just a superb use of the city’s walls built around the theme of inspiring community with art supporting local artists. It’s also a great way to invite people to enjoy their own city hall.

My own walls, both home office, are covered floor to ceiling with photographs artwork oozing with creativity, memories delight. Since I’ve pretty much run out of wall space, I’ve taken to leaning new photos art on windowsills, on easels or leaned against other art on counters. Why is it so full you wonder? I can’t bear to have art tucked away where I can’t see it enjoy it all the time!

Perhaps, rightly so, walls are built for privacy safety separation of functions…but surely there’s another purpose. They are stationary we can do with them what we will: tear them down open the space for breathing room or enlighten them with creativity, offering the chance for many to view the results.

Got walls? Anoint them with art!

by PAMELA HULSE ANDREWS Cascade A&E Publisher

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