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Drawing Conclusions: Art and conservation working together at Whychus Creek 

click to enlarge sisters-middle-school-260.jpg
Arts Central of Bend provides "Art for All" and really means it. Just before the school year ended, art instructor, Kyla Schoessler—with the help of Laura Campbell of the Upper Deschutes River Watershed Council—put on a program for the Sisters Middle School that was nothing short of amazing. They designed an outstanding field guide to Whychus Creek using the students' art work.

The results of these educational, conservation and art experiences will be on display in the community room of the Sisters Library for all of August, as part of the Friends of the Sisters Library (FOSL) Art Exhibit.

In addition to working in a classroom setting, the team provided the opportunity for the students to take part in Whychus Creek restoration projects, and then make drawings using inspiration from the many things that make up the Whychus Creek ecosystem. Hunter Blaklock, an-up-and-coming graphic artist at Sisters Middle School, will have his lodgepole pine-inspired work on display.

"It was a neat experience," Hunter said, "going out in the wild to draw from real life, instead of from magazines, books and the Internet. To be a part of the field guide was also exciting, since my drawings would be published and used for future reference.”

"I also loved the fact we were allowed to choose the species of plant. I knew [the lodgepole] would be very interesting to draw, and I knew it would be a challenge."

The out-of-school enrichment activities would not be possible if it weren't for the many organizations, foundations and business partners that support UDWC, including Arts Central, Wolftree and other groups that keep the valuable school extracurricular actives going.

Arts Central also operates the Art Station, which is housed in the former Bend depot that was moved into the Old Mill off Shevlin Hixon Drive near McKay Park several years ago. In addition to the inside art facilities and programs at the Art Station, AC has a small van with the colorful "VanGo" logo on the side; a portable art studio, complete with art instructor and supplies. It was this facet of Art Central that helped the middle school students reach their goal of creating a field guide for the Whychus, and the FOSL exhibit in the Sisters Library.

And who said science and art aren’t compatible?

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