Seventeen artists and 79 works of art used the “plein air” technique to create their work. Meaning that the pieces of art displayed were created in the spot that the works of art depict, from the Cascade Lakes to the mountains that we see every day in Bend, Oregon. “Plein air” literally means “open air” translated from French.
The love of the outdoors in Central Oregon is shared between all of the artists that have their work displayed. The use of natural lighting, experimenting, and dealing with the climate surrounding them makes the technique of “plein air” unique.
The mediums that the artists used ranged from water color, oil paints, to soft pastels and rusted prints. The art displayed covers parts of the first and second floor of the Central Oregon Community College Barber Library.
Plein Air Painters of Oregon, a non-profit organization, started in 2003.
“The purpose of PAPO is to share a love of painting out-of-doors in Oregon with like minded people. PAPO also strives to develop public awareness of plein air painting through various endeavors,” explained the PAPO website.
The pieces displayed in the Rotunda Gallery “encourages all artists to submit a proposal to the Library Art committee prior to approval. Many of [their] exhibits are in collaboration with the COCC art department and complement other exhibits on campus,” said Rotunda Gallery Coordinator Mary Beth Hamilton.
Hamilton also works with COCC’s art department professor, Bill Hoppe, for his knowledge and innovative ideas. When reviewing submissions for the gallery, she reviews the pieces with COCC’s Library Director, Tina Hovecamp, as well.
“The Barber Library mission includes supporting local artists through our community outreach efforts,” Hamilton stated. This exhibition started as an idea from the former Library Director David Biyeu who used funds to create a “gallery hanging system” and hosted large exhibitions like the Plein Air Painters of Oregon gallery. Hamilton explained that she has carried on the tradition since then.
The exhibition started March 27 and will end May 4. The works of art can be displayed all day every day within the Library’s hours.
By Katya Agatucci | The Broadside