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An Urban Craft Uprising breaks out in Bend

A hundred booths of indie handmade artisan fine art, crafts, food and more will line downtown Bend for a day of browsing and buying on Saturday, June 8.

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When Urban Craft Uprising brings its first-ever show to Bend on Saturday, customers will be able to browse through 100 booths featuring fine art, artisan crafts, food, clothing items, home decor and more.

After two decades of creating carefully curated arts, crafts and food markets in the Seattle and Portland metro areas, the organizers behind Urban Craft Uprising are expanding east and west this summer, with a first-ever market in Bend this weekend and another set for Seaside on Aug. 17.

On Saturday, June 8, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the heart of downtown Bend, the Bend Handmade Market will cover Bond Street from Franklin to Greenwood avenues — three full blocks with  painters, printers, pottery makers, jewelers, illustrators, clothing makers, food purveyors and other craft artisans.

“We’re just really excited to come and feel really lucky that Bend accepted our application, as I know only a few that get accepted, and we hope it’s just a really great success,” said Kristin Rask of Tacoma, who runs Urban Craft Uprising with business partner Lindsey Ross of Portland. “I feel like small businesses are being hit hard again this year.”

Urban Craft Uprising started in 2005 as a one-show-a-year organization, but as people grew to appreciate their curation, Rask said, they started being hired to put on events for other groups. Eventually, the Urban Craft Uprising team started creating other events under their own umbrella, including Gobble Up in Portland and Seattle.

When putting together a show, Phillips said, they select vendors with an eye toward variety, toward local, and toward women and creators who are Black, Indigenous or people of color (BIPOC).

Beyond that, Phillips said, “It’s like I always say this, and it’s maybe cheesy to say, but the show kind of presents itself as we’re doing it. And especially once we go through local makers and BIPOC makers first, then it’s kind of like, OK, well, we’ve covered this thing, and now we need something else.

“But we don’t try to oversaturate any one category to really help each vendor do well.”

Bend artist Sheila Dunn with some of her artwork during a 2023 craft show. Dunn will be among the 100 vendors set up on Bond Street in downtown Bend for Urban Craft Uprising’s Bend Handmade Market.

Bend painter Sheila Dunn can appreciate the eye toward variety, as she exhibits that in her own work. Dunn, who paints with a water-mixable oil paint that resembles watercolor, was pretty much doing only portraiture while studying at Colorado State University.

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Now, the section on her website, sheiladunnart.com, showcasing her art has entries devoted to human figures, animals and landscapes. She is equally at home painting faces and delicate nudes as she is capturing the image of Mount Bachelor looming over one of the Cascade Lakes, or a herd of bison lumbering across the prairie.

She broadened her art to include the natural world, she said, because of her desire to preserve it.

“I paired up with different conservation organizations in the area, and I’ve done a lot of collaboration with many of them. That kind of inspired shifting and doing the landscapes and animals,” said Dunn, who moved to Bend 14 years ago from Colorado. “And then since then, it’s just been, it’s been a fun balance. …  I find the landscape and animals to be a little more free when I’m painting them. I can be a little more relaxed, I guess. So, it’s been a nice balance to do all three.”

Her style is inspired by the Impressionists, but it has a modern edge. Her chunky brushstrokes lend her images an almost pixilated look.

“Some people have called it pretty geometric or fractal brush strokes, and that was very intentional in college,” Dunn said.

In addition to drawing inspiration from the Impressionists, she also honed her style through her yoga practice. During her time as a yoga instructor, she recalls watching a film that discussed how the energy between the environment and a person, if broken down to the nanoparticle level, is essentially one and the same. She works to bring the energy of the environment through to her subject matter.

“It was kind of like I use the brush strokes as little broken down pieces of energy,” she said. “And so it kind of started that kind of idea or just that curiosity.”

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Typically, Dunn works on larger canvases. While she will bring a couple of those to downtown Bend this weekend for the Urban Craft Uprising Bend Handmade Market, she’s always sure to have smaller items for sale, offering prints, postcards and stickers made from her images.

“I do like to keep my work accessible to kind of a wide audience and financially too,” she said. “I have everything from $5 cards and small stickers up to the big originals.”

This is her first time participating in an Urban Craft Uprising Event, and she was happy when the group decided to launch a show in Bend.

“I feel like for years I had heard about the Urban Craft Uprising events just from fellow artists that they were really great,” Dunn said. “I love that it’s women-run, which is awesome … and so it was really exciting to see that they were planning one in Bend.”

BEND HANDMADE MARKET

  • What: Indie arts and craft market featuring 100 vendors.
  • When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, June 8.
  • Where: Downtown Bend; Bond Street between Greenwood and Franklin Avenues.
  • Admission: Free.
  • Information: urbancraftuprising.com/bend-handmade-market/

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Photo Joe Cantrell

Carolyn Lamberson

Carolyn Lamberson is a longtime Pacific Northwest newspaper journalist who has worked at daily newspapers in Eugene, Roseburg, Bend, Vancouver, and Spokane. A former features editor for The Spokesman-Review, she covered music, visual arts, literary arts, and theater in the Inland Northwest. While there, she created and curated the newspaper’s annual short fiction series, Summer Stories, which in its 10-year run featured works by authors such as Jess Walter, Jamie Ford, Sharma Shields, Tiffany Midge, and Shawn Vestal. She now lives with her family in Central Oregon, where in her spare time she enjoys sitting along the banks of the Deschutes River and knitting.

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