Updated: Jun 16, 2021
Part 1 - The Beginning
The Pine Meadow Ranch Mosaic Mural is a project that will become a cornerstone art piece at the headquarters of the Pine Meadow Ranch Center for Arts & Agriculture in Sisters, Oregon. I am the lead artist and facilitator for the creation of this twenty-five foot group mosaic mural project.
My experience as a professional mosaic artist working in private and public art installations, group mosaic projects, and as the the owner of Wild Rose Artworks mosaic studio in Bend, Oregon, has led me to this new adventure. My vision for this project is to create a beautiful mural for the headquarters that captures the heart and soul of Pine Meadow Ranch and the mountain beauty that surrounds this Central Oregon gem, as well as give the opportunity to other mosaic artists to be a part of this fun legacy mosaic project where I hope to illuminate the contributions that the Roundhouse Foundation has made to Central Oregon creative communities.
The idea for this project started when I was introduced to Kathy Deggendorfer at a Christmas party. We were both artists working on different mural projects. She was turning her beautiful watercolor scene of the mountains into a painted tile mural for the new Cancer Center at St. Charles Hospital in Bend, Oregon, and I was just about to leave for a 2-week apprenticeship in New Orleans, LA, to assist in the creation of a 40-foot broken tile mosaic mural with internationally known mosaic muralist, Laurel True.
After my trip to New Orleans, Kathy and I started meeting on a regular basis where we brainstormed and exchanged ideas about murals and potential collaborations together. On one occasion, I told her I was going to Mexico to work on a big mosaic mandala, and that I was to bring some ceramic tile down to recycle and reuse for the mandala. Kathy offered a box of tile that had irregularities for me to take. When I came back from Mexico and showed her pictures of the mandala and how we reused her tile, she loved it! This is how the idea of creating a group mosaic mural project for the Roundhouse Foundation using recycled tile was born.
Kathy and her mother, Gert Boyle (1924-2019), established the Roundhouse Foundation in 2002 to support the work of creative communities. For over 10 years, the Foundation commissioned research to identify opportunities to further its support for the visual arts & artists in rural communities in Oregon, starting with Sisters. As part of its strategic plan, the Roundhouse Foundation aimed to establish an artist residency program in Sisters, Oregon. In order to do so, in 2016, The Foundation sent thirty Central Oregon artists to different artist residencies across the U.S. including Penland in North Carolina, Arrowmont in Tennessee, Sitka Center at the Oregon coast, Sedona, Arizona and Maine. Each artist brought back their feedback from their experience. From that research, in 2017, The Foundation acquired the beautiful acreage known as the Pine Meadow Ranch and converted it into an artist residency program.
Today, Pine Meadow Ranch Center for Arts & Agriculture (PMRCAA) continues to function as a working ranch and as an artist residency program. Its aim is to connect sustainable agriculture, conservation arts, and sciences with traditional and contemporary crafts and skills integral to ranching life. In 2018, PMRCAA hosted trial artist residencies by inviting eight artists for two-week stays. In 2019, the ranch moved into its pilot year with more engagement opportunities for residents on the property and in the local community. In July of that same year, I went out to the beautiful property to meet with Kathy and see the location for her vision of a group mosaic project. I loved the idea of creating a large group mural at their headquarters!
During my visit, I was intrigued by the historic, round barn on the property, and the complex geometric architecture used in the construction of the round roof. (Figure 1 & 2) This became the inspiration for the initial design of the Pine Meadow Ranch mosaic mural. Stay tuned for Part 2 – Design & Prepping.