A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about the Trashformations art project that takes place at Pakit Liquidators every year. While the art created from scrap metal, pieces of wood and discarded supplies was incredible, what struck me more than anything was the atmosphere of goodwill and community that the event seemed to breed. Artists were supporting each other, helping build and weld sculptures, introducing each other's children to techniques and ideas and sharing a hotdog and a beer after a long day of work.
After the sculptures were finished, the pieces were transported to the Old Mill and placed in front of Greg's Grill. It was amazing to see all of the works on display. The piece that was most interesting to me was Mark Bernahl's giant lattice cubes, inspired by children's letter blocks. The five structures spelled out, depending on how you looked at them, "Earth," "Think," "Music" and "Pakit."
A few days ago, someone threw the blocks in the river. Unfortunately, Bernahl's blocks were destroyed, carted out of the river and thrown away - instead of turning trash into art, vandals took Bernahl's art and turned it into trash. Bernahl, while obviously disappointed, was able to view the vandalism in a larger context. "Not only did they throw it away they threw it in the river," he said. "This is symbolic of how some people treat the earth, art, artist, and our river."
If you or anyone has any information about the vandals, call the Bend Police Department at 541-322-2960.