Downtown Bend First Friday Art Walk has gone Green!
Let's face it - we all love our planet, so let's take care of it! By purchasing an Art Walk cup for $5, you can help Downtown Bend reduce the amount of single use cups that used and sent to the landfill every month. These cups are reusable every month!
The Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) extends a huge "THANK YOU" to Patagonia Bend for spearheading this project.
"It wonderful when we can all work together to create a better Bend!" says Mindy Aisling, Executive Director of the Downtown Bend Business Association, "We love it when our businesses bring us great ideas like this one!"
Patagonia’s mission statement says it best, “we’re in business to save our home planet”. Through their efforts to reduce waste during the Bend Artwalk, they hope to encourage participants to take further action for our planet. As a community of forward thinkers and environmental activists, the DBBA, Patagonia and other participating businesses hope that this action can spread to other events in the community.
We are asking you, Bend, to help reduce waste in our community! Pick up your Art Walk cup at one of the following locations:
If you're a Downtown Bend business and you'd like to sell these amazing Art Walk cups, contact us.
Parking in Downtown Bend is an important discussion in our community. In 2017, the City of Bend invested in a Downtown Strategic Parking Management Plan (to view the full plan, click here). In 2018, the Downtown Bend Parking Advisory Committee (DPAC), and the DPAC Work Committee was formed. This committee achieved several successes:
"We are really excited about the parking changes being developed for Downtown Bend," says Mindy Aisling, Executive Director of the DBBA, "and we are excited to work closely with the new parking manager and the City of Bend to assure that the needs our our businesses and customers are met throughout this process."
The full list of strategies from the Downtown Strategic Parking Management Plan are as follows:
For more information, please feel free to reach out to the DBBA at firstname.lastname@example.org
The DBBA is a small nonprofit with a mission is to grow the vitality of Downtown Bend by enhancing the experience, image, and lifestyle of the Economic Improvement District (EID). For more information about the DBBA, visit www.downtownbend.org.
By Tara Marsh
Photos by Michelle Schleich
Looking around the arid and dusty landscape, watching people come and go on the other side of a wire fence, four-year-old Paul asked his father, “Why are those people behind fences?”
“No, son, those people are not behind a fence, we are,” his father replied. That is one of the memories Paul Grayber holds on to from his early childhood spent in an American internment camp in Texas that housed Japanese, Germans, Italians, and South Americans during World War II.
Paul was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to German immigrant parents. The oldest of three boys, Paul and his family were picked up by the FBI in January 1943, leaving nearly all their belongings behind, and taken to Crystal City, Texas, where they lived in the internment camp for the next two years. “I used to crawl underneath the wire fence and steal grapefruits off a tree,” Paul remembers.
The Grayber family, along with hundreds of other detainees, were treated well, he said. But the feeling of restriction was real. “The freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of everything was curtailed because we were imprisoned, really,” he said.
By late 1944, Paul’s father was offered a deal. The family could either choose to be exchanged for captured American citizens being held in Germany or remain in the internment camp. Many years later, Paul still questions the irony of that offer. “Exchanging Americans for Americans.”
“My father decided he didn’t want to be behind barbed wire and took the deal. That was a big mistake,” Paul said. They boarded a Swedish ship in January 1945. After sailing for 11 days, the Grayber family disembarked in Marseille, France, and traveled by train to Switzerland to be processed into Germany. They moved in with Paul’s maternal grand parents in a tiny cabin in the mountainous region of the Black Forest.
Years of battle had devastated just about every corner of the country. There was very little food, no jobs, no
“For the next five years, there was nothing,” Paul said in a somber voice. “You have no idea what having nothing means. With three small boys, it was tough.” In the summer of 1945, just a few months after the war
in Europe ended, Paul’s father set off to Stuttgart to find employment, taking young Paul along. The pair hitched a ride in the back of a truck, but about 10 miles down the road they were stopped at a French checkpoint.
“After the war, Germany was divided into four different military zones,” explained Paul. The Black Forest was in the
French zone, the north was the English zone, east Germany was controlled by the Russians, and the south was in the hands of the Americans. Paul and his father were taken into a small chapel. Standing in front of the altar was a French major in full uniform. Speaking in broken German, the major asked who they were and where they were going.
