Press Releases

February 23, 2017

THE HIGH DESERT MUSEUM ANNOUCES A CALL TO ARTISTS.  Submissions now accepted for Art of the West exhibition. Bend, OR--The High Desert Museum is now accepting entries for the 2017 Art of the West exhibition. <more>

January 4, 2017

HIGH DESERT MUSEUM TO BECOME AN AFFILIATE OF THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION. Director Harold Closter will present a Certificate of Affiliation during the Members’ Exclusive Exhibition Opening on January 27. Bend, OR –The Smithsonian is coming to Bend. The High Desert Museum is a new Smithsonian Affiliate, a program established in 1996 <more>

December 2, 2016

HIGH DESERT MUSEUM TO HOST SPECIAL AFTER HOURS EVENT. Art, Live Music and Libations After Dark. Bend, OR—The High Desert Museum is hosting a special HDM | After Hours event on Friday, December 16. <more>

November 25, 2016

EXHIBITION HIGHLIGHTS THE HIGH DESERT’S HOME FRONT DURING WWII. Historian Dr. David del Mar to discuss the region’s contributions during a special exhibition opening. Bend, OR—The High Desert Museum’s exhibition WWII: The High Desert Home Front commemorates the 75th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War II. <more>

October 25, 2016

HIP-HOP HITS THE HIGH DESERT. Mic Crenshaw and Paul D. Miller to perform at the High Desert Museum. Bend, OR ~ The High Desert Museum will be at the crossroads of art and music this November while hosting two internationally known hip-hop artists – Mic Crenshaw and Paul D. Miller. <more>

September 30, 2016

HIGH DESERT MUSEUM RECEIVES ONE OF FOUR NATIONAL STEMeX GRANTS. $250,000 Award supports research on STEM-based science inquiry in museums and libraries. Bend, OR—How might experts’ use of storytelling impact rural families’ interactions during Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities? <more>

September 23, 2016

HIGH DESERT MUSEUM TO HOST SPECIAL ANSEL ADAMS PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBIT. Ansel Adams: Masterworks exhibition features artist’s favoritesBend, OR—It’s called “The Museum Set,” 48 stunning black and white photographs selected by Ansel Adams (1902-1984) himself, represents the best of his life’s work. <more>

September 20, 2016

HIGH DESERT MUSEUM TO HOST OREGON HUMANITIES’ “THIS PLACE” COMMUNITY CONVERSATION. Central Oregon residents invited to talk about power, place and belonging. Bend, OR ~ “Place” is a complicated and powerful idea. <more>

September 16, 2016

NATURE WRITING INTENSIVE WORKSHOP LED BY LOCAL AUTHOR AND POET ELLEN WATERSTON. Workshop held in conjunction with programs about wild horses. Bend, OR—The Spanish word mustengo means “ownerless beast” and aptly describes the free-roaming and iconic mustangs of the American West. <more>

September 6, 2016

High Desert Museum Announces Access Program for Low-Income Families. Museums for All to increase accessibility of high-quality museum learning resources. Bend, OR ~ The High Desert Museum has joined Museums for All, a signature access program of the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) <more>

September 1, 2016
High Desert Museum announces fall programs focused on wild horses in the High Desert. Bend, OR ~ Wild horses are regarded as an inspiration or curse. This fall, the High Desert Museum is partnering with the Pacific Wild Horse Club <more>

August 18, 2016
EXHIBIT EXPLORES PREHISTORIC HIGH DESERT SHARK. Whimsical artwork by Ray Troll depicts buzzsaw sharks. Bend, OR— Prehistoric sharks are coming home to the High Desert! <more>

August 8, 2016

HIGH DESERT MUSEUM SEEKING SUBMISSIONS FOR COMMUNITY-CURATED EXHIBIT. Legendary Landscapes exhibition to feature High Desert locations and stories behind their names. Bend, OR—The High Desert Museum is seeking submissions for an upcoming community-curated exhibition, Legendary Landscapes. <more>

June 17, 2016
Winning author and finalist to read at ceremony. Bend, OR—What happens when a sea becomes a desert, and when a sea people therefore become a desert people? <more> 

May 24, 2016
A SMOKEJUMPER’S LIFE – PARACHUTE INTO A WILDFIRE Exhibit highlights the history of smokejumpers and wildfires in the Northwest. BEND, OR—For more than 75 years, specially-trained women and men have been jumping out of airplanes and parachuting into remote wildfires. <more>

