Monday, March 31, 2008

4/4 Thump Coffee Art Hop: Music, Wine, Art

Art Hop: James Simmons’ Solo Acoustic Guitar - Open Late and Pouring Wine

April New Exhibit: Robert Johans’ Avis Lofts

Continuing in April: Artists Local 101 group show, Mark Bernahl's new "Wishes"

(Bend, OR) Thump Coffee welcomes spring with an exhibit of Avis Lofts. Tumalo-based artist and custom furniture designer Robert Johans elevates the humble, utilitarian birdhouse into the fine art realm. His designs are so sleek, modern and cool it makes one wish for wings simply to be able to live in his Avis Lofts.

“Modern homes for modern birds,” is how Johans describes his creations. “Avis Lofts are meticulously handcrafted birdhouses that render a whimsical nod to the classic design elements of modern architecture,” he says. “These boxes are ornithologically functional, and feature found, recycled, or sustainable materials and natural, non-toxic finishes. They’re just as beautiful on display indoors as in the backyard.”

For Art Hop on Friday, April 4 Thump Coffee will stay open until 9:00 pm, pouring complimentary wine and showcasing the guitar talents of Thump barista James Simmons. Though Simmons took up the instrument himself only a decade ago while in his 20s, music runs deep in his blood. His father Larry played for the Grand Ole Opry and toured with top country musicians, and grandfather Buddy, uncle Don and cousin Dean are all professional musicians.

Simmons endlessly explores the possibilities of the guitar fretboard. When asked to describe his music, Simmons simply shrugs. “My friends describe my music as an eclectic mix of finger-style progressions interspersed with bluegrass-style flat picking.” His guitar heroes include father Larry Simmons, and such pioneers as Michael Hedges, Pierre Bensusan, Mike Marshall, Tony Rice, and Scott Huckabay.

Continuing in April will be a group exhibit by Artist Local 101, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting contemporary and outsider art. For many years the group has provided local artists who work “outside the box” with a vehicle for exhibiting their art, as well as a place to network with other artists. The show at Thump Coffee runs March through April and features a diverse representation of many artists affiliated with the organization, from the well established to newcomers. Artist Local 101 welcomes new members, and membership forms will be available at Thump. (left: Holly Hutton's "Mandrake Musings"; below: Lisa Wachs' "Winter Thistles")

Mark Bernhahl’s popular “Wishes” installation is hanging again, and customers are encouraged to continue creating wish planks to be rotated into the installation throughout the year.

Thump Coffee is located in downtown Bend at 25 NW Minnesota Ave. For details, visit or call 388-0226.

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