Flourishing in the shadow of the Colorado underpass, nestled in a rare vestige of brick and mortar buildings originally built in 1912, is the Old Iron Works (OIW). Housing a collection of artistically focused work spaces, the OIW is comprised of Tambi Lane Photography, Studio 3, Cindercone Clay Center, The Workhouse, Stuart’s of Bend, Cube, Cement Elegance, Crush, Modern Fab, Sunlight Solar, Sparrow Bakery and over 40 artisans.
This group’s mission is to cultivate creativity and on the Last Saturday (LS) of every month the complex invites Bend patrons to join in harvesting and celebrating local music, performance, crafts and goods.
During May’s Last Saturday, a vibrant “Garden Party” theme was in full bloom. Novice artists like Amie Smith, founder of Rusty Robin, displayed plant sculptures utilizing hydro tupha cement pours and up-cycled containers for potting. Original water color paintings, custom hand-painted tiles and tile murals comprised the guest show, Birds in the Garden, curated by Sisters Art Works. Plant starts unfolded across a giant welcoming wooden table that spans the center of The Work House (TWH). The ambiance radiated turn-of-the-century high society garden party, but this was only the beginning. A cornucopia of goods were showcased including original prints on cards and apparel, up-cycled jewelry, hand sewn clothing, sculpted wood and metal items, various pottery pieces and more.
Integral to the growth of the Last Saturday events is Cari Dolyniuk, writer, actress, builder, designer, film maker extraordinaire and owner of The Work House. Dolyniuk and Stuarts of Bend organized the inaugural event in July 2012, and when asked what prompted her involvement, she points to the collision of two events: the stock market crash and an accident which left her physically incapacitated. Dolyniuk says this reminded her how important community is and drove her to facilitate that kind of support network with the artists in the Old Iron Works.
Armed with a town square vision and a drive to give artists more ownership of their work, Dolyniuk sees the Old Iron Works as a Bend resource. By hosting affordable classes, workshops and speaker series, she hopes to support new artists and facilitate sustainable growth for established crafts and trades people with small businesses. Through curating community and supporting the 10 female artists in The Work House Studio, she says, “There is a lot of ladies making a go of it and it’s wonderful for me to see the face of the economy changing in this way.”
For Last Saturday on July 26, Bend patrons can look forward to “a collection of human errors,” a show of radial line drawings, a collaboration between Dolyniuk and Christian Brown, her fiancé.
Look for details on future Last Saturday happenings via Facebook at: The-Old-Iron-Works-Art-District-Bend-OR. At the end of our interview, Dolyniuk asked me to call readers to action, encouraging Bend patrons to approach her with ideas for future Last Saturdays.