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.
This week, I took a stroll downtown to just "see what I like."
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.
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.
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.
Peterson/ Roth Gallery
206 NW Oregon Ave, Ste. 1, Bend
The Wooden Jewel
844 NW Bond St., Ste. 100, Bend
The Red Chair Gallery
103 NW Oregon Ave, Bend