Digital Artist Dorothy Freudenberg Embraces Compassion with Enthusiasm

compassionateembraceDorothy Freudenberg is 2013’s Signature Artist for the Deschutes Children’s Foundation’s (DCF) Art and Wine Auction. A contributing artist to the event for many years, Freudenberg’s vibrant digital piece, Compassionate Embrace, will be the cornerstone of the auction held at the Riverhouse Convention Center on May 4.

Since 2002, her work has raised over $12,000 to support DCF’s mission of promoting a community of services to the children and families of Deschutes County. “We have always gotten a really good response from our guests about her pieces,” commented Foundation Executive Director Kim McNamer. “Because she has been giving for so many years, we decided to honor her and all that she has done for us. The piece that she has been able to do for us is pretty amazing.”
“I had been in other auction events, [prior to being invited to participate in 2002] and was impressed with the type of event the Foundation put on, how they treated the artists, and was impressed with the outcome,” Freudenberg explained. “It’s a really worthy project, it becomes a part of your agenda…as an artist it is wonderful to give the gift of your artwork to such a worthy cause.”

The signature piece came about while she was working in her garden and photographing her poppies. “I kept returning to this fabulous subject matter; it is so dramatic,” she said. In her photographs of the flowers one particular shot stood out. After working her magic in her digital dark room, the image evolved into a striking piece of art.

The key to turning an image into a work of art lies in her collections of textures, colors and moments captured on camera. Combining her external observations with an internal vision through the medium of digital art, Freudenberg creates unique pieces that radiate with color.

“When I showed the piece to Jacob [DCF’s development coordinator] and Kim and asked what they thought, the look on their face told me,” she said. “The title, Compassionate Embrace, was a complication of ideas I had as well as an FreudenbergDorthyembracing of the nature and significance of the event. I am proud to see my art make a difference for the most vulnerable children and families in our community.”

With a foundation in black and white photography, Freudenberg first discovered digital art in the early 1990s as she was digitizing her photography. “When I got on the computer I had a color palette; [color] was something I had never really thought about before,” she said. “I realized a subject could speak more profoundly and eloquently sometimes in a different color than its given color; that allowed me to break the rules about what I thought things should be and get out of the photography box.”

Freudenberg soon began working in layers, and as her skills improved, she started constructing her pieces. Working from photos, pieces of graffiti she found on derelict walls, textures and bits of randomness, her photography changed to encompass gathering elements that would become part of art pieces. “I saw the world in a different light. I didn’t stop looking at the whole but started collecting pieces like a kid going out with a little goody bag getting pine cones and pine needles,” Freudenberg said.  

The popularity of digital art has been booming as of late with the myriad of tablets, phones and hand-held devices capable of running hundreds of different art-related apps.

“Digital art has been at the edges [of mainstream art], but now it’s here. There are whole websites about what people are doing,” Freudenberg said. “I think what these devices do is foster creativity and immediacy.”

She mentioned a new and upcoming technology, Leap Motion, could be the next big innovation in digital media. “With Leap, you can use gestures to control the media. You can draw in a three dimensional space,” she said. The technology will sense motion and gestures from the user’s hand and fingers to control the computer, applications, games, etc.

“It all will lead to a more direct interface between computing and the individual,” Freudenberg said. “You can get a direct emotional experience, the action is part of it. It will make the action more and more influential [in the creation of digital art].

Ancient-Moon“I find the audience for digital art is growing, there is less questioning now, and it’s becoming accepted…People respond to the image, not to the process.

“I am pushing my own boundaries in the subject matter, creating art that is a little more abstracted and less literal,” Freudenberg continued. “I can’t think of any time where things from month to month and year to year are evolving in leaps and bounds, and requires that we be mentally, artistically and emotionally flexible, just to stay current.”

Freudenberg is a member of the artist owned and operated Tumalo Art Co. in the Old Mill District.,


Art & Wine Auction
Supports Children & Families in Deschutes County

The Deschutes Children’s Foundation’s annual event, taking place at the Riverhouse Convention Center on May 4, will feature works of art, limited release wine and a variety of vacation opportunities during their live auction. All items are donated by local artists, wine collectors and community sponsors with music by Todd Haaby and Sola Via.


“We have some new artists in the live auction this year,” said Executive Director Kim McNamer. “As well as a vacation in an amazing house in Malibu.”


In an effort to address the needs and desires of all the guests at the auction, the Foundation has invited all the live auction artists, new and old, to contribute a silent auction piece. “We wanted to provide high quality pieces of art, that may be smaller and more affordable, to appeal to all the people coming to the event,” McNamer explained. “Many people can’t afford the large items in the live auction. Over 40 artist have contributed to the silent auction this year.”


Another change in the evening will be the addition of a Dessert Dash, happening during the live auction. The highest bidder table will get to choose their dessert first; 40 tables will choose between 40 desserts. “You could get a dessert of animal crackers if your table is the lowest bidders, it’s an added way to have a little fun and gain participation during the live auction,” McNamer said. “It’s another revenue source at the auction this year. We needed to increase our revenue sources this year by looking at live and silent auction offerings and other fun things like the Dessert Dash.”


McNamer further explained that the fundraising efforts of the May 4 evening will directly support 28 non-profits that serve children and families by providing rent-free space on four campuses throughout Bend, La Pine and Redmond. “We save $650,000 annually for theses non profits by covering the rent and taking care of the property management aspect,” she said.


The Foundation’s board of directors and volunteers will be present during the evening with “ASK ME” buttons on. The buttons will feature a number which signifies an important figure in the efforts of the Foundation. “We hope the buttons will spark a conversation with the guests to focus on what the DCF does and how we help the nonprofits, families and children,” McNamer said.


Tickets for the 21 Annual Art & Wine Auction are available by visiting or 541-388-3101.

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