Bend Welcomes Art in the High Desert on the Banks of the Deschutes River

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by RENEE PATRICK Cascade Business News Feature Writer

The Art in the High Desert is gearing up for its fourth season on the banks of the Deschutes River. From August 26 – 28, artists whose work has been chosen by a panel of four jurors will be shown in the Old Mill District. The popularity of the event brings artists, patrons and art lovers from all over the region.

Look for new influences in this year’s festival. Of the 110 artists selected to participate in the weekend’s events, 52 are new to the show and are coming from all over North America and western Canada.

This year 375 artists applied to be in the show. The jury had the daunting task of choosing between very talented artists both new to the festival and seasoned event participants. “The quality of our artists continues to improve each year. We ask our jurors to pick artwork that goes beyond the expected, the usual. The jury criteria makes for an amazing selection of artwork not normally seen at shows,” said Carla Fox Art in the High Desert Director.

The jury consists of Marla Baggetta, painter and show artist from West Linn, OR, Paul Alan Bennett, Sisters area artist and arts educator, Michael Hamilton, fine wood worker and show artist from Boise, ID and Peter Meyer, ceramic instructor at COCC. During a two-day time period, the jurors reviewed four images submitted by each artist as well as an artist’s statement and an example of their booth. “We think that how they present themselves to the public is really important,” said Dave Fox, AHD Organizer.

To fulfill their task of choosing festival exhibitors, the jurors rank each entry and the best applicants in each category are selected for the festival, giving the artwork a healthy mix. “We curate the festival and create what we feel is a really well-balanced show of the media that are represented,” Dave Fox said. “We don’t just take all the top scores. That gives it a really good balance.”

The festival is one of the few shows in the country that offers the artists detailed feedback from the jury room. The service has been popular among past artists; 86 requests this year has doubled that of any of the previous three years.

The media represented this year will include 2-D mixed media, 3-D mixed media, ceramics, digital artwork, drawing, fiber-nonwearable, glass, jewelry, painting, photography, print-making, sculpture, wearables and woodwork. The artists hale from 18 states and Canada, some coming from locations as far away as Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. “I’m filled with so much pride that these people will apply to be in this show…What artists tell us is that the location is magical. The people who come to the festival are interested; they understand art. The town supports it,” added Dave Fox.

To get a preview of the artwork go to the festival website and see a list of the artists that will be attending as well as an example of their work as submitted for the jury process. The art will be for sale during the weekend at a range of prices; the goal is to make the experience accessible to anyone. The festival will offer incentives to those who purchase art. Each day the first 15 people to spend $500 will receive patron appreciation gifts.

New this year, the festival is offering an artist home hosting program. Bend residents with space to spare and are interested in the opportunity can contact the organizers.

Art in the High Desert is produced by a non-profit, community-based group of local area artists and art advocates whose mission is, “to bring to the community an annual high quality art festival that explores and celebrates professional creative expression while enhancing the artistic identity of Central Oregon. We strive to give back to the community by supporting the positive economic impact of the visual arts while honoring the artists for the value and skill of their handmade work.”

DETAILS

August 26, 27, 28, 2011

10 am – 6pm Friday and Saturday

10am – 4pm Sunday

www.artinthehighdesert.com

http://www.facebook.com/artinthehighdesert
Info@ArtintheHighDesert.com

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Renee is the Art Director for Cascade Publications, and Editor for Cascade A&E Magazine.

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