Bend’s stellar mix of museums, galleries and art centers offer up first-rate exhibits

High Desert Museum

Animal Journeys: Navigating in Nature
Through July 14
From raptors completing long migrations to bees finding food, animals can navigate over short and long distances without the tools available to humans. Explore how different species find their way in the High Desert, how scientists are unraveling these mysteries and how we, too, can navigate by taking a closer look at our surroundings.

By Her Hand: Native American Women, Their Art, and the Photographs of Edward S. Curtis
Through January 20
Edward S. Curtis spent 30 years at the beginning of the 20th century photographing Native people from more than 80 tribes, recording Native American culture amid rapid societal changes. His images, featuring Native women and the art they created, showcased alongside historical and contemporary works of art created by Native women, presents a celebration of Indigenous artistic traditions that have existed for centuries and continue to thrive within Native communities today.

Desert Mystic: The Paintings of John Simpkins
Through February 17

John Simpkins has lived and painted, alone with his dog, in the Andrews Schoolhouse for the past seven years. The old stone schoolhouse is one of the few remaining buildings in Andrews, a ghost town nestled between the southeastern edge of Steens Mountain and the Alvord Desert in Oregon’s Harney County. His paintings reflect the arid landscape and uniquely adapted animals of this stark and beautiful place and weaves them into dense, layered allegories informed by the tradition of American primitivism and folk painting.

Rick Bartow: Things You Know But Cannot Explain
January 26 through April 7

Rick Bartow (1946-2016) is one of Oregon’s most celebrated Indigenous artists. This retrospective exhibition of his large-scale paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures celebrates and memorializes his extraordinary life and career. Bartow’s work explores his Native American identity, his service in Vietnam and struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, and his enduring love for the natural world.

Deschutes Historical Museum

Fragile Legacy: Rare Views of Early Central Oregon
Through April 30
In partnership with the Central Oregon Community College, the Deschutes Historical Museum is displaying Fragile Legacy, an exhibit of images from the Van Vleet Historic Photograph Collection.  Originally curated in 2010 with COCC’s photography professor George Jolokai, the exhibit highlights 59 photos from the 150 glass-plate negative collection. Dating from circa 1908 until the 1930s, the collection shows the early boom days of Bend, the mills, and its burgeoning community life.

World War I exhibit
Through March 31
A stirring exhibit complete with uniforms, weapons, news clippings and interpretive panels, the Deschutes Historical Museum’s exhibit helps visitors understand Central Oregon’s role in “The Great War,” as well as that of the United States as a whole.

Bend Art Center

Winter X Winter
Through January 27
In this site-specific art installation, Northwest artists generate multi-media works to create an intertwined and contemplative landscape. This exploration of winter offers dualisms of life and death, self and others, light and dark – from the perspective of community and shared human experience. Guest curated by Julie Winter.

Featured artists include: Lynn Adamo & Bob Faber, Julian Adoff, Ana Aguirre-Gayton, Nicole Baker, Alyson Belcher, Richard Boswell, Paula Bullwinkel, Lorna Cahall, Patricia Clark, Marie Conner, Bill Cravis, Nancy Dasen, Erin Dengerink, Patrick Durka, Vanessa Englund, Patricia Freeman-Martin, Melissa Gueiros, Keiko Hara, Barbara Hudin, Sherry Jankiewicz, Shin Yeon Jeon, Ann Kresge, Michelle Lindblom, Helen Loeffler, Amanda M. Wilcox, Lloyd McMullen, M.V. Moran, Carolyn Platt, Jane Quale, Elizabeth Quinn, Joseph Rodriqeuz, Justus Vega, Abney Wallace, and Brenda Whitehill Schlenker.