Deschutes Children’s Foundation Announces Kenneth Marunowski as Ripples Gala Signature Artist

(Ripples signature piece, South Sister at Sparks Lake, oil on canvas, 30”x40” by Kenneth Marunowski)

Since 1990, Deschutes Children’s Foundation (DCF) has established itself as a cornerstone of community well-being and posterity by providing a safe haven for children and a home for nonprofits. From humble beginnings over three decades ago at the Rosie Bareis Campus on Bend’s Westside, DCF successfully established a wide reach across Central Oregon to include East Bend, La Pine and Redmond. As the community of Central Oregon rapidly expands, so too does the need for the vital, life-changing services provided to children and families at DCF campuses.

As part of this wider reaching footprint, Deschutes Children’s Foundation hosts the Ripples Gala on Saturday, May 6 at the Riverhouse on the Deschutes. Dedicated to the generation of funding in support of DCF’s services, Ripples offers several opportunities for community members and organizations to contribute to this worthy cause. One highlight of that fundraising effort is the long-held tradition of featuring a local artist whose specially selected artwork will be auctioned off the night of the event. This year, DCF is honored to feature Kenneth Marunowski and his painting, South Sister at Sparks Lake.

A favorite location of the artist for both painting and camping ever since he and his wife Carly moved to Bend in 2015, Sparks Lake is “quintessential Central Oregon,” Marunowski says. That Sparks is loved by so many inspired the artist to use it as a motif for the featured artwork. “I’m honored to have this opportunity to paint for such an important and necessary cause,” Ken states, “and humbled that I was asked to do so.”

Prior to the couple’s move, Marunowski taught professional writing at the University of Minnesota Duluth for several years before dedicating himself to painting. Once here, the beautiful wilderness and the kind community of Central Oregon welcomed him, and he has been painting and teaching art classes ever since. Ken is represented in Bend by Red Chair Gallery and in Portland by LAURA VINCENT DESIGN & GALLERY.

One of seven siblings and an uncle to sixteen nieces and nephews, Ken is certainly no stranger to children despite not having any of his own. In fact, some of his most prized community moments involve working with children and their parents in creating their very own abstract painting, an activity and business he calls Spirit of Play Art. “I provide a big canvas (48”x60”), lots of acrylic paint, various mark-making tools, an image-based talk on abstraction, and gentle guidance as I set the family to work,” Ken shares. “It’s so gratifying to see everyone engaged with one another in a creative moment, and the completed painting, which I hang in the family’s preferred location, serves as a forever memento of the occasion,” the artist says with a smile.

In addition to his local art exhibitions, classes and events, Marunowski was recently promoted to Associate Teacher and Program Administrator for the Painting School of Montmiral in southwest France. A francophile since high school, Ken is incredibly excited to take his enthusiasm for and experience teaching abroad this fall for the two two-week courses the school offers. “I studied at the Painting School in the summers of 2008, 09 and 10, and found the ideas presented incredibly useful and thus beneficial to my practice,” Ken states. “Francis Pratt, an Englishman, has been running the school for 35 years now and asked me to assist him last fall, which I happily did.

“He intended to close the school once the courses were complete, but the community members and I convinced him otherwise, so onto another year we go!” Marunowski concludes.

To learn more about Ken Marunowski and his art, art classes and workshops, visit his website at

Ripples is presented by Kirby Nagelhout Construction Company, and sponsored by The De Leone Corporation, Hayden Homes, Knife River, Les Schwab Tires, Smartz, Summit Bank, Aperion Property Management, Bend Property Pros, The Brewer Team at Morgan Stanley, Webfoot Painting and Bend Anesthesiology Group. Tickets can be purchased at

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