Acclaimed light sculptor opening new exhibit at High Desert Museum
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – New York Times art critic Roberta Smith once called her work “a collaboration between the creators of Spider-Man, the set designers of 2001: A Space Odysseyand maybe star trekand computer artists involved in tron.” Now the shiny, high-tech world of Stephen Hendee is coming to the High Desert Museum.
The new exhibition Lair: Light and the Art of Stephen Hendee opens at the Museum on Saturday 28 May. The opening of the exhibition takes place during the 40 years of the High Desert Museumand anniversary festivities: On Friday, May 27 at 6:30 p.m., the Museum will open its doors for a Community Celebration offering a first glimpse of lairmusic, drinks from Central Oregon’s favorite brewers, food and more.
Hendee’s work is created exclusively for the High Desert Museum for this exhibition. Using light, color and space, lair explores the spaces we live in both physically and virtually, drawing inspiration from the high desert landscape. Upon entering the gallery, visitors will be immersed in a futuristic world of light and sound with elements alluding to current environmental issues.
Wildfires and climate change are altering the reality of life in the high desert and therefore, according to Hendee, play a central role in lair. In recent Museum exhibitions, large-scale photographs and installations have been used to explore the changing conditions of the forest, from nature’s resilience to the threat of a catastrophic wildfire. Stephen Hendee continues this exploration through ambitious large-scale installations. Its translucent walls will glow with a warm, animated light that suggests flames.
“Coupled with expression, art can also be a unique and inspiring way to explore scientific topics,” says museum executive director Dana Whitelaw, Ph.D. “Stephen Hendee’s work will not delight only visitors by sight and sound, it will also spark a dialogue about humanity’s relationship with the landscape.”
For 30 years, Hendee has immersed audiences in experiences that are both dynamic and emotional. Hendee is a professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, and his art has been exhibited everywhere from the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York to Meow Wolf Las Vegas. Hendee’s recent awards include a 2019 National Endowment for the Arts ArtWorks Fellowship.
Lair: Light and the Art of Stephen Hendee (highdesertmuseum.org/lair) will be on display until November 27. The exhibition is made possible by Lonza with support from Portland Monthly, Waypoint Hotel and the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation.
ABOUT THE MUSEUM:
THE HIGH DESERT MUSEUM opened in Bend, Oregon in 1982. It brings together wildlife, cultures, art, history and the natural world to convey the wonders of North America’s high desert. The museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is an affiliate of the Smithsonian, was the 2019 recipient of the Charles Redd Award for Excellence in Exhibiting from the Western Museums Association and was a 2021 recipient of the National Museum Medal. and library service. To learn more, visit highdesertmuseum.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.