Artist Inbox: PoetHouse- a dream come true

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Kyla Becker

The Broadside

The PoetHouse, located downtown above the Wine Shop on 856 NW Bond St., offers a space for local artists to display their art.

Sean Anderson has done some amazing things for the Bend community – as a life coach and counselor as well as being one of the founding members of the PoetHouse. He has helped young local artists reach new heights by providing artists with space to work, show, and the chance to be a part of the community.

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When the doors to the PoetHouse opened on May 23, 2008 it was the materialization of an idea that strangers had thought up. Little did they know they would come together to create this great community art space that they had all dreamed of.

The cast in this fated play of events includes Anderson, Sarah Hubbard , local artist, and Paul Evers , President and Creative Director of TBD Loft.

Anderson sketched out what he envisioned, putting his intent out into the cosmos. Not long after, Anderson met Sarah Hubbard – the woman with a plan. The fated meeting brought about the beginning stages of the PoetHouse. As Hubbard discovered that she and Anderson had some of the same interests, the ideas started flowing.

“I think that we both have that same heart … to further people’s lives no matter what they’re doing,” she said in an interview for the Bend Bulletin.

Sarah Hubbard became one of the founding members of PoetHouse.  Sarah had come up with an idea similar to Anderson’s but it unfortunately had never gone through.  She did however, had a perfectly good and unused proposal that she gladly contributed to Anderson’s cause.

“She was a very significant person in the beginning [of the PoetHouse],” says Anderson.

A friend from Thump Coffee recommended Anderson check out the TBD Loft during a show for one of the Art Walks. Unbeknownst to Anderson, Paul Evers had been dreaming of using the space for art. The only thing he needed was the right person with a genuinely creative idea – not any old Joe off the street would do.

When Anderson saw the space, he fell in love. Instantly he knew what he had to do, but wasn’t sure if it would be financially possible.

“The rent was high for Bend at that time,” said Anderson. “It was like we had found the steak but could only afford hotdogs.”

After hearing the PoetHouse proposal, Evers realized that this idea was the one to fulfill his vision and didn’t pause on giving Anderson the green light.

The PoetHouse now has 11 resident artists and four residents at large – artists who don’t have personal space in the PoetHouse but have keys and access to what Anderson describes as ‘common space’, space that is not being rented by the resident artists.

Resident artists pay $200 a month for space rent; residents at large pay $50. Resident artists with low income may be able to receive a reduced rate, another one of the PoetHouse’s good deeds. After all, it’s family.

The only rules Anderson has put in place after a couple trial and error runs are: 1) Respect the space and 2) Respect the art and the artist.

PoetHouse residents range from 17 to 30 – an age Anderson thinks is perfect for art. He recognizes that at this age people have had experiences of their own that lend to their general knowledge of life and view of the world.

“At that age, [people] are able to project this idealism that is untainted,” says Anderson.

The PoetHouse puts on the Art Fusion Fundraiser every other month (the next one is in June). The Fundraiser helps to support the classes that the PoetHouse and CADA|CASA offer jointly. These classes change consistently but range from ‘stencil graffiti & social commentary, silk screening & t-shirt design, creative puppet theatre, The Mural Project, and much more’ according to the poethouseart.com website.

The PoetHouse is currently working on the Patron Project, a program that is designed to allow the artist to create more freely through sponsorship by a patron.

‘It goes like this,’ states the pamphlet. ‘Give to art; your patronage buys: rent (and overhead) for the artists’ workspace at PoetHouse, materials for the artist, and creative freedom for the artist. Art gives back; you receive: invitations to three exclusive patron-artist events in Bend: Launch Party – Saturday June 5, Cocktail Party – Saturday September 4, and the Closing Show – Saturday December 4.’

Also, ‘an original work of art by the artist, presented at the Closing Show, access to the PoetHouse blog, the opportunity to personally connect with the artist and the intangible benefits of knowing you are supporting an emerging artist, the arts and the community.’

To provide a six month patronage for a resident artist would cost $2400, for residents-at-large, $1500. Bio cards will be included in the pamphlet for potential patron’s to review. There will be a card for each resident and at-large artist. The cards will each feature a work of art by an artist and a short biography about themselves.

A program like this gives the artists the ability to create freely, without as much pressure from the tedious facets of life. If you are interested in sponsoring one of these talented artists, feel free to contact them at PoetHouseArt.com or drop in at 856 NW Bond St.

The next community project Anderson has been rolling around in his head is a community music space – a place where local bands and musicians/vocalists can come together to practice, perform shows, and take lessons. If you’re interested in helping Anderson launch this next project, you can contact him at sean@poethouseart.com

“PoetHouse is one true place to experience the fresh, youthful voice and vision of artists in this region,” said Bill Hoppe, an Associate Professor of Art at COCC . “My first visit to see the painting, music, dance, and costumes at Joe Kimmels’ exhibition filled me with enthusiasm and hope for the cultural life of this community.”

You may contact Kyla Becker at kyla.becker@hotmail.com

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