There are so many amazing artists here in Central Oregon sharing their stories. This year The Environmental Center will be highlighting a few local BILAPOC, LGBTQ+ artists at our Welcoming Week: Multicultural Art Exhibit, happening for free this Thursday, September 16 from 4:30-6:30 PM, at The Environmental Center.
We hope you’ll join us to share in the music, art, and celebration of these amazing artists and their work.
Without further adieu, we’d love to introduce you to the artists.
Meet the Artists
Matti Joy Puccio (she/her)
Matti Joy is a folk singer who acts as a voice for the outdoors, education, and mental health. Her songwriting and performances speak to the power of place and the way communities can meaningfully change how people interact and support each other. A lyrical voice and delicate fingerpick style of guitar draws the listener in, simultaneously relaxing them and reminding them to be intentional in their day to day interactions with one another. Matti has an edge when it comes to engaging crowds and creating an atmosphere of calm contentment thanks to a history as an educator.
Avery Bravery Grace (they/them, she/her)
Avery is a queer and trans, sex worker poet, writer, and co-parent of three, currently living on the unceded lands of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs–otherwise known as Bend, Oregon, and formerly of New Orleans.
Their work is thus far featured in: Non-Binary: An Anthology of Gender and Identity, with Columbia University Press (2019), and All of Me: Stories of Love, Anger, and the Female Body, by PM Press (2019). They recently completed a debut, semi-autobiographical play highlighting trans sex worker experience. You can find more of their work under the “Offerings” menu tab of averybraverygrace.com, or on Instagram @averybraverygrace.
When not writing, Avery delights in ecstatic Sufi music known as Qawwali, dancing until their bones hurt as a form of divine and erotic expression, and playing the tablas and baritone ukulele.
Melinda Martinez-Allen (she/her)
Is an artist, musician, writer, teacher, and entrepreneur. She grew up with an artist and musician as a father. Growing up with limited resources in a neighborhood that was known for being unsafe, she turned to art and music as an outlet. As entertainment. As a form of expression. As a way to travel. There, in guitar strings and drawings, she and her siblings found their voices.
Today, she continues to work on her own art expressing the magic she sees in everyday life and mixing it with a touch of fairytale charm. Currently, she is working on pieces that update the old fairytale ways to include many beautiful shades of skin tone . She does this with handmade watercolor that she makes to a perfect consistency and shade for each piece. Because representation matters!
She is also one of the muralists who worked on Proyecto Mural with local artist Carly Garzon Vargas. She feels honored to work with local artists and to guide future artists on their creative journey! She is a strong believer that art is culture and art is community.
Carly Garzón Vargas (she/her)
Carly Garzón Vargas is a self-taught visual artist based in Sisters Oregon. She uses paper cut as the base for illustration, digital art, as well as large scale public co-created community centered art. She has created art for Central Oregon projects including Mecca Bend, Central Oregon Women’s March, Franklin Underpass Proyecto Mural and Sisters Farmers Market. She is part of the Western States Masterclass for Artist and Cultural Workers 2020-2021 cohort, you can also see her work in Tin Pan Alley in Bend. To find out more about her and her work visit her on Instagram @carlygarzonvargas.
We hope you’ll join us this Thursday for the Multicultural Art Exhibit !
*To ensure the safety of our community, masks will be required and strictly enforced during this outdoor event, regardless of vaccination status. Thank you for your cooperation!*