May 13, 2016 
HIGH DESERT MUSEUM PROUDLY PARTICIPATES IN BLUE STAR MUSEUMS. Free admission to the Museum offered to military personnel and their families this summer.  BEND, OR--The High Desert Museum will participate again this summer in the Blue Star Museums program. <more>

May 10, 2016
HIGH DESERT MUSEUM TO HOST OPEN ‘TIL DARK EVENT. Celebrate the 1930’s in style with this annual kick-off-to-summer bash. BEND, OR—The High Desert Museum will be open after hours on Friday, May 20, kicking off summer in style… 1930’s style… with its annual Open ‘Til Dark event. <more>

April 15, 2016
Celebrate the ‘30s with Fashion, Dance and Live Music at the Tower. Bend, OR—“Hep cats” and those who get “togged to the bricks” should make the swell scene at the Tower Theatre on May 13 for Fashion, <more>

March 18, 2016
CALL TO ARTISTS ANNOUNCED BY THE HIGH DESERT MUSEUM.  Now accepting submissions for Art of the West exhibition. Bend, OR--The High Desert Museum is now accepting entries for this year's Art of the West exhibition and silent auction. This fundraising event features <more>

March 17, 2016
Ready, Set, Vroom! The Family Resource Center and High Desert Museum host a Vroom celebration! Bend, OR—Did you know that the brain develops most rapidly in the first five years of life? Every moment can be a brain building moment, and that’s where Vroom comes in! Vroom helps you make <more>

February 25, 2016
Museum Offers Nature and Science-themed Summer Kids Camps. Registration opens March 1 for these popular summer camps. Bend, OR — The High Desert Museum is offering week-long, summer camps that focus on nature, art and science for kids in grades K-5th from June 20 through August 26. <more>

February 24, 2016
FREE DISCUSSION ABOUT SCIENCE AND CITIZENSHIP. March 4 event is part of Oregon Humanities’ statewide Conversation Project. Bend, OR -- Americans have more confidence in scientific and medical leaders than in leaders of any group except the military, according <more>

February 11, 2016
High Desert Museum Offers Free Admission. 
“Free Family Saturday” is February 20, 2016. Bend, OR – Sponsored by Mid Oregon Credit Union, admission to the High Desert Museum is free for guests on February 20. <more>

January 8, 2016
High Desert Museum Offers Two Free Days. 
Family Free Saturdays” are January 23 and February 20, 2016. Bend, OR – Sponsored by Mid Oregon Credit Union, admission to the High Desert Museum is free for guests on January 23 and February 20. <more>

December 9, 2015
Judge Owen M. Panner Chosen as Earle A. Chiles Award Winner. Award Presentation to be held at the High Desert Museum on Friday, December 11, 2015. Bend, OR – The High Desert Museum has selected the Honorable Owen M. Panner as the 32nd annual Earle A. Chiles Award winner. <more>

November 21, 2015
MUSEUM SEEKS BLANKETS WITH STORIES BEHIND THEM. Community blankets will form work of art. Bend, OR – The High Desert Museum is collecting donated blankets with personal stories behind them to be used in a new exhibition opening next spring.  Portland-based artist <more>

November 6, 2015
Art for a Nation: Inspiration from the Great Depression to open April 16, 2016. Bend, OR – The High Desert Museum is curating an exhibit based on the Works Progress Administration (WPA), <more>

October 21, 2015 
Lecture Connects Livestock and Humans to the Web of Life. Wildland resources expert to discuss landscape management  at the High Desert Museum. Bend, OR —Dr. Fred Provenza,  professor emeritus in the Department of Wildland Resources at Utah State University,  will discuss the interconnection of humans, <more>

September 3, 2015
WEATHER EXHIBIT CALLS FOR A CHANCE OF RAIN, SNOW OR SHINE. Central Oregon’s dynamic weather featured in new exhibit at the High Desert Museum. Bend, OR – September 3, 2015 ~ Weather plays a large role in how we live our everyday lives. It affects how we dress, the crops we grow and the work we do. <more>

August 31, 2015
Ant exhibit curated by Dr. Mark Moffett, “the Indiana Jones of entomology.” Bend, OR - August 31, 2015 ~ Small yet abundant, with complex and wildly diverse lifestyles, ants may be found nearly everywhere around the globe except for Antarctica, <more>

