College gallery showcases scrapyard sculptor


Courtesy of Central Oregon Community College Relations

Bend artist Chris Cole’s imaginative kinetic sculptures (think: glowing-eyed metallic fish made from cast-off mechanical parts) and abstract paintings will be on exhibit at Central Oregon Community College’s (COCC) Pence Pinckney Gallery Nov. 2 to Dec. 1, with an opening reception and artist talk on Thursday, Nov. 2, 4:30-6:30 p.m., at the gallery.

The former bike mechanic’s intricate mechanical works have appeared on OPB’s “Oregon Art Beat” and been purchased for the permanent collection of “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” Barneys New York tapped Cole to provide an installation for their iconic Madison Avenue holiday window display. His sculpture has greeted travelers in the departure area of the Redmond municipal airport.

The show, titled “When Things Work,” includes approximately 20 3-D pieces. “I hope to engage viewers with the inspiration for each piece, the way the pieces themselves function, and the way I strive to capture the idea of machinery,” Cole explained. A group of the artist’s abstract paintings and drawings will complement his sculptural work.

“He’s heavily influenced by the technologies and aesthetics of the industrial revolution,” said Bill Hoppe, COCC art professor. “His sculptural works use complex mechanical structures to celebrate organic constructs while his paintings expose beautiful machinery beneath organic frameworks.”

The Pence Pinckney Gallery is open Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the last Saturday of the month, noon to 5 p.m. For more information on this show, contact Bill Hoppe at or 541-383-7514.

In advance of college events, persons needing accommodation or transportation because of a physical or mobility disability, contact Joe Viola: 541-383-7775. For accommodation due to other disability, such as hearing impairment, contact the Office of Disability Services: 541-383-7743. ■


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