Base Camp, a startup arts non-profit, is all about bringing a measure of art to Bend’s athletic lifestyle. The organizations title is a play on mountaineering and, this weekend, they will host a marathon style painting collaboration lasting 26.2 hours, one for every mile of a traditional marathon.
The group hopes to open its doors this fall, said founder Darlene Becker, a local artist and certified art therapist. They are looking for a space downtown to house workshops and open studio time with the goal of providing art education to an underserved audience.
“We want to partner with schools and other organizations provide for people who wouldn’t have opportunities in the arts,” said Becker. “Places like J Bar J where they would like to have more arts in their programs, but it’s not directly tied to their mission. It’s not their sole mission, but it’s ours.”
The marathon will take place outside of Crow’s Feet Commons where 27 artists will paint in three-hour shifts on three five-by-six foot canvases.
“It’s a really fun idea as an artist needing an excuse to get out there and paint,” said Julia Reynolds, an art teacher at Cascade Middle School who will paint from 6 to 9 pm on Friday. “What a great opportunity to show my students that art isn’t just made in a classroom; it can be a community event.”
The event also has over 100 children signed up to do an art “sprint” where they will paint for three-minutes each on two large canvases. The idea behind the marathon and the nonprofit, said Becker, is that everyone can be an artist.
“We want to make downtown accessible to everyone and bring the first Friday events not just to the accomplished gallery artists, but to the average Joe community member,” said Becker. “Metaphorically the idea of the event speaks to what Base Camp is all about, bringing together this diverse group that wouldn’t normally come together to make art.”