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301 Gallery & Friends of the Columbia Gorge Present “INSPIRED!” Art Exhibition

301 Gallery & Friends of the Columbia Gorge Present “INSPIRED!” Art Exhibition
Lyle Cherry Orchard, by Cate Hotchkiss
May 7, 2024

301 Gallery and Friends of the Columbia Gorge are thrilled to announce the forthcoming art exhibition titled “INSPIRED!” This unique showcase will feature regional and local artists creating artworks that are inspired by areas stewarded by Friends of the Columbia Gorge as well as other conserved lands in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The resulting work will be curated and displayed at 301 Gallery in downtown Hood River throughout August and September 2024. 10% of 301 Gallery's proceeds from the event will be donated to Friends.

The INSPIRED! exhibition invites artists to delve into the rich landscape and ecosystems preserved by Friends of the Columbia Gorge and federal and state agencies. Commencing in the near future, the artists will have a few months to conduct creative research on the designated sites and craft their works of art. Whether working en plein air, directly in the outdoor environment, or within the confines of their studios, the artists will creatively explore their response to these environments.

While the majority of the artworks are expected to be 2D in nature, the exhibition anticipates the inclusion of various 3D pieces. This dynamic fusion of artistic expressions promises to offer viewers a multi-dimensional experience, capturing the essence and diversity of the Columbia Gorge region.

Cathleen Rehfeld, a renowned painter and long-time Hood River resident, is co-curating the show with fellow 301 member artist Polly Wood. Cathleen expressed her enthusiasm for the upcoming event, stating, “I’m really excited to see this event come together. Given this group of artists and the spectacular nature of the sites offered by Friends, I can’t imagine a more likely framework for the creation of beautiful work. This will be a very robust event!”

Tim Dobyns, Communications and Engagement Director for Friends of the Columbia Gorge, commented, “We are thrilled to partner with 301 Gallery to showcase the extraordinary beauty of the Columbia Gorge through art. Art, in all its forms, can be a powerful catalyst for conservation, so we hope the INSPIRED! show will motivate Gorge residents and visitors to contemplate their own role in protecting beautiful landscapes like those in the Gorge.”

As the only conservation organization dedicated entirely to safeguarding the Gorge’s scenic, natural, cultural, and recreational resources, Friends has suggested the following locations to foster artistic inspiration: Mosier Plateau (OR), Rowena Oaks (OR), Heartleaf Bluffs (WA), Lyle Cherry Orchard (WA), Dancing Rock (WA), Camas Patch (WA), Turtle Haven (WA), Cape Horn (WA), and Vista View (WA).

As the leading art gallery in the Columbia Gorge, 301 Gallery has pulled together a strong group of artists, including Paloma Ayala, Celeste Bergin, Aimee Erikson, Tony Furtado, Thomas Kitts, Bhavani Krishnan, Michael Orwick, Anton Pavlenko, Teagan White, and MacRae Wylde. Additionally, 301 Gallery member artists will contribute to the event, with likely participants including Cathleen Rehfeld, Brian Chambers, Sue Sutherland, Sally Reichmuth, Christine Knowles, Ted Olson, and more.

INSPIRED! aims to celebrate the intersection of art and nature, highlighting the profound impact of the Columbia Gorge region on the creative process. Through this collaborative initiative, 301 Gallery and Friends of the Columbia Gorge aspire to foster a deeper appreciation for the natural landscape while showcasing the artistic talents thriving within the local community.

Subscribe to email updates and follow Friends on Instagram for the latest updates on the show, including the opening day announcement!