Redmond art organization launches new way to exhibit more art in the community

the “Lend Me Your Walls” program to exhibit the work of artists around Redmond; art exhibition scheduled for this weekend

(Update: added video, artist comments)

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) — From paintings to quilts to glassware, central Oregon is home to many talented artists, in a variety of mediums. But the work of many talented artists has remained invisible, unless they find a way to showcase it.

The Dry Canyon Arts Association is a Redmond organization made up of local artists, with a long-term mission to create a self-sustaining community arts and culture center for Redmond and the surrounding area.

Association president Mel Archer says it’s a big problem in the area.

“But if there’s no place to show your work, you’re not showing your work,” Archer said Friday. “And so every artist’s biggest challenge is finding a place to show their work.”

In the meantime, board members have been working on a new program to showcase artwork in the community.

It’s called Lend Me Your Walls, and the name explains what the program is all about – using existing venues around Redmond to showcase the work of local artists.

Four Redmond spots currently lend their walls to the program. They include the Redmond Senior Center, Grace and Hammer Pizza, the SCP Redmond Hotel, and the High Desert Music Hall.

Wendy Wheeler-Jacobs, a local artist, told NewsChannel 21 what the program means to her.

“We store our art in our studios or in our closets, or somewhere in our house, and it’s sad that it’s not coming out for other people to enjoy,” Wheeler-Jacobs said. “So it’s really special that we have this opportunity to present it to the community for others to see.”

Artists say creating art provides an outlet for expression, but it’s sharing their work with the public that’s special.

Artist and board member Terri Dill-Simpson compares being an artist to being a musician, saying work is meant to be shared.

“You have this art in you, you have visions that you can put on paper or put to music. But if nobody’s there to watch it to appreciate it, it falls flat,” Dill-Simpson said.

“So for us to be able to show our art, for people to comment on it – whether they like it or not, it doesn’t matter. Just having the interaction and getting it out there is what is really important to us,” added Dill-Simpson.

The Dry Canyon Arts Association has 72 local artists. They hope to one day have their own art gallery. But for now – “Lend Me Your Walls” brings these paintings, quilts and glassware out of studios and closets – and into public view.

Speaking of public opinion, there is also a art exhibition and sale hosted by the Dry Canyon Arts Association this Saturday and Sunday at the High Desert Music Hall from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is free to the public.

James C. Tibbs