Art in the High Desert: the “unexpected gem” of the art world

By Dusty Trails


Art in the High Desert has been described as the “unexpected gem” of the art fair world. Last year, it was ranked 14th in Greg Lawler’s Fine Art Fair SourceBook–the “bible” of the industry–on a list of over 600 art shows. That means our little show is competing with the likes of Portland’s Art in the Pearl and the La Quinta Art Festival near Palm Springs; large, seasoned events with big budgets in metropolitan areas. What makes it so special?


The quality:

The selection process for these artists is very competitive, and attracts top talent from across the country and Canada for a show of extraordinary quality. Even though the event is only in its 6th year, applications for this year’s show poured in from 28 states and British Columbia in 14 different media categories: 2-D mixed media, metal work, painting, 3-D mixed media, photography, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, digital art, drawing, wearables, fiber non-wearables, glass, wood, and jewelry. In a two-day marathon session, this year’s four jurors had the daunting task of selecting just over 100 visual artists from the talented pool.


The format:

Because the show is juried, it is one of the few art shows in the country that allows fellow artists and critics to give creators specific feedback on their work. The show was conceived by artists, for artists, accounting for its instant popularity. And as a non-profit, any money that comes out of the festival goes back into the festival and anything left over gets donated to local arts programs.


The location:

This almost goes without saying. What could be better than perusing beautiful fine art on the banks of the Deschutes River? So we’ll see you at the booths across from the Old Mill District from 10-6 Friday and Saturday, and from 10-4 on Sunday to find your new favorite piece of art!