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Season 18, Episode 5: Art in Wide Open Spaces

This week on Oregon Art Beat visit the world of artists inspired by wide open spaces! Travel with us to Oregon's Alvord Desert to meet painter John Simpkins who shows us the hidden treasures of this vast landscape. See how artist Renee Couture practices her craft outside in the hills of Glide to create conceptual art. And take a driving trip with painter James Lavadour of Pendleton.


"Oregon Art Beat" is OPB's Emmy Award-winning local arts series, now entering its 18th season. The program - which airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. - profiles artists, musicians and artisans from around Oregon and the Northwest.

Join us on the air or online at anytime! This week "Oregon Art Beat" visits the world of artists inspired by wide open spaces. From the vast landscape of Oregon's Alvord Desert, to the hills of Glide, to the expansive scenery around Pendleton, these unique artists find inspiration in their surroundings.

We’re excited to announce that "Oregon Art Beat" was a winner at the Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) on Saturday, June 3, 2017. Discovering Beverly Cleary not only won an Emmy in the Historic/Cultural category, but OPB was also awarded a Citation for Community Service for its 2016 public outreach and celebration of Oregon author Beverly Cleary’s 100th birthday. For more information about OPB's Emmy awards this year, visit us here.

Due to federal closed-captioning requirements, some of our stories are no longer available online. Thank you and we apologize for any inconvenience.

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Upcoming Broadcasts

Art in Wide Open Spaces (1805)

June 25, 1 a.m. [OPB TV]

Assemblage Art (1806)

June 29, 8 p.m. [OPB TV]

More Oregon Art Beat

Lan Su Chinese Garden Welcomes The Year Of The Rooster

OPB | Broadcast: May 4, 2017

The Chinese New Year celebration at Lan Su Chinese Garden introduces us to some cultural activities including the lion dance performance and illuminated lanterns.

Pacific Northwest Plein Air Invites Painters To Get Outside

OPB | Broadcast: May 2, 2017

The Pacific Northwest Plein Air painting event encourages artists to immerse themselves in the natural landscape

Portland Winter Light Festival Sparks Illumination

OPB | Broadcast: May 4, 2017

By the time February rolls around here in the rainy northwest, most folks are going a little bit crazy. A respite from those mid-winter woes: the Portland Winter Light Festival

Portland Animator Rose Bond Changes Where Animation Lives

OPB | Broadcast: April 21, 2017

Rose Bond calls herself an animator and media artist and says she includes “a lot of social practice, a lot of public involvement” in every piece she creates.

Animator Joan Gratz Embraces Technology To Create Her Newest Films

OPB | Broadcast: April 27, 2017

Joan Gratz has worked in Portland’s animation scene since its earliest days.

Rural Eastern Oregon Retreat For Ceramic Artists

OPB | Broadcast: April 20, 2017

The LH Project is a residency for ceramic artists near Joseph, Oregon.

Art And Nature Come Together In A Meaningful Way At Sitka

OPB | Broadcast: April 20, 2017

Sitka Center for Art and Ecology is home to workshops and opportunities for artists to retreat and create work.

The Portland DIY Clay Experiment That Changed Animation Forever

OPB | Broadcast: April 27, 2017

In a few short months, two Portland animators' film went from being rejected by the Northwest Film Festival to winning the Oscar for best short animated film, kicking off Oregon's animation scene in the process.

How To Make 48 Million Facial Expressions For An Oscar-Winning Animation

OPB | Broadcast: April 27, 2017

At LAIKA Animation Studio, in Hillsboro, Oregon, they’ve pioneered a new way to change facial expressions with 3-D printing.

Portland Animator Explores A Changing Portland With 2 Local Icons

OPB | Broadcast: April 27, 2017

The engine of gentrification fueled by Portland’s recent transplants was starting to hum by the time Jerold Howard returned. That's inspired his latest film.

The Meaning Of Food For Award-Winning Author Diana Abu-Jaber

OPB | Broadcast: April 12, 2017

Author and Portland State University Professor Diana Abu-Jaber has a cultural connection to the food she often writes about.

Sarah Hart Makes ‘Food Of The Gods’ At Alma Chocolate

OPB | Broadcast: April 13, 2017

Sarah Hart makes gold-covered chocolate icons inspired by the Latin root of cacao — "food of the gods."

Sebastian Cisneros Makes Chocolate That Brings Ecuador To Oregon

OPB | Broadcast: April 12, 2017

Portland chocolatier Sebastian Cisneros uses chocolate to stay connected to his Edcuadorian culture

Jared Goodman Makes Ice Cream Sundaes Inspired By Art

OPB | Broadcast: April 12, 2017

Portland ice cream maker Jared Goodman takes inspiration from works of art when creating his elaborate sundaes

Sculptor Chris Cole

OPB | Broadcast: March 30, 2017

Chris Cole is a Bend artist who creates distinctive motor- and crank-powered sculptures.

Comics U

OPB | Broadcast: March 30, 2017

Ben Saunders of the University of Oregon runs the only Comics Studies concentration in the country.


OPB | Broadcast: March 30, 2017

Three Portland cardistry artists stop by the OPB studio to show off their dazzling flourishes with a deck of playing cards.

'That's My Art!' Jewerly Designer Ashley Mersereau

OPB | Broadcast: March 30, 2017

That's My Art: Ashley Mersereau is a jewelry maker who lives and works on the Oregon Coast.

A New Direction: Catching Up With 'Live Wire'

OPB | Broadcast: Feb. 23, 2017

We catch up with "Live Wire," a Portland–produced, nationally syndicated radio variety show that has gone through some changes.

Art And Marriage: Crystal Schenk And Shelby Davis

OPB | Broadcast: Feb. 23, 2017

Crystal Schenk and Shelby Davis are a husband-and-wife duo who collaborate on public art installations, including a collection of bronze sculptures found along Portland's Division Street.

Program Funding Provided By:

Kay Kitagawa and Andy Johnson-Laird

Ronni Lacroute

Additional Support Provided By: The Jackson Foundation, The Roundhouse Foundation