Paul’s father handed over his identification papers and explained the situation. When the major asked who the boy
was, his father replied, “He’s an American citizen. He’s my son.” To that, the French major spat on the papers and tossed them to the floor. “Mah!” he shouted. “America! No good!”
“Here he was, wearing a uniform that the Americans gave him along with the Colt .45 on his hip,” Paul said, shaking his head. “Americans saved France and supplied them. I don’t know why he had that attitude.”
At that time, Paul explained, the French military would capture any males who were walking around loose and
send them off to the French Foreign Legion. Because Paul’s father was only a legal immigrant to the United States, not a full-edged citizen, he was vulnerable to the volatile political situation at that time.
“The major told my dad, ‘Thank your son. He’s an American. If it wasn’t for him, you’d be going into the French
Foreign Legion.’” Paul and his father were finally sent on their way. He spent the remainder of his childhood in Stuttgart, eventually returning to America when he was 18.
In 1947, not too far away from Stuttgart, Marie-Florence Gimel was born in the small village of Cruseilles, France, in Chateau de Pontverre. Her childhood surroundings were idyllic, just minutes from Annecy, also known as the Venice of France, and Talloires, a picturesque village on the shores of Lake Annecy.
“It is a beautiful, beautiful place,” she said. “Surrounded by the French Alps.”
She was the youngest child of renowned French expressionist painter Georges Gimel. “I came from a very interesting family, but I didn’t know it at the time,” said Marie-Florence. Her father was part of the French Resistance and compiled his art and writing about the horrors of war and the efforts of the Resistance in a book titled Le Calvaire de la Résistance (The Calvary of the Resistance).
When preparing to share her story, Marie-Florence dusted off her copy of the book and opened its pages, briey.
“I never looked at the book because it’s very sad. The war was such an atrocity. I’m too sensitive for that. I can’t read those things,” she said.
The next few years working and saving money to achieve her childhood dream: to travel the world. To kick off the adventure, she and two friends took advantage of Greyhound’s promotion at the time: 99 days for $99. With nothing but their backpacks, the group tra-
versed the United States and Canada. The year was 1968. Later, the three friends embarked on a trip around the globe, visiting just about every Asian country, the Middle
East, and Central and South America while meeting remarkable people along the way.
“It changed my life,” said Marie-Florence. “It changed my approach and attitude to life. My dream was always to travel. I was not book smart, but I was street smart. As a student, the only subject I was good at was geography!” she said, laughing.
But perhaps for her father, who was in his mid-40s during the war, putting together the images and words was healing. After the war, fellow artists in his circle, including Monet and Picasso, traveled to the south of France to focus on their art, explained Marie-Florence. “My dad would say to them, ‘While you guys went off to paint flowers, I was at war. After the war, there is no way I can paint flowers.’ That is why he made this book,” she related.
Her older brothers now own Chateau de Pontverre and their father’s original work and are renovating the chateau with the intention of creating a permanent museum of Gimel’s work. Her father died when Marie-Florence was 14, but before his death he made it a point to introduce his daughter to the wonder of art. “He took me to the Louvre, but he didn’t want me to tour the whole place. He said only take it in a little bit at a time so I wouldn’t forget anything,” she said.
After working as an au pair in England and Holland, Marie-Florence arrived in Los Angeles on her 20th birthday.
The journey wasn’t always postcard perfect. "The Middle East was particularly dicey and dangerous, she said, especially for women. Women had to be escorted by a male everywhere they went and not be seen alone.
“But it taught me how to handle just about any situation,” she said.
Around the time Marie-Florence was earning her stripes as a world traveler, Paul was immersed in the world of show business and modeling in New York. In 1966, Paul had a part onstage in an opera at the Metropolitan Opera House, standing next to Placido Domingo as the famous singer performed.
Paul spent many years modeling for renowned designers,including Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, and John Weitz. By the 1970s, he had made his way to Los Angeles, where his rugged good looks landed him spots in Western-themed commercials. He became pals with Tom Selleck and appeared in one of the last episodes of Magnum, P.I., titled “L.A.”
