About 600 volunteers have collaborated to bring the art piece “Loves Lost and Found,” from concept to reality.
The art piece was designed by Bill Hoppe, art instructor at Central Oregon Community College. Now with help from Central Oregon Metal Arts Guild and the volunteers, the piece is closer to reality and will be displayed somewhere in downtown Bend in the near future.
Hoppe was inspired by an 11th century Indian manuscript that depicts a person who has been lost to this world (died). The Hindu Indians depicted this by a drawing of two squares rotated and repeated then the person who was lost (dead) name would be written in very small script diagonally across the squares.
Hoppe explained he identified with this piece when he came across it, for it reminded him of his four lost siblings, Paul, Jim, Dick and Judy that died in less than an eighteen month span four years ago. Hoppe explained that art became a part of his grieving process. Art is a form of expression and Karin Roy, Hoppes partner and coordinator of the event, explained that grief is a subject everyone can relate to.
The process of grief takes time and and Hoppe’s idea also took much of time and effort to assemble. Hoppe was not sure if Kellen Batchman, president of COMAG was going to be willing to accommodate the complexity of the piece. Hoppe was pleasantly surprised when Batchman accepted.
COMAG has done a collaborative art project with the community for the past three years at Oregon Winterfest.
Karin Roy, the coordinator between Bill Hoppe, Kellen Batchman and the hundreds of volunteers, said it “was heartwarming to see how many people stepped up to participate. It broke down the barriers between the artists and the public.”
All the individual pieces that make the “Lost and Found Loves” piece were donated and community driven, according to Roy. To create the piece, 600 star shaped pieces and embossed stamps were created and donated by Diversified Product Inc, the largest laser cutting company in Central Oregon. People attending Winterfest during Valentine’s weekend were able to embellish the star shaped pieces with the embossed stamps to represent lost and found loves.
In the next month, COMAG will be hosting all day activities to assemble the hundreds of pieces. The place where the finished piece will be is yet to be determined, but will be located downtown and accessible to the public.
Danielle Meyers | The Broadside