Art in the High Desert Featuring Over 100 Artists from Around the Country

New influences and unique stories on the Deschutes River
By RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor

charneyThe Art in the High Desert is preparing for the fifth season of the fine art festival on the banks of the Deschutes River. August 24–26 artists whose work has been chosen by a panel of four jurors will be shown in the Old Mill District. The popularity of the event brings artists, patrons and art lovers from all over the region to experience the picturesque setting, accessible prices and unique stories about the artists and their work.

Look for new influences in this year’s festival. Over 100 artists were selected to participate in the weekend’s events with 53 new artists coming from throughout the U.S. including Maryland, North Carolina, Missouri and New Mexico and all around the West.

This year 349 artists applied to be in the show. The jury had the daunting task of choosing between very talented artists both new to the festival and seasoned event participants. “We ask our jurors to pick artwork that goes beyond the expected, the usual, and we are fortunate to see the quality of our artists continue to improve. The jury criteria makes for an amazing selection of artwork not normally seen at shows,” said Carla Fox, Art in the High Desert director.

To fulfill their task of choosing festival exhibitors, the jurors rank each entry and the best applicants in each category are selected for the festival, giving the artwork a healthy mix. “We curate the festival and create what we feel is a really well-balanced show of the media that are represented,” Dave Fox said. “We don’t just take all the top scores. That gives it a really good balance.”
The festival is one of the few shows in the country that offers the artists detailed feedback from the jury room, and the service has been popular among past artists.

This year’s jury consists of Jan Verdieck, a local painter and past Art in the High Desert board member, Marcelene Trujillo, member of Bend’s Art in Public Places committee, Old Mill District marketing associate and seasoned museum professional, Elizabeth Gualtieri, a Portland fine art jeweler with extensive show experience and Michael Baines, a ceramic artist from Eugene. The jurors reviewed four images submitted by each artist as well as an artist’s statement and an example of their booth, all during a two-day time period. “We think that how the artists present themselves to the public is really important,” said Dave Fox, Art in the High Desert organizer.

The media represented this year will include 2-D mixed media, 3-D mixed media, ceramics, digital artwork, drawing, fiber-nonwearable, glass, jewelry, painting, photography, print-making, sculpture, wearables and woodwork. The artists hale from 17 states and Canada, some coming from locations as far away as Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. “I’m filled with so much pride that these people will apply to be in this show…What artists tell us is that the location is magical. The people who come to the festival are interested; they understand art. The town supports it,” added Dave Fox.

Artwork will be available for preview at in August prior to the show, and the festival’s Facebook page (  provides a unique way to view and interact with many of the artists that will be appearing over the three-day weekend. The art will be for sale during the event at a range of prices with a goal of making the experience accessible to everyone. An online drawing will offer art patrons an opportunity to win Art Bucks which can be used to purchase art during the weekend. Visit the website in late July for more information.

For the second year the festival is offering an artist home hosting program. Bend residents with space to spare and are interested in the opportunity can contact the organizers.

Art in the High Desert is produced by a non-profit, community-based group of local area artists and art advocates whose mission is, “to bring to the community an annual high quality art festival that explores and celebrates professional creative expression while enhancing the artistic identity of Central Oregon. We strive to give back to the community by supporting the positive economic impact of the visual arts while honoring the artists for the value and skill of their handmade work.”
Art in the High Desert
August 24, 25, 26, 2012
10am-6pm Friday and Saturday
10am-4pm Sunday

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