With the sudden closure of Arts Central and art spaces like Armature at The Old Ironworks Arts District, many are concerned about the local community's ability to sustain the arts in Bend. One local artist is doing her best to address the issue by teaching the language of art to as many people as she can reach.
Teafly Peterson is an artist and educator who offers small group art classes for kids in her studio, teaches art to students through school residencies, and runs a blog called Coffee + Art + Friends. Her hope is to create an understanding of the value of art in the community so that more people engage with and help sustain it.
"We live in this community where art is everywhere—every roundabout on the drive to work and the way home—and yet people have no comprehension of what it takes to have it there," says Peterson. "We need people to engage or it is going to go away slowly like Arts Central."
Peterson believes the lack of art education in schools is part of a systematic problem that leads kids who don't know how to talk about art to become adults who avoid it. "Arts Central really worked hard at trying to build that bridge of connecting artists with schools," says Peterson, who did a residency at Miller Elementary that parents stepped up and paid for. "Now," Peterson says, "How do we get them to engage deeper into the community outside of that?"
Using her blog to publish interviews she conducts with local artists, Peterson hopes to help people understand the language of art. "Just like we have language about nature or about rock climbing, when people have words for something...intimidation falls away and they feel like it's theirs as well."
1234 NE First St., Bend