Deschutes Children’s Foundation Announces Stephen Teater as Ripples Gala Signature Artist

(Fort Rock, Flower Moon by Stephen Teater)

Since 1990, Deschutes Children’s Foundation (DCF) has provided the space and support where nonprofits succeed at helping children and families. DCF is the literal foundation for community staples such as KIDS Center, MountainStar, Saving Grace, FAN, CASA of Central Oregon, and many more. In support of DCF’s vital mission, the organization hosts its largest fundraiser, the Ripples Gala each year. Funds raised from Ripples enable DCF to carry out its mission, remain a cornerstone of 20 child-and-family serving nonprofits, and a hub for a wide spectrum of human services from abuse prevention and advocacy to early childhood development. One highlight of the Ripples Gala 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 Stephen Teater and his painting, Fort Rock, Flower Moon.

Stephen’s Biography:

My hope is to visually communicate with others, to touch the collective subconscious and form a connection along the human condition, in its beauty and ugliness, its light and dark, its joy and fear. Playfully and provocatively, I question the obvious and unquestioned. I aim to arouse empathy for one’s self and others, responsibility for the world we inherited and the one we’re making; to challenge beliefs, traditions and unconscious behavior; to recognize our roles in life as either agents of good or evil. I intend my artworks to function as both intriguing objects of beauty and as mirrors, inspiring questions, self-awareness, open-mindedness, independent thinking, and a deeper understanding of our shared humanity.

As a child, drawing was my way to capture what I admired, escape to distant or imaginary places, inhabit the archetypes of my favorite fairytales, books and movies, and don the personas of my heroes. Drawings were interpretations, meditations, dreams, souvenirs, gifts, jokes, and artifacts: my means of parsing and understanding the world around me; exploring ideas, memories, relationships, beliefs and experiences; expressing emotions and communicating fantasies, perceptions and ideals; and for telling stories: my stories; the human story.

I grew up in Bend, and my wife Jenny and I have explored many special places in Oregon and, at least once every year since we met, we have returned to Fort Rock to visit the ancient, spiritual awareness that lingers and watches over that place: an invisible, creative, quiet and powerful observer. Its apparently barren landscape harbors a vibrant and robust ecosystem, and Fort Rock is itself alive: it vibrates and offers a truly sublime experience of Man’s impermanence and insignificance within nature and in the face of natural and cosmic forces. My love and awe for this place, and the time and memories made here were my inspiration when painting Fort Rock, Flower Moon.

It is my honor and privilege to contribute my artwork to the mission of the Deschutes Children’s Foundation. My blessed role in life as an artist bears the power and responsibility of giving back in service and love and compassion to my fellows. For my own daughter, I am the example of my values and beliefs and what constitutes right thought and action. As the child of a loving and imperfect family, I see no greater good to support, no better way to address the troubles and struggles in our societies and cultures, than to care for, provide for, protect, nurture, guide, encourage and love our children. To do so can heal and reconnect us to the child within us all: that honest, vulnerable, innocent, wonderful, wise, curious, hopeful, faithful us that believes we are all family and that the world can be a safe and good place for everybody — that it should be — and that we all have the power and agency to make it so. I am fond of saying, “My actions ripple outwards and eventually return. What kind of waves am I making?”

To connect with me, email, and on Instagram: @stephenteater.

Sponsors: Ripples is presented by Kirby Nagelhout Construction Company, and sponsored by Hayden Homes, Knife River, Smartz, and Summit Bank. Tickets can be purchased at

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