Love of Metal Art Forges Friendships 

((L) Goph Albitz | Photo by Kristine Thomas and (R) Breezy Anderson, sculptor | Photo courtesy of Breezy Anderson)

Central Oregon Metal Arts Guild Hosts Exhibit August 27-29 at the Oxford Hotel

A self-taught metal sculptor, Breezy Anderson creates figurative sculptures inspired by memory, movement and time. “My work is about the imbalance and balance of life and about life’s successes and life’s struggles,” Anderson said. “My metal sculptures are a way for the viewer to use their own imagination to create their own stories.” Her work is sold both nationally and internationally including public pieces in Lake Oswego, Hood River, Cabo San Lucas and Germany. 

For one weekend in August, tourists and residents of Bend will get to view her metal sculptures along with the metal artwork of 18 jewelers, seven blacksmiths, a forged steel artist, a gem cutter, a glass bead maker and a forged steel knife maker. 

Breezy is one of 28 “Artists of the High Desert” participating in the Central Oregon Metal Arts Guild (COMAG) exhibit at The Oxford Hotel Ballroom in Bend. The exhibit is 12-8pm Friday, August 27; 10am-7pm Saturday, August 28; and 11am-3pm Sunday, August 29. Attendees can enter for one of two door prizes of $100 each from the artist of their choice. 

COMAG is a diverse group of metal artists representing a wide range of styles and techniques including jewelry designers, gemstone cutters, sculpture artists and blacksmiths. They have monthly meetings and offer one another support by sharing their knowledge. “The members of COMAG are an incredible group of likeminded and talented individuals who specialize in their art form,” said Anderson. 

A blacksmith, Kellen Bateham is the owner of Special Operations Metal. He is working with Goph Albitz to organize and promote the show. “COMAG has tremendously talented artists who bring their A game to every show,” Bateham said. “It’s fascinating for me to see the sheer expertise and caliber of every artist’s work.”

Bateham and Anderson invite attendees to ask artists about their work so they can gain an understanding of how art is created using metal. “I attended an art show where I met a blacksmith,” Bateham said. “I had never seen blacksmithing and thought anvils were just in cartoons and myths. Watching how heat can manipulate and shape steel fascinated me. I started learning how to blacksmith 20 years ago and my hobby became my full time career seven years ago.” 

Albitz, 80, is the director and designer for the show. Laughing, he shared that he began selling jewelry in the late 1960s on a blanket. Now, he sells his high-end jewelry in eight galleries across the United States. “I want to create a show that accurately displays the unique quality and craftsmanship of every artist,” he said. “My goal is to highlight the talent of every artist as well as invite people to see the amazing artwork of artists who reside in Central Oregon yet sell their work nationally and internationally.” 

Albitz said every piece of artwork at the show is an adventure — from Anderson’s life-size metal sculptures that inspire viewers to dream and delve into unknown spaces, to Bateham’s metalwork that explores aspects of the natural and mythical worlds, and his own commitment to create one-of-a-kind unique designs. “A visit to the show will reveal the incredible talent of the metal artists in Central Oregon,” he said. “There’s something at the show to interest everyone.”

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