Cameron Kaseberg Fine Art


Art Show Highlights Quality
Art in the High Desert Takes Place This Weekend in Bend's Old Mill

By  David Jasper / The Bulletin
Published: August 23. 2013 4:00AM PST

There are wildflowers galore planted around the Old Mill District of Bend, but the biggest spectacle of color blooms for just one weekend each August, along the “Echoes," one of many 2-D works Redmond artist Cameron Kaseberg will have on hand at Art in the High Desert this weekend in the Old Mill District.west bank of the Deschutes River.

Art in the High Desert, taking place today through Sunday (see “If you go"), is back for its sixth year. This year, the festival has chosen by jury some 110 artists displaying and selling everything from ceramics and drawings and fiber works to sculpture and glass and photography and 2-D and 3-D mixed-media art and — hold on, have to catch my breath — wood and jewelry and metalwork and painting and printmaking.

Last winter, the nonprofit, artist-run show was ranked the 14th best fine arts festival in sales by Fine Art Fair SourceBook, an industry publication that ranks 600 such shows.

By the time the application process for Art in the High Desert closed, organizers had to sift through some 480 applications.

Nearly half of those who were chosen are new this year.

The show includes national artists from as far away as Key West, Fla. (mixed-media artist Michel Delgado, booth 24); Tampa, Fla. (painter and printmaker Amy Leigh Carstensen, booth 40); and Smyrna, Ga. (printmaker and mixed-media artist Daphne Covington, booth 39).

And that's just to name a few from the Southeast.

Here's one more: Amy Flynn (booth 6) of Raleigh, N.C., makes “fobots," or found object robots — they're non-functioning, she writes on her website, “and they will not go on a rampage while you sleep."

Oregon communities such as Portland, McMinnville, Corvallis, Philomath, Milwaukie, Brookings, etc., are well-represented, as is Central Oregon's art community, from which about a dozen artists are in the show.

One of them is Cameron Kaseberg, of Redmond (booth 87). Kaseberg grew up in The Dalles, where he worked the family wheat farm and cattle ranch and, as a teen, took a darkroom job in a camera shop. His childhood interest in photography led him to a staff photographer position on the school paper at Lewis & Clark College.

Then he took a drawing class years ago at Portland State University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in design.

“It was a drawing class where we didn't really draw anything; we kind of studied all these different artists' processes, and Robert Rauschenberg happened to be one of them," Kaseberg said.

He took a particular shine to Rauschenberg's solvent transfer process, which through the use of chemical solvent enables one to sort of cut and paste imagery from one medium to create another work.

“I've been hooked on it since," he said. That held true through his post-college work for a trade show and museum exhibit design house.

He then got sidetracked into his parents' irrigation business. “I'd gone up to The Dalles to spruce up the store and make it look like a retail store. That was going to be a two-week stay, and I ended up being there 12 years," he said.

However, he kept playing with the solvent transfer process, though it was not his focus, he said. In the early days, his approach hewed closely to Rauschenberg's.

“Over the years, I really wanted to combine my own imagery in it, and my love of photography and graphics. So I started manipulating and changing and playing and just seeing where I could push the process. That's how I've come to the style I'm working in now," he said.

“I use solvent to dissolve the ink on magazine pages, and I physically move that ink onto my surface layer by layer, page by Artist Cameron Kasebergpage, just building up texture and atmosphere and background," he said.

He'll sometimes drop pigment in the solvent to mix with the ink to add “a little more flair, punch, color," he said. Once the background is built, he heads to the computer to edit photographs he's taken, taking out backgrounds and combining photos — often of trees, bikes and crows — into new compositions, “or things that didn't exist before," he said.

“Once I've thoroughly messed with those on computer, I print those to paper and use solvent to layer the new imagery on top of the background I've created."

“For me, it's kind of about just exploring and applying the process and seeing where I can push it. I consider it always evolving and changing. For me, it's fun. It's play," he said. “I love playing with the textures and atmospheres I build in the background and telling stories within the space."

In 2008, Kaseberg, who was still living in The Dalles at the time, got wind of the then-new Art in the High Desert show. He'd never been part of one before and had only ever attended a few shows. He sold just one piece, but he was once again hooked. “I absolutely loved being there," he said.

In 2009, he moved to Redmond, and he's continued to apply, and participate in, Art in the High Desert since. In fact, he's now on its board of directors.

Kaseberg will be featured on an episode of Oregon Public Broadcasting's “Oregon Art Beat" program this fall, and though much of the segment has already been shot, producers will be on hand this weekend to shoot footage of Kaseberg at Art in the High Desert.

An art show veteran now, he travels from Puget Sound to Palm Springs every summer doing festivals. He estimates that last year, he did 12 of them.

“Art in the High Desert is probably one of the nicest shows that I do. It's certainly not the biggest, but as far as the quality of art and artists, it's, if not at the top, near the top of the ones I do," he said.

“Even before I came on the board, I was completely impressed with how they treated artists," he said, noting that the festival circuit requires a lot of “travel and energy."

“Art in the High Desert is really truly about the artist, and promoting unique, original, extremely high quality artists," he said.

Carla Fox, who directs the show, said, “Cameron is a great example of how one artist can impact a community beyond just his art. He's a treasure and a reason the arts need all our support just like any other industry."

— Reporter: 541-383-0349,