by RENEE PATRICK, Cascade A&E Editor
The Signature artwork for the Deschutes Children’s Foundation’s (DCF) Art & Wine Auction on May 3, Cindy Brigg’s Terrazza in Toscana, ties together multiple ideas of home. Home is what the artist feels at her retreat in Tuscany, Italy, where a landscape of rolling hills and vineyards brings to mind her local view of the expansive Cascade Mountains, and home is at the core of the Deschutes Children’s Foundation’s annual fundraiser as it enables the organization to provide a home for 28 nonprofit partners around the high desert.
“Cindy was so willing to support us, I have admired her work and knew she would be able to create something special,” commented DCF’s Development Director Amy Ward.
The artist has supported the Foundation’s mission with both artwork and monetary donations since 2002 and holds the mission close to her heart. “The Deschutes Children’s Foundation from the very beginning has been at the top of my list for what they do for the community, I personally know children that have benefited,” Briggs explained.
“I have an amazing view of the Cascades from my home in Bend. I feel peace and serenity here, and I also felt at home in Tuscany…Italy continues to beckon me – the luminescent light, old world architecture, welcoming locals and beautiful landscapes are an artist’s dream,” she shared.
Briggs brings a lifetime of artistic influence to her work and has created a career surrounding her passion in which travel creates the framework for much of her art.
She enjoys painting alla prima (in one sitting) and take advantage of the spontaneity that watercolor invites. “My painting method is a bit serendipitous – mixing, mingling and manipulating the colors for subtle nuances and unexpected color transitions, then add calligraphy and finesse the edges. After I’ve started a painting I may paint non-stop into the night completely unaware of the time,” Briggs explained. “Watercolor inspires my soul – like life – the more I make the most of its unpredictable qualities the more interesting it becomes. With each painting my goal is to reverently capture the essence of my subject and infuse it with dynamic color and light.”
A recent cancer survivor, Briggs has embraced the simple joy of painting and the peace it has brought into her life. “Now that I’m a survivor it’s a part of who I am, and I want people to know that there is hope…The painting Terrazza in Toscana has a sense of hope for me.” The turmoil of the disease has led her to follow her heart and to paint what she truly cares about: the time that she has and the value of life.
“We feel blessed to be able to honor Cindy as the Signature Artist,” said Kim McNamer, DCF executive director. “She has been extremely generous beyond the Signature piece, offering guidance and other help. The generosity of the artists continues to be the key to the success of the auction.”
Art & Wine Auction Supports Children & Families in Deschutes County
The Deschutes Children’s Foundation’s (DCF) annual event, taking place at the Riverhouse Convention Center on May 3, will feature works of art, limited release wine and a unique way to support children and families in the high desert.
The funds raised from the auction will directly support the Foundation in providing rent-free space for their partners on four campuses throughout Bend, La Pine and Redmond. “Even the smallest donation contributes towards saving 28 nonprofit partners over $650,000 a year,” Ward explained.
The programs the DCF supports ranges from the Kids Center, Head Start and Family Access Center to the Youth Choir of Central Oregon and Saving Grace. A focus for the Foundation this year is to highlight their partnerships and collaborations, not only with their partner nonprofits, but with other organizations in the community. “One of our collaborations has been working with the Heart of Oregon Corps and their YouthBuild Program,” said McNamer. “Together with Webfoot painting they painted the Becky Johnson Community Center; we also have a continuing partnership with the Redmond Proficiency Academy and Head Start. Together they are doing our centerpieces for the auction and helping us while they help each other. It’s a great thing to watch.”
Another collaboration auction goers will notice is with the Bend High School Culinary Program. Students will provide 40 different desserts for the Dessert Dash, and be on hand in chef coats to talk about their creations.
“Our partners are all unique in their missions and are doing amazing work. When you go beyond the walls it’s exciting to develop collaborations with the community, and we want to see more of that happen,” McNamer said.
In addition to the live auction items, a silent auction will feature a wide variety of art and unique offerings. “We’ve got some amazing artists in [both of the] auctions, and we started last year to really focus on some smaller pieces of art that are high quality, but on the beginning value side for folks,” McNamer explained. “We want to engage more people in our event, like the next generation in Bend. For those folks who are just starting out we want to be able to offer art and packages for [all price ranges].
“We are hoping for a sell out crowd again; our auction is half of our fundraising budget, and it still continues to be the keystone of our fundraising programs,” McNamer concluded.
Tickets for the 22nd Annual Art & Wine Auction are available by visiting www.deschuteschildrensfoundation.org or 541-388-3101.