Art in the High Desert 2015 The Art & The Numbers

Central Oregon’s premier juried art show is just days away. Art in the High Desert takes place August 28, 29 and 30 in Bend’s Old Mill District, just across the footbridge from the shops. The artists have been juried, board members are attending to all the last-minute details, volunteers are signing up and the word is spreading.  The show hours are Friday and Saturday from 10am to 6pm and Sunday, 10am to 4pm.

Those are the numbers you need to know to get there, but there are some other interesting numbers to look at as well. Take for instance that the Art in the High Desert turns eight (8) years old this month: in its sixth year it was ranked 14th in the nation for fine art festival sales and is now ranked 12th in the nation out of 600 shows according to the Art Fair Source Book.

It takes quite a team to put Art in the High Desert together. There is one (1) show Director and a Board of 6. “Board meetings however average at least 2 lpm’s (laughs per minute),” says director Carla Fox. “When she’s on a roll though it can jump to 7 or 8 per minute,” husband Dave Fox interjected. There are over 50 volunteers, 20 sponsors and partners, and countless supporters. The show’s Facebook page has surpassed 5,000 fans and has a reach into the tens of thousands.

It is also interesting to look at the artists by the numbers. As a juried show, 616 artists submitted applications, of which 113 were invited to the show by a panel of 4 jurors. “We’re excited, the show continues to evolve and catch the eye of new and amazing artists. This year over 50% of the accepted artists are new to Art in the High Desert,” stated Board member Shari Crandall.

There are 15 categories of art in the show being filled by artists from 26 states and western Canada. This includes 47 artists from Oregon, 16 from Washington, 6 each from Montana and California, and on down the line. Two artists each travel over 3,000 miles to be in Bend:  Michel Delgado from Key West, Florida and Victoria Varga from Cumberland Foreside, Maine. 10 Artists from Central Oregon will be sleeping in their own beds for this show. 30 Artists will be utilizing the Home Hosting program put together by Art in the High Desert and staying in the homes of 25 generous residents of our community. The rest will be filling hotel rooms and campgrounds in the area.

Art in the High Desert also has 7 Oregon Art Beat alumni at the show. Oregon Art Beat is OPB’s Emmy Award-winning local arts series, entering its 17th season in fall 2015. Art Beat profiles artists, musicians and artisans from around Oregon and southern Washington. On Friday afternoon August 28th Katrina Sarson, host of OPB’s Oregon Art Beat, will moderate “Art Beat Conversations” at Art in the High Desert. The public is invited to join in these lively conversations with artists.

Over the last seven years of Art in the High Desert, 35 artists have been presented with the show’s Benchmark Award, 20 of whom are returning this year. The Awards are designed to honor excellence at the show focusing on specific goals, values, and behaviors that have helped shape what the Art in the High Desert is today. The Benchmark awards are made of columnar basalt, with handcrafted bronze benchmark medallions by a Bend artist.

The first 20 art buyers each day of the show who spend over $1,000 and present receipts at the Information Booth will receive Thank You Gift Bags. Art in the High Desert is also awarding $2000 in Art Bucks for your shopping pleasure. That is $100 each to 20 lucky buyers. There will be 10 winners Friday and 10 winners Saturday. Come to the show; complete the survey with volunteers or at the Information Booth. Drawings are held Friday and Saturday evenings at 5pm.

Art in the High Desert showcases over 110 talented, professional artists each year and takes place the weekend before Labor Day weekend in Bend’s Old Mill District.  For more information on the Art in the High Desert visit To get in on the Facebook fun, visit


Art in the High Desert
PO Box 5575
Bend, Oregon 97708
Phone: 541-322-6272

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