A Downtown Art Forage | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

A Downtown Art Forage

A stroll through town to find art currently on display

I often hear people say, "I don't understand art—I just know what I like." As an arts educator, this is always my opportunity to jump in, because the truth is, knowing what you like is the point of art. It gives us language to see ourselves and the world and how we go together.

A Downtown Art Forage
Teafly Peterson
Laundromat 029, oil painting by Donald Yatom.

This week, I took a stroll downtown to just "see what I like."

Donald Yatomi
On display at Peterson Roth Gallery

Yatomi's ability to deeply express what can appear to be mundane moments is the thing I love about his art. It reminds us that there is "poetry in light." There's intimacy in the everyday. The deep, thick strokes of his work give a richness and importance to the subject. The paintings currently on display are all places in Bend, but they're not exactly the places we're used to seeing portrayed. My particular favorite is the "Laundromat 029," which looks like you're standing at the back of Sip-n-Suds, adjacent to the M&J Tavern.

The Peterson-Roth Gallery will feature Yatomi's work in August, showcasing 12+ paintings, with an opening reception during First Friday, Aug. 2.

A Downtown Art Forage
Teafly Peterson
Waves, walnut sculpture by Michael Bryant.

Michael Bryant
On display at The Wooden Jewel

Tucked in the back of The Wooden Jewel are two contemporary sculptures made of wood. At first glance, I thought perhaps there was damage to the sculpture, but no— rather, the artist, Michael Bryant, has sculpted a modern, geometric piece from walnut leaving the natural flaws of the wood, giving it room to breathe and feel organic.

I was struck by seeing that Bryant's other work varied so much from these two pieces. With a huge range of talent, his realistic sculptures of animals are quite impressive. Bryant owns The Wooden Jewel—a new space on Bond Street—with his wife, Denise.

A Downtown Art Forage
Teafly Peterson
Biking Guide 11, enamel on glass on steel by Alisa Looney.

Alisa Looney
On display at The Red Chair Gallery

Whenever I walk into Red Chair Gallery, I'm struck by the high level of craftsmanship in Central Oregon. Red Chair is an artist-run gallery. One artist that popped out for me on this visit was Alisa Looney, and especially, her works of enamel (glass) on steel. The effect, combined with her light, playful illustrative style, makes these metal sculptures feel like they've popped off the page of a storybook.

Looney's work has movement in it that feels graceful and playful. While her work at Red Chair is primarily these small pieces, Looney also works on large-scale public pieces, displayed on her website, and also teaches courses in her unique technique.

Donald Yatomi
Through August
Peterson/ Roth Gallery
206 NW Oregon Ave, Ste. 1, Bend

Michael Bryant
Display ongoing
The Wooden Jewel
844 NW Bond St., Ste. 100, Bend

Alisa Looney
Display ongoing
The Red Chair Gallery
103 NW Oregon Ave, Bend

About The Author

Teafly Peterson

For the last 20 years, I have been working as an artist and an educator. Some days I am better at one than the other. The good days are when I am excellent at both simultaneously. I love those days. I teach a variety of mediums– painting, drawing, photography, writing, film making. Mostly what I teach is how to...
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