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Art Watch 5/6-5/13 

In speaking about the work of an artist, painter Georgia O'Keefe once said, "Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing."

O'Keefe was a talented painter of oversized flowers and New Mexico landscapes who, at the ripe age of 86, took up pottery after developing macular degradation that limited her vision. This talented and artistic adventuress inspires me to further my own self-education in the arts into new (and sometimes awkward) uncharted territories.

I think of creating art as a kind of visual diary—a means of expression that can relieve stress, stimulate dusty brain cells, and lead to new social connections and community-building. But taking on a new artistic venture as an adult can be intimidating. Fortunately, we live in a place where arts learning is celebrated and local artists are more than willing to share their expertise.

Arts Station in Bend is a one such place. The local nonprofit's purpose is to "inspire creativity through arts education and to advocate for integration of the arts in all aspects of community life in Central Oregon." All summer long, Arts Station will embark on an "Art & Wine" Series, pairing tasty adult beverages with artistic technique in classes ranging from fused glass to Zen watercolor. They'll even offer a Georgia O'Keefe-inspired bone-and-flower-painting class this June that is right up my alley.

If you feel more comfortable behind a camera lens, why not learn a lesson or two from local landscape photographer Jeffery Murray? At the tender young age of 30, Murray's prints have been featured in publications such as National Geographic and on the Travel Channel—and he's spent the last 8 years training his lens on the wilds of Central Oregon. His July and August workshops still have spaces available and Murray promises to take participants to beloved local sites such as Smith Rock as well as some of his favorite "secret spots."

As the promises of summer— and new adventures in art—beckon, it is with sadness that we say goodbye to one of Bend's fine art galleries, Paul Scott Gallery. The family-owned gallery closed its doors this month after three years in business. I wish the Eubankses the best of luck with their existing Gallery Russia in Scottsdale, Arizona, and hope that this sad news might remind our art-buying community of the importance of shopping locally and supporting Central Oregon's many impressive art galleries, studios, and collectives.

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