Marie-Florence returned to Los Angeles and was one of four managers of a restaurant near Universal Studios. Running into Hollywood celebrities was a regular occurrence, but Marie-Florence wasn’t too interested in the world of show business.
“I never recognized anybody,” she said. “All the waiters and waitresses were aspiring actors and couldn’t believe I didn’t know many of the celebrities who would frequent the restaurant. They would say to me, ‘You French people are really out of it!’”
Fate was starting to close in for Paul and Marie-Florence. Their paths, unique and colorful on their own, were about to cross. Marie-Florence, now a single mother of an 11-year-old son, had just ended a tumultuous relationship with a Hollywood screen-writer and was burning off steam at the YMCA.
Paul just happened to be exercising nearby and noticed the petite blonde and wondered why she wasn’t home watching the Academy Awards. Paul struck up a conversation, but Marie-Florence wasn’t interested. “I was so sick and tired of men. He asked me if I had someone and I said yes because I didn’t want it to go any further,” she said with a laugh.
Later, Marie-Florence was back at the YMCA and pointed Paul out to a friend. “What?!” the friend exclaimed, not under-standing why Marie-Florence wasn’t interested in the handsome gentleman.
“My friend said to me, ‘I wouldn’t mind waking up to a man like that!” she recalled.
Eventually Marie-Florence agreed to a date. But there was one very, very important catch—her son.
“Paul really connected with my son Philippe. That was very important to me. It was my priority. They bonded so well I told Paul, ‘You married me because of my son,’” she said. Paul and Marie-Florence were married in 1989, and it didn’t
take long for them to set out on an adventure together.
In the early 1990s, they accepted an offer to manage a hotel on the island of Saint Martin in the Caribbean and off they went, along with young Philippe.
It was the idyllic island life for a few years, but as Philippe got older, Paul felt that the young man needed more structure than the lax island life could offer, so they returned to the States.
Paul and Marie-Florence traveled up the coastline from Los Angeles to Portland, exploring and contemplating their
next adventure. Paul had a friend who lived on a ranch in Wamic, Oregon, and he suggested they consider Bend.
The Graybers fell in love with Central Oregon and its snow-capped mountains and bright blue skies. In yet
another stroke of fate, or perhaps even luck, they were strolling around downtown Bend and saw that the Romantique Boutique was for sale. (Coincidentally, Marie-Florence’s maternal grandparents had been instrumental in starting the world’s first “department” store, a place where a myriad of wares could be purchased.) Making another leap of faith, they bought the business. The year was 1995. “I did not inherit my father’s gift of artistic ability, but I always found my creativity in other ways, mainly fashion,” said Marie-Florence.
Settling in Bend and owning an upscale women’s boutique was a perfect fit. “It’s not easy for visitors to come into a former lumber town and find high-end fashions for women,” said Paul. “But Marie-Florence was able to accommodate the fashion market here—half of our clientele are from out of town and make it a point to return.”
You never know who you might meet in Bend. On any given day, you may and Paul and Marie-Florence Grayber
are in Romantique, greeting visitors with an old-world charm and genuine warmth that hint at their rich story and the
winding path that brought them here, together.
The Doubletree Hotel sits on the edge of the Downtown Bend Economic Improvement District (EID), providing Bend visitors with excellent hospitality and a front door that leads right into the heart of Bend, our downtown.
This access is provided by a long staircase from the Doubletree property to Lava Rd. This year, the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) and the Doubletree Hotel brought the condition of this staircase to the attention of the City of Bend, who owns the property.
The City of Bend quickly responded and they were able to complete the project before winter set it. The Downtown Bend Business Association and the Doubletree Hotel would like to extend their appreciation to the City of Bend for helping visitors access the Downtown Bend boutiques, spas and restaurants owned by local Bend families!
