Whit Deschner thought salt licks looked like art, so he began collecting them and auctioning them off to the highest bidder. It all started in 2007 when he was sitting on the front porch of a cabin outside Baker City with some of his buddies. They’d had a couple of beers and were contemplating the interesting shapes of the salt licks in the field. So Deschner had the idea to collect the licks, offer a prize for the best cow “sculpture,” auction the lot of them off and donate the proceeds to charity. Now every September, the whole community — from ranchers to art lovers to the cows themselves — come together for an unusual event to benefit Parkinsons research at OHSU. Tune in to OREGON ART BEAT on Thursday, September 22 at 8pm and see what the Great Salt Lick is all about.

Most glass studio hot shops are big, warehouse-like places where lots of people work together and the furnace goes 24/7. That’s how glass artist Kevin Shluka used to work. Now, he lives in an authentic Mongolian yurt while he builds his house on the coast near Hebo, and he’s managed to miniaturize his studio so he doesn’t take more than two steps to reach anything. And he shuts his glass furnace down at night. This scaled-down approach saves money, energy and frees him artistically. Taking his influence from nature, he creates beautiful little worlds using glass blowing and intricate lamp work that he houses in larger concrete sculptures. ART BEAT take us to see where and how this very contented artist works.

Kenneth Standardt works magic with a can opener. This Eugene artist uses this simple device to create ceramic vessels that look like woven baskets. He spends hours making each tiny mark by hand and the result looks perfect.

You can watch entire ART BEAT broadcasts at watch.opb.org. Video of the stories featured on ART BEAT can be viewed online immediately following the broadcast at opb.org/programs/artbeat.


OREGON ART BEAT, Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Emmy-Award winning local arts series, is in its 12th season. ART BEAT profiles Northwest artists, musicians and artisans — from an operatic baritone to a bit-and-spur craftsman to everything in between. The program airs Thursdays at 8pm and Sundays at 1am and 6pm. In the Mountain Time Zone of Eastern Oregon, the program airs at 9pm Thursdays and repeats at 7pm on Sundays. Funding for OREGON ART BEAT is provided in part by James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation and the Kinsman Foundation. More information is available online at opb.org/artbeat.

About OPB

OPB is the largest cultural and education institution in the region, delivering excellence in broadcasting to more than 1.5 million people each week through television, radio and the Internet. Recognized as a national leader in public broadcasting, OPB is a major contributor to the program schedule that serves the entire country. OPB is one of the most used and most supported public broadcasting services in the country with more than 120,000 contributors.