The Peoples Forge:
Who and What We Are
Founded in 2019 The Peoples Forge was the idea of Kellen Bateham a highly skilled Oregon blacksmith who’s work extends beyond the purely functional into the realm of art. As a former leader of two regionally based blacksmith associations, Kellen combines his expertise and connections to the region with Karin Roy, an events specialist. Karin’s passions for community engagement has been combined with her degree in fine art to make this an excellent team.
Their accumulated experience brings the excitement of blacksmith fabrication to audiences at several large Central Oregon Festivals. The Peoples Forge Project was developed to further their vision of bringing these events to larger audience with no cost to the public. Two projects have already been and installed as public art in Bend. The piece Crossroads designed by MacRaye Wylde and created by The Dalles community at the NW Cherry Blossom Festival will be the third project.
The nature of our work is collaborative, we work with community based artists to create a concept/image as a starting point for the final piece. We bring a crew of skilled blacksmiths to communities to engage the regional blacksmithing community whenever possible. With our equipment, expertise and guidance, we lead individuals through the process of making a component part of the finished sculpture. This process creates an experience of collective and individual creation unlike any other.
The Dalles Art Center’s Art & Design Committee
With the mayoral election of Rich Mays in 2018, came an initiative to create committees for art and beautification. An opportunity developed for a public art project organized by the newly formed Arts and Design Committee of The Dalles Art Center with funding from The City of The Dalles.
The first public art project was All Together The Dalles. It started as an idea to combine the remarkable architecture of The Dalles into one composition. Many historic buildings set the city apart from other communities but are spread throughout town and therefore challenging to appreciate as a whole. Beth Kerschen was commissioned to create a photomontage with these buildings. Following the completion of the montage, local artist Chris Pothier painted the composition on di-bond panels at The Dalles Art Center. All Together The Dalles has since developed into a multifaceted community asset since its unveiling on October 31, 2020. Learn more on on the website, …
We have continued the public art with a collaboration with local artist Macrae Wylde and The People’s Forge Project. The direct engagement of community members in the fabrication was big draw for the project. 250 community members will be fabricating components of the project on April 22, 23, 24 during the Cherry Festival. Be one of the fabricators for The People’s Forge and be part of creative force moving The Dalles forward.
Communities and individuals benefit from the creation of public art.
Our practice and guidance creates art that lives in the community as a legacy piece for both the community and individuals involved.
Volunteer Roles and Responsibilities:
All volunteers will be working with one of our members.
Assist with getting waivers signed by participants.
Cleaning protective glasses between use by participants.
Explaining what we are doing, ie. People’s Forge Project and the fabrication of a sculpture designed by local artist.
Encouraging public passing by to participate and clarifying that there is no fee to participate.
Talking about TDAC’s role with Arts and Design Committee and The City of The Dalles contract for Public Art
Giving People’s Forge Project front of the house crew breaks to rest and/or grab a meal.
Times (2-hour slots):
5:00pm–9:00pm, Friday, April 22
11:00am–9:00pm, Saturday, April 23
11:00am–5:00pm, Sunday, April 24