Featured at this years show is a collaborative piece 'The Mantis’
A 6 foot forged steel sculpture created in coordination with Russian artist
Anton Yakusheva, of Moscow. He visited Bend in July 2019, and working
with 19 of COMAG’s artist for 4 days and accumulative 400 hours and many
hundreds of hand forged pieces of steel and copper we created The Bug
At Liberty New Exhibition:
Time and Place: Ecological Work by Leah Wilson
Opening Reception with the Artist on Friday, November 1st at 5:30pm
Panel Discussion on Saturday, November 16th at 11:00am
At Liberty Arts Collaborative, a year-round dedicated arts space and cultural hub in Downtown Bend, is pleased to announce their new exhibition: Time and Place: Ecological Work by Leah Wilson. This exhibition will open November 1, 2019 with a First Friday Artist’s Reception and will be on view through January 4, 2020.
Leah Wilson of Eugene merges art and science in her paintings and sculptures that explore changing ecosystems. Her work is inspired by her curiosity and the sense of wonder she feels when studying the natural world. The majority of Wilson’s work in this exhibition and since 2012, has focused on a place-based exploration of ecosystem change over time at the H.J. Andrews Research Forest, a 16,000-acre ecological research site in Oregon’s Western Cascades Mountains administered cooperatively by the U.S. Forest Service, Oregon State University, and the Willamette National Forest.
Andries Fourie, who is curating the upcoming show for At Liberty, says "Leah is interested in observing and recording natural phenomena as they change over time in one specific place." One of the highlights of the exhibition will be a sculpture entitled “Constructing Water,” a multi-layered, illuminated piece made of a polyester film called duralar. (see images below)
On Saturday, November 16th at 11:00am, At Liberty will host an interdisciplinary panel discussion in conjunction with the Time and Place: Ecological Work by Leah Wilson exhibition. The panel, moderated by exhibition curator Andries Fourie, will consist of artist Leah Wilson, Dr. Brooke Penaluna (research fish biologist with Pacific Northwest Research Station, U.S.D.A Forest Service) Dr. Michael Nelson (a philosopher and economist who is Oregon State’s lead principal investigator at Andrews) and Louise Shirley (Curator of Natural History at the High Desert Museum). The discussion will provide context for Wilson’s artwork and explore the convergence of art and science as ways of investigating the natural world.
More about At Liberty Arts Collaborative: At Liberty, located in Bend’s historic Liberty Theatre provides an inspiring and dynamic space for the exploration of arts and culture, through exhibitions, collaborations, and events. For more information on the space, renting the space, or ideas for collaboration, visit: www.atlibertyarts.com.
Exhibition Calendar of Events:
The Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) is a small nonprofit dedicated to increasing the vitality of Downtown Bend.
In addition to our other services, we are the 100% responsible for the cleanliness and beautification of the Downtown Bend economic improvement district (EID).
Our scope of work includes, but is not limited to:
We would like to extend a huge “Thank you!” to our staff, board, volunteers, donors and community partners for helping us keep Downtown Bend beautiful! By being committed to positive communication, community support, and a shared love for Downtown Bend, we can continue to keep our Downtown vibrant and thriving!
We are excited about several new Downtown Bend beautification projects we have coming up, stay posted to learn about all the great stuff that we have in store for Downtown Bend!
It's First Friday Art Walk in Downtown Bend tonight, and it is the place to be for art, music, creativity and laughter. Make sure to check out the Downtown Bend Ambassador Launch Party in the Starbucks courtyard, and pick up your free Downtown Bend sticker!
You'll want to make sure that you stop by all of the Art Galleries in Downtown Bend as well as checking out the list of cool things happening (below).
The best way to get to First Friday Art Walk is to walk, ride, carpool or uber - however, we've also got lot's of parking here and here - and if you live within the map get a free ride from Ride Bend!
Dive Bar Theology & Juncture Woodworks at Velvet
1st Friday Art Walk in conjunction with Juncture Woodworks. We have Sunriver Brewing Co. on deck with their newest & freshest brews, music from Dive Bar Theology & gorgeous art from Juncture Woodworks. Doors open at 5, get in early for a spot on the davenport before the music starts up at 7:30!
Juncture is a portland based small business specializing in custom furniture and wood art. From coffee tables, to grand dining tables, juncture does it all.
Dive Bar Theology, with a unique indie-pop take on well-known songs, transforms everything from breweries and festival stages into contagious groove-laden parties.
