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Where the Wild Things Are 

Community art at The Wilds Bend

Shared space allows for the creativity to flow. At right, co-founders and creative minds, Karen Ruane, Wallis Levin and Kelly Thiel. Photos courtesy of The Wilds Bend.

Shared space allows for the creativity to flow. At right, co-founders and creative minds, Karen Ruane, Wallis Levin and Kelly Thiel. Photos courtesy of The Wilds Bend.

The Wilds Bend is a communal art space that opened its doors in October of 2015. Kelly Thiel, Wallis Levin and Karen Ruane are all cofounders and creative beings. These ladies encourage others in the community to be so as well. The Wilds is a place for creatives, says Thiel. "We are a hybrid co-working space, in that we have studios for fine artists, as well as desks and community tables for computer-based creatives and entrepreneurs," she explains.

One of the challenges for those seeking an artistic outlet, is finding a venue in which to explore that, so for many residents, this is an opportunity to thrive. The Wilds is a judgment-free center where all forms of art are encouraged and respected. "One of our main priorities is a positive, open energy that leads to friendships between creatives and professional collaborations," says Thiel. The art of local and semi-local artists is displayed within the facility.

"Our feature artists are hand-picked. We love to show the amazing talent in our little city, but are not opposed to people outside of Bend. If artists are interested in showing their work with us, they should contact us and we can have a chat," says Thiel.

The support of everything artistic and creative is one thing about Bend that makes it stand out from the crowd. Having a designated facility in order to aid in that expression and creativity, however, brings a whole new meaning to community service. Classes in the evenings are also available and the space can be rented out for hosting events and meetings.

The Wilds welcomes many types of creative artists, including those pursuing fine art, photography, writing, makers, and designers. The Wilds has 500 square feet of event and class space for people who would like to instruct their own classes. The class space can accommodate up to 12 students or events with up to 40 people. This costs $45 for events or $30 per hour for classes or workshops. A meeting room that seats six people is available for $15 per hour. Even weddings are possible here, with some prior discussion with the co-founders.

The creative shared vision for the Wilds ranges from providing space for those who would like to create once in a while to those looking for an everyday creative location. For those wishing a more permanent space, studios and private offices are $400 per month. There is currently a waiting list. Dedicated desks are $250 per month and flex memberships (using community tables or spaces) are available for $150 with dedicated lockers.

Its monthly free event, "Work with Us Wednesday" will be held May 4, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., (space is limited). Contact co-founder Wallis Levin with questions:

The Wilds Bend

30 SW Century Dr. Suite 120, Bend

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