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That Dream-Like Feel 

Friends who play together, display together

"At the Country Fair" by Denise Kester

"At the Country Fair" by Denise Kester

"Whenever we show a new artist, it changes the whole feel of the space," explained Katie Clabough, art curator at Nancy P's Bakery. Today, that "feel" is pretty dream-like.

Nationally-known artist Denise Kester's art is displayed there right now, alongside local artist Mare Schelz. Both artists have been friends for 30 years. They say their art is a contemplation of where we come from and what Kester describes as, "The big dream of Earth."

Kester has been a full time studio artist for the past 35 years in Ashland. Schelz also studied at Southern Oregon University and that is where their friendship began. Thirty years later both artists remain friends and often show together.

Kester explains that she often draws to understand her dreams and incorporates them in her artistic process. During the course of her art career Kester noticed the titles of her pieces growing longer and longer, and now each piece is accompanied with a story. She explains that the story is just as important as the piece and it comes through the artwork as it is being created. "Each piece has its own life, they do not belong to me," Kester days.

Schelz, meanwhile, says she uses more basic titles and lets the pieces explain themselves through the eyes of the viewer. "Each piece is interpreted differently by each person. I just let it happen." Schelz's stained glass pieces have been on display at Nancy P's for three years and each piece is vastly different.

"Sometimes I joke that this is the Mare Schelz gallery," said Clabough. "You can see the evolution of Mare through the pieces." Some of the pieces are intricate landscapes of various places around Central Oregon and others are simply beautiful geometrics with titles like, "Flower Power." The lux nova produced by the pieces of stained glass gives Nancy P's a dreamlike feel.

Schelz works as a full time artist in Bend. As a Montessori art teacher, Schelz says her focus is on what she calls, "Earth Art," which incorporates an array of projects and materials that are mostly Earth-based. Schelz tries to use as many recycled materials in her projects as possible. Almost all the windows, frames and glass pieces used in her artwork are either donated or recycled.

Schelz and Kester's art is on display through Sept. 10.

Denise Kester & Mare Schelz

Nancy P's Café and Bakery, 1054 NW Milwaukee Ave., Bend

Monday-Sunday, 7am-3pm until Sept. 10

Free

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