Soothe Your Soul With An Arts Break

By Oregon Art Beat (OPB)
March 24, 2020 1 p.m.

As we navigate the new normal of self-quarantine and empty theaters and restaurants, it's easy to start feeling like we've all been secretly written into a Ray Bradbury tale. Thinking of Oregon's incredible artists and arts organizations as they weather this storm, "Art Beat" producers offer a few of their favorite stories to lift your spirits.

Jeffrey Bale


"I love watching Jeffrey Bale create his stone mosaics. It looks completely random – which rock he grabs next and where he places it seems to follow no pattern at all. But when he’s done, he’s woven a beautiful mandala of color and texture. It’s one of the joys of my job, witnessing these spontaneous acts of creation." - Eric Slade

Kelly Phipps

"While I was working on the story about Jeffrey Bale he said, 'you should do a story on my friend Kelly Phipps in Hood River.' So I checked out her work: An artist who creates with a plasma cutter – a torch that slices through metal with a 30,000 degree flame – yes, that caught my attention," said Eric Slade. "And then it turns out the artist is a wild, hilarious, creative soul who also helps build rat rods. At that point, I was fully in!" - Eric Slade

Portland Japanese Garden

"I remember visiting the garden when it was brand new and experiencing the sand and stone garden for the first time. It fascinated me in a way a kid from Beaverton could not begin to express. Since then, I’ve only visited Japan as a tourist. But I did go on to earn a BA in Asian Studies, to live in Taiwan and China for several years and eventually learn to speak Mandarin. Seeing that elegant and peaceful garden as a child may well have been the first spark of my fascination with Asia." - Jule Gilfillan

Kelli Palmer

"It was such a pleasure creating the story about Kelli Palmer. She welcomed us into her home in Warm Springs, with sweeping views of the Eastern Oregon landscape. We all fell in love with Lincoln, Kelli’s dog who has an adorable habit of leaning against your leg with all his weight. And we had a chance to watch Kelli create her intricate, beautiful corn husk baskets. " - Eric Slade

Oregon Eclipse Festival

"Covering this story was something I’ll never forget. The festival and the artists were amazing in every way. But experiencing this rare celestial event with something well North of 50,000 other people gave me a profound and immediate sense like no other; even though the phenomenon only took place on our tiny strip of earth and came from within our own solar system, the total solar eclipse allowed us to glimpse both the vast emptiness of space and know our oneness as humans. " - Jule Gilfillan

Pedal Powered Talk Show

"The inventiveness, curiosity and good humor of the artists – and their guests - of the Pedal Power Talk Show tickled my funny bone and made me proud of my hometown."  - Jule Gilfillan