Unrepresented Artists of Bend

A Call for Support

Bend is a thriving community, and one element ever-present in communities that thrive is the artist. Artists create, and their creations aren’t simply about beauty; their creations may also question, critique, offend and perplex, thus generating dialogue, an element critical to a community’s well-being. The Bend community certainly recognizes this fact, which is why there are several organizations, galleries and co-ops dedicated to supporting local artists and educating the community with respect to the artists’ processes, ideas, and creations. The Bend Art Center and At Liberty Arts Collaborative are two exemplars of such organizations while Red Chair gallery and Tumalo Art Co. are mainstay artist co-ops.

Despite the prodigious efforts of these organizations to get artists’ work out there, the number of Bend artists producing quality art exceeds the number of venues available for said artists to display their work on a regular basis such that it gains traction within the community. Co-ops and galleries often have full rosters or may not be the right fit. Although many restaurants and retailers offer artists month-long venues to show their stuff, once the month is passed, the artist recedes into relative obscurity once more. And let’s face it, rare is the case that someone enters a coffee shop to buy a $4.75 latte and comes out with a $475 painting. The virtual world, namely Instagram and Facebook, have created new opportunities for artists to get their work out there, and in front of national and international audiences nonetheless. As wonderful as this is, the accumulation of “likes” or “followers” cannot supplant the direct experience of a painting or performance, nor an in-situ exchange between an artist and interested person or party.

This article, Unrepresented Artists of Bend, envisioned as a series, represents an attempt to bring more local artists before the eyes of the Bend community in accordance with the efforts of the aforementioned organizations. Each month I will highlight artists who do not have dedicated representation yet work incredibly hard day after day to produce quality artwork. I will first offer a brief biography of the artist, followed by an Artist Statement, images of his or her work, and information regarding where to view and inquire about the artist’s work. My hope is that by calling readers’ attention to these Unrepresented Artists of Bend, word of their practice will extend into the community of art supporters and collectors who will then seek them out and purchase their work so they may continue doing what they do best — making art!

So, after reading this article, tear it out and create a physical folder that you can add to each month as the series continues. Then, when it comes time for a gift to others or self or for decorating an office space, look through that folder and make an investment in local art and a local artist. We need you just as you need us!

Call to Unrepresented Artists: If you are a serious Bend artist without representation and would like to be featured in this series, please contact me by email at kennethmarunowski@gmail.com.

Jeanette Small
Printmaker, Painter, Mixed Media Artist
Bio: Born into a German-Jewish family in Eastern Europe (Moldova), I emigrated to Germany as a ten-year-old following the collapse of the Soviet Union and a civil war, and came to the United States at age 17. I was accepted to the Ruth Awasa School of the Arts High School and recruited for a year-long internship by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art during my senior year. Having experienced much economic uncertainty and too often inadequate social support, pursuing art as a profession terrified me. I turned down admission and scholarships to art colleges and instead completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and earned an MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on Somatic Psychology at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. After the birth of my first child, I gave up employment as a psychotherapist and manager of a residential facility for adolescents in foster care to care for my son. Continuing to help youth and families in crisis, I now volunteer as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). Although I had studied art from gifted and accomplished artists and completed several commissions, it was only after the birth of my second child and some humbling health scares that I found the courage to pursue art as my primary vocation.

Artist Statement: Creating art is a mindful and spiritual practice for me. Through visual representation, I seek to share my embodied experience — to be understood without the use of words and to rely instead on shapes, textures and hues to cue meaningful associations for the viewer. I hope that my audience engages with my images, follows their own associations and creates their own narrative. Partial to human form, flowers, textiles and intricate abstractions, my love for mathematics, physics and technology often surfaces in my work. I organize my conscious and unconscious thoughts and feelings, and share this intimate creation with the world. Most of my works are on paper and small to medium sized. In the coming year, however, I plan to tackle larger pieces while staying true to my love of combining different media and carefully maintaining an archival quality in my work.

www.jsmallart.com, Instagram: @smalljeanette, smalljeanette@gmail.com

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