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Stephens part of college art exhibit

At Art Adventure Gallery

by: Submitted Photo - W.S. artist Tony Stephens is part of the college student art exhibit coming to Madras.


   Twenty-one-year-old artist Tony Stephens, of Warm Springs, will be among the featured students at the Oregon College of Art and Craft exhibit, which opens with a reception on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 1 to 4 p.m.
   Stephens will be doing a live demonstration of basket weaving during the reception with students on Saturday. The public is encouraged to come meet all the students who are traveling to Madras for the opening.
   The exhibition connects OCAC students to the Madras community, and allows the students to educate the public about the seven art disciplines taught at the Portland college: book arts, ceramics, painting and drawing, fiber, photography, metal and wood.
   The show "Cross Section," which runs Nov. 4 through Nov. 29, emphasizes the experimental nature of its student creators, and includes bold, daring and highly personal work.
   Stephens, the son of Sal and Carol Sahme, of Warm Springs (recently moved to California), and Mark Stephens of Madras, grew up in Warm Springs and attended Madras High School.
   "I learned how to weave in the fourth grade at Warm Springs Elementary and Lois Smith was one of the ladies who taught me," Stephens said, noting he will exhibit woven baskets in the Madras show.
   Since learning, he has taken lessons and apprenticed with Warm Springs residents and tribal artists Eraina Palmer and Pat Courtney-Gold.
   Impressed with his work, Courtney-Gold got her apprentice included in a film on living art, which will air in April, and made it possible for him to attend the Smithsonian Folklife Festival last summer in Washington, D.C.
   "Weaving makes me feel more in touch with my ancestral background, especially since a lot of it was lost," Stephens said, of the basketry he weaves.
   Another tribal artist, Apolonia Santos, who is an alumni of OCAC, suggested Stephens apply to attend the art college.
   "She's the reason I'm at college now. I tried the college's Journeys in Creativity program and fell in love with the campus," Stephens said, adding he enrolled as a full-time student this fall, majoring in painting and drawing. He also plans to take fiber and surface design classes.
   Besides being a student, Stephens is also a freelance makeup artist with MAC Cosmetics, an international company based in Canada.
   Currently he participates in shows to promote the company's makeup line, and in the next five years plans to be doing makeup for celebrities and fashion shows.
   "But I'll always do weaving," he said of his fiber art passion.
   Stephens is bringing four handwoven baskets to the Madras show: one with a Wasco pattern, one with full-turned twine, one made of cashmere and hand-dyed kettle wool, and one using kettle yarn with vertical diamond patterns.
   Art Adventure Gallery, located at 185 S.E. Fifth St., Madras, is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.