Humane Society of Central Oregon at Outside In
We love our local non-profits and we love our pets. So what could be a better match for the July Downtown Bend First Friday Art Walk than having the Humane Society of Central Oregon join us?
Meet staff and volunteers from the Humane Society, learn about the programs they offer, including their Spay & Neuter services, gather information on pet care and safety tips, and meet animals looking for their forever home.
Wanderlust Essentials and Hibiscus Jewelry at Wren & Wild
Join us for the 4th of July weekend First Friday. We will be hosting Wanderlust Essentials with CBD Crafted Cocktails and our good friend Imani from Hibiscus Jewelry will be in showing her gorgeous creations.
Bucky Buckman at Deschutes Brewery
Join us for the First Friday Art Walk and welcome our artist for the month of July: "Pub Regular" Bucky Buckman!
A little background on our featured artist:
I am Bucky Buckman, a self-taught artist concentrating on paintings and leather masks. I started working with pen and ink, taking forever to advance to color in 2004 when I started using piping bags to apply the paint. I still continue to enjoy taking the process to the next level. Working with acrylic washes with pen and ink is a favorite technique that can be applied to canvas or leather.
I am very happy to be at a point where I can work on masks again, as it has been several years since my last mask. The technique comes from the Italian Renaissance, associated with Commedia Dell’arte. Their theatrical productions used stock characters identified by the leather mask for that character. I enjoy coming up with my own creations. Sometimes I start with a specific idea/design in mind, and then there are times when letting the leather do what it wants to do is more satisfying.
I make full-face, half size and small jewelry sized pieces using the same technique. Whether for decoration or for a specific production, all masks are wearable.
Bucky, will be here at the Pub from 6-9 PM on First Friday July, 5th at the artist table
Megan Marie Myers at Crater Lake Spirits
Come visit me (and sip delicious miniature cocktails!!!) at Crater Lake Spirits Tasting Room in Downtown Bend for First Friday Art Walk.
I'll have my new 2020 calendars as well as prints, cards, camping logs, postcard books, and some new large format prints!
She's With Me at The Blacksmith
Linda Quon, Boo Rigney and Laurie Hamilton singing harmonies and playing guitars, banjolele and harmonium. We play in and around Bend, Oregon. We do bluegrass, Americana and folk and lots of original tunes. Little bit of everything.
Essence of Place at Layor Art + Supply
Join us for our first ever Healing Reins art exhibit at a special First Friday graciously hosted by Layor Art Supply in downtown Bend. View new works inspired by Healing Reins and meet the Central Oregon artists who gave so generously of their time and talents to bring this unique collaborative project to fruition. Enjoy light refreshments and drinks, purchase local art in support of Healing Reins, and add another Bend-friendly event to your long holiday weekend. No charge and all are welcome. For further information, contact Development Director Laurie Hoyle at 541-382-9410. See you there! (Painting by Sarah Willis, used with permission of the artist)
Willow and Thistle at Bellatazza
Join Willow and Thistle for a magical evening of bubbles, glitter bombs, and fairy mischief! Find them in the courtyard in front of Bellatazza coffee! Grab a cup to keep you toasty and experience the magic of real life faeries!
Jenny O'Neill at Found Natural Goods
First Friday July ARTWALK will be FOUNDS 1 YEAR Celebration of brick-and-mortar business downtown Bend, Oregon! We are happy to be featuring the artwork of a woman that keeps the shop open and running, Painter & Watercolorist, Jenny O'Neill.
Jenny has requested that we serve complimentary Gin & Juice ––radical mixer to be announced–– with her art hanging on the walls and prints to be shuffled throughout the shop.
Follow Jenny on Instagram to see sneak peeks of this show: https://www.instagram.com/jenny.oneill.art/
First Friday Fiesta Triple-header at The Commons
We host Bony Chanterelle and Loose Platoon and... One Mad Man this coming Friday for an evening of stellar local music! We kick things off around 5 with beer from Immersion Brewing and food from The Bob. Come get your First Friday on with us at The Commons. As always, the show is FREE, but a donation to the artists is always appreciated
Steve J. Giardini Photography at Alleda Real Estate
Alleda Real Estate, 25 NW Minnesota Ave is hosting me & my work July 5th for the Bend First Friday Art Walk. Expect to see fine art photographic prints. The display will include two recently released framed metal limited edition pieces. Expect refreshments & good conversation. It'll be fun. Add it to your calendar. I look forward to seeing you. Alleda is across from the Oxford Hotel downtown.
