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Harney County Chamber of Commerce

484 N Broadway

Burns, OR 97720


Tel: 541.573.2636

youth art program

Each year, the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge coordinates time with area schools on art and natural resource education in association with the Migratory Bird Festival. This Youth Art Program combines science and art to expand student's understanding of bird species while building creative skills and artistic masterpieces. 

In 2019, we are celebrating shorebirds!

THE ART: Students will be given a variety of shorebird photographs that are representative of migratory bird species seen in Harney County. Wildlife Refuge Specialist Carey Goss will teach students about bird migration, wildlife habitat, and shorebird characteristics. Up to 32 shorebirds species can be observed and help make students more aware of our local biological diversity. This can help students be more attentive to their local environment as well! 


Artist Liz Foster from Bend Art Center will present a creative art technique using watercolor and mixed media to capture and create individual art pieces of shorebirds. The artist will walk students through a variety of art techniques. After experimenting with a variety of art media and practicing these techniques, students will create of their painting by choosing a shorebird of their choice. Bringing art in our classrooms will not only expose the students to the benefits of the arts, they help youth success in all school subjects and in life.


PARTICIPATION:  Students K - 12 throughout the Harney County school districts will participate in this program with 75 minutes of classroom work. More than 600 youth art pieces will be exhibited for the Harney County Migratory Bird Festival around the community, at the festival’s Wildlife Art Show & Sale, or at the Saturday night festival banquet. Each painting will represent work by multiple students and EVERY STUDENT who participates will have their painting included in the festival. 

YOUTH ART AUCTION: FIVE "Best of the Nest" youth art pieces will be printed on canvas and available TO YOU through silent auction to help support this local art program.   Helping our youth through art programs may be one of the most important steps we can take together. The funds will help hire an artist and purchases art supplies to offer a variety of art techniques to Harney County students they might not otherwise experience in the traditional classroom. The program will also support educators with needed art supplies for the school year.

The youth art auction will start Friday at the festival’s art show and conclude at the festival’s banquet on Saturday night. Thank you for supporting our youth and this great program!

This year's program will: 


  • Foster awareness of wildlife habitat and its importance for bird migrations

  • Learn about shorebird characteristics to spark curiosity about the natural world and encourage participation in the Harney County Migratory Bird Festival

  • Develop the skill of close observation for scientific and artistic purposes

  • Encourage creative experimentation

  • Learn a variety of creative techniques using watercolor and mixed media

  • Provide a rich artistic and educational experience for rural students

  • Generate artwork for the festival's student art exhibit in a way that is inclusive


Thank you to our main sponsor, Friends of Malheur Refuge, for your commitment to bringing this program to Harney County.


From the artist:

Since earning my teaching certificate and Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art Education I have had opportunities to teach in a variety of settings. I wrote curriculum and taught art to all ages in schools, after school classes, a behavior program and an art museum. I spent time traveling and being outdoors as an environmental education instructor at camps in Washington and Michigan. Working as a horsemanship instructor, I have been lucky enough to share knowledge of another one of my passions. Now I am happy to bring art experiences to students all around Central Oregon as the Artist in Schools Coordinator with Bend Art Center.  

bend art center​

This artist residency is one of many arts education programs offered through Bend Art Center, serving the four-county area. Located in Bend’s historic Box Factory, Bend Art Center offers a unique mix of exhibition and studio space. The Bend Art Center gallery brings a different mix of contemporary and historical art to Central Oregon audiences. Bend Art Center is also home A6 Print Studio, a professional printmaking and book-arts studio. Exhibits, workshops, and arts education programs work in concert to foster a deeper understanding of ourselves and our world.