With gorgeous views of the mountains, river and forests abundant, continuing to beautify Bend's more urban areas is important to drawing a not-so-typically Central Oregon demographic of cultural tourists. Visit Bend did just that when it commissioned local artists to paint 4-by-8-foot installations to be hung in the more concrete portions of downtown, and it looks excellent.
In addition to the three installations already hanging, there will be five additional installations over the next month by local artists Megan McGuinness, Kaycee Anseth, Taylor Rose, Katie Daisy and Andrew Wachs, four of which will be hung on the alley wall of the Thump building (across from Lone Pine), with one additional piece on the alley wall of the Oxford Hotel. The program will eventually be self-funded with money generated by sales of the art pieces. In the meantime, the startup money is coming from a combination of private donations and some modest assistance from Visit Bend, which hopes the project will soon be citywide.
Unsanctioned: Greenwood Gallery
We want to give honorable mention to the short-lived Greenwood Gallery, an unsanctioned hanging of more than 30 colorful art pieces—photographs, paintings, stencils and more—that temporarily transformed the drab concrete Greenwood Underpass into a gallery. Although the city had a crew painting over the Greenwood Gallery less than 72 hours after the late-night hanging, we were impressed with the project and hope to see more sanctioned and unsanctioned public street art in Bend. (BB)