Anne Gibson at The Oxford
During July's #FirstFridayBend, we'll continue displaying Anne Gibson's "Wandering the Deschutes" exhibit.
Anne brings years of artistic experience to her paintings currently displaying in our lobby. After graduation from Tufts University and employment as director of publication and marketing at the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts, Anne moved from the East Coast to Bend and "changed her world."
She recalls, “Countless walks along the Deschutes River trail offered endless opportunities to study, photograph, and subsequently paint the light, the color, the reflections, and the depths of the water.” Through such walks, autumn became her favored season to explore.
Anne's paintings use bold colors, achieved through subtle “layer upon layer of translucent washes of acrylic paint to simulate the clarity and transparency of the water and sky.” Her paintings depict the inspiration which she gleans from appreciating the beauty that surrounds her.
Meet Anne and view her beautiful, color-saturated paintings during First Friday #inbend. If you can't make it, her works will be hanging in our lobby through July 26th.
Suzy Landa at The Wooden Jewel
Come join us for Suzy Landa Trunk Show july 5-7 10:30 - 6pm. Suzy is an award winning Designer from NewYork City . See her collection at 844 nw bond street in Bend Oregon.
First Friday at Sportvision
Win a free pair of @rayban sunglasses during our 1st Friday party, July 5th!! We’re offering a @rayban gift with purchase, refreshments from @coffee4kids & @sunriverbrewing , music 🎶, and as always @thaionthefly_bend will have food right outside. See you there! Dogs are allowed too
The Downtown Bend Business Association is currently seeking volunteers for the Downtown Bend Ambassador program. Downtown Ambassadors help to create a safe and welcoming environment for everyone who lives, works in, or visits Downtown Bend.
A great program starts with great people. We are looking for Bendites who are willing to learn, have the ability to think on their feet, and who can provide a high level of customer service with a smile and a great attitude!
If you take pride in your community, want to work to make it better, and want a place to contribute your skills where no two days are alike, then you’ve come to the right place! If you are bright, cheerful, friendly, compassionate, and have a desire to make a difference, you have what it takes to be a part of the Downtown Bend Ambassador team!
We are proud to report that there are several areas of alignment between the 2019-21 Downtown Bend Business Association's Goals and the 2019-21 Council Goals and Strategies. One of these aligned goals is to address livability crimes in the Downtown area. A key step in this effort is increased patrols in the Downtown Economic Improvement District (EID) with Bend Police School Resource Officers during the busy summer season. Earlier this week Bend Police Department officers, City of Bend staff, and the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) took a walk through the Downtown Bend EID. You can expect to see these increased patrols within the EID in the coming week.
A common question we hear from business and building owners in Downtown Bend is when to report a crime, especially if it’s already happened or no one was there to witness it. Bend PD tracks crime data and has a team of officers that focuses on trouble spots. Even after the fact, you can log crime issues via the Police Department’s non-emergency number at 541-693-6911 or online by clicking here. Of course, if a crime is still in progress or there’s an emergency, please call 911!
"The Downtown Bend Business Association's number one priority is to assure the people feel safe and welcomed in Downtown Bend." says Aisling, Executive Director of the DBBA, "This year we were proud to be instrumental in getting the Downtown Bend Police Substation established, and this summer, in addition to working with the City of Bend, Bend Police Department, and Security Pros, we are also piloting our new Downtown Ambassador program. We anticipate great results, and we are grateful to be able to provide our community and visitors with an outstanding experience in Downtown Bend."
Downtown Bend remains year after year the number one tourist destination in Bend, it is also currently the largest employer in Bend, as well as the City's civic center and cultural core. With thousands upon thousands of people utilizing Downtown on a daily basis, providing a safe and welcoming culture is key to the vitality of our city.