The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

Early Spring in the Mist: New art exhibition to be featured at COCC Bend campus

Painting by Cheri Lee Helfenstein

The Central Oregon Community College Bend campus Barber Library is to feature a collection of abstract paintings by local Bend artist Cheri Lee Helfenstein, open for the community to view from Feb. 6 to April 7. The exhibition will be titled, “Early Spring in the Mist,” and will be held in the Barber Library rotunda. 

“In the simplicity of nature there is perfection but not all of nature is perfect. As a keen observer of nature, I find that I am drawn to those things that at first appear perfect, but upon deeper scrutiny are actually quite the contrary,” said the Bend artist. 

“I love the imperfect parts of nature that resolve themselves into sheer beauty without complexity. There is a natural shape to things that I like to allow to prevail in my work; not the usual perfection of things but the unexpected parts of nature that we can only experience with close examination,” she continued.

Helfenstein was born in Washington and grew up in the Wenatchee Valley on the Columbia River. “I come from a family of artists and musicians; I’ve always been [surrounded] in art,” she said. “I am striving to show the uniqueness of nature in all of its elegant splendor.” 

Helfenstein has recently published her second poetry book, Abstract of the World, which is available at Barber Library.  Helfenstein said that she has been writing poetry since age 10, and describes it to be “part of the process” of her life.

Helfenstein earned a Bachelor of Arts in painting and drawing from Southern Oregon University and taught painting, drawing, and art portfolio courses, as well as Tai Chi Chuan for several years at COCC. 

You can check out more of Cheri Lee’s artwork here. 

The Barber Library is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and noon to 7 p.m. on Sundays.

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Serena Zohbe Garcia
Serena Zohbe Garcia, Editor in chief
Serena Zohbe Garcia is editor in chief of The Broadside. She started contributing to COCC’s online newspaper in 2021.

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