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Freedom Sisters Road Show
Freedom Sisters Road Show

Thu, May 30


The Dalles Art Center

Freedom Sisters Road Show

Don't throw it away baby! Upcycled Functional Art by Barbara Kilkenny, Abigal Kaehler, Denise Jiminez and Jan Byrkit. Opening Night Party: Thursday, May 30th, 5 - 7 pm. Free.

Time & Location

May 30, 2024, 11:00 AM – Jul 05, 2024, 5:00 PM

The Dalles Art Center, 220 E 4th Street, The Dalles, OR 97058, USA

About The Event

The Freedom Sisters Road Show is an exhibit of upcycled functional art by four regional artists: Barbara Kilkenny, Abigal Kaehler, Denise Jiminez and Jan Byrkit Bickford. This show is also a tribute to finding and celebrating joy. According to Chicago Gallery News, functional art is defined as, “Occupying the space between fine art and the everyday, functional art refers to aesthetic objects that serve utilitarian purposes. The genre is remarkably inclusive, it encompasses everything from furniture and lighting to dishes and even books.” Their connection as artists is their creative repurposing of used items as well as their understanding of their own unique interests and talents. The quartet have joined forced for this exhibit to showcase pieces created from a mindset that includes aesthetics and utility.

Opening Night Party: Thursday, May 30th, 5 - 7 pm. Free. 

About the Artists

We are the Freedom Sisters Road Show. We are a group of 4 women who decided to tap into our creativity and explore different areas of our art and talent. On this journey we also realized we have a lot of stuff that the children don’t want or need so we found an avenue to purge and upcycle our items that have been long heirloom treasures in our household. Along the way we are having a blast enjoying our sisterhood. All of us have a uniqueness that we share with each other and has helped us grow. We believe in whatever brings us joy inspires us to explore that.

Abigail Kaehler comes from a long line of spiritual journeys from Yoga master teacher to massage therapist, to Reiki master, to Life Coaching. Her roots are from Texas, Corpus Christi and she has journeyed to Europe, where she traveled and lived for many years. From the age of 19 she has studied many forms of art, always interested in different mediums, which has resulted in a continuous education of art in one way or another. If classes were not available, she would be self-taught to feed her artistry. Her love shows in everything she does with drawing, painting, knitting, mosaic art, stain glass, and chalk painting. She has an exceptional eye to the balance of how things go together, and it shows in her art.

Barbara Kilkenny, a native Oregonian was born and raised in Dallas Oregon. After her retirement from owning a spa business she was reminded by a friend of her artistic talent. This idea to create art and share it led to her passion for chalk painting and repurposing vintage furniture. Having an eye for detail has led to another artistic endeavor, fashioning beautiful designs on antique bottles. A door in Barbara’s imagination swung open when she started making handmade journals, each one a labor of love to give to family and friends using vintage paper, cards, lace, and other old-world items. Barbara also worked as a florist for many years and is inspired by nature and the outdoors.

Denise Jiminez comes from the corporate world in Silicon Valley, CA where she grew up in Milpitas, CA. She discovered later in her years that you can do anything artistically if you try. She went to Hood River looking for all that she left behind in the Bay area. Mountains, rivers, and oceans are not too far away, and let’s not forget the wineries. After a class in stain glass, she realized you just must take a class to learn. Then a trip to France to paint outside in plein-air fashion and her mind was blown away. After discovering chalk painting furniture, throwing something out because it is old really hurts.

Jan Byrkit Bickford is an entrepreneur still working in her own clothing business called BYRKIT Wear with her whimsical artistry. She is also a native Oregonian growing up in Roseburg, OR. Jan is always creating new designs for her clothing business. We are always amazed when she comes up with ideas we would have never thought of. During Covid she went down the rabbit hole learning how to upcycle furniture. When she is not sleeping, she is creating. She is Always coming up with new ideas and always pushing us to be better.

FSR journey started when we were looking to purge our houses and discovered we had a lot of good stuff to sell along with those older furniture pieces. So, we took a class in chalk painting and started displaying our upcycled furniture and other items at Antique and Oddities. We have weekly meetings rearranging our booth and discuss our next new artistic item we want to explore with monthly classes at one of our studios to learn a new upcycle idea and then there is always the lovely lunch and basking in our energy together. And the rest is history.

“We do everything with ease and grace!” —The Freedom Sisters Roadshow


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