August 12, 2015
hotographer Noppadol Paothong to speak at opening reception October 16Bend, OR – August 12, 2015 ~ Sage Grouse: Icon of the Sagebrush Sea opens at the High Desert Museum on October 16. The exhibit follows on the heels of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s determination <more>

July 13, 2015
TOUGH BY NATURE EXHIBIT CAPTURES THE SPIRIT OF WESTERN WOMEN.  Artist Lynda Lanker to speak at members’ opening reception on October 9. Bend, OR – July 13, 2015 ~ Eugene artist Lynda Lanker traveled throughout the West for 19 years pursuing a passion: capturing the invincible spirit of ranch women <more>

July 9, 2015
MUSEUM’S ART OF THE WEST EXHIBIT AND AUCTION DRAWS RECORD ENTRIES. Opening reception on July 30 to feature live artist demonstrations. Bend, OR – This year’s Art of the West exhibition and auction at the High Desert Museum will feature more than 60 works by some 40 artists, nearly double the number of pieces included in last year’s show. <more>

June 1, 2015
HIGH DESERT MUSEUM TO OPEN NEW EXHIBIT ON CREATURES THAT GLOW IN THE DARK Glow:  Living Lights explores the fascinating world of bioluminescence. BEND, OR—In the desert and undersea, some creatures have adapted to glow in the dark. This phenomenon, called bioluminescence, is the subject of Glow: Living Lights, an exhibit opening at the High Desert Museum on Saturday, June 13. The exhibit explores how and why some living organisms produce light through a chemical reaction in their bodies. “This exhibit illuminates the incredible, although little understood, story of bioluminescence in nature,” said High Desert Museum Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, Ph.D.  <more>

May 20, 2015
HIGH DESERT MUSEUM PARTICIPATES IN BLUE STAR MUSEUMS The High Desert Museum will offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer. BEND, OR--The High Desert Museum announces participation in Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment of the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2015. The launch date for the High Desert Museum will be Saturday, May 23, 2015. <more>

May 19, 2015
MUSEUM TO HOST OPEN ‘TIL DARK EVENT Celebrate the brewing culture and Central Oregon Beer Week with this after-hours event. “Discovering inner hoppiness” is more than a Central Oregon slogan; it is the catchphrase of the regions thriving craft beer industry. The High Desert Museum celebrates both the industry’s Central Oregon Beer Week and the finale of Brewing Culture: The Craft of Beer exhibit, by hosting Open ‘til Dark, an after-hours event of music, food and beer tastings, on Friday, May 29 from 5:00-9:00 pm. <more>

May 7, 2015
MUSEUM TO HOST WORLD-RENOWNED TROPICAL CONSERVATIONIST. Dr. Thomas Lovejoy to speak about climate change with focus on the High Desert. The High Desert Museum will wrap up this year's Natural History Pub lecture series on June 8 with a presentation at the museum by Thomas E. Lovejoy, Ph.D., a biologist and conservationist generally credited with bringing the tropical forest problem to the fore as a public issue. <more>

April 27, 2015
“Senior Day” at the High Desert Museum Seniors get in free on Wednesday, May 13. Bend. Ore.—The High Desert Museum is offering free admission to everyone 65 years and older on Wednesday, May 13.  “Senior Day” is a rare opportunity for seniors to enjoy the incredible wildlife, meaningful history, and artful exhibits offered at the Museum at no cost. <more>

April 13, 2015
HIGH DESERT MUSEUM ANNOUNCES CALL TO ARTISTS Submissions for Art of the West exhibition now being accepted. Bend, OR--The High Desert Museum is now accepting entries for this year's Art of the West exhibition and silent auction. This fundraising event, which coincides with the museum's annual High Desert Rendezvous gala, features fine art depictions of the western region of the U.S. by contemporary artists. "Last year's exhibition included a stunning collection of works created by a diverse group of artists", said Faith Powell, the museum's curator of exhibitions and collections.  <more>

March 30, 2015
NEW EXHIBIT OPENS AT HIGH DESERT MUSEUM. Growing Up Western explores life as frontier children. Bend, OR – Imagine what childhood in the High Desert was like a century ago, when young children were expected not only to go to school and do household chores, but often to work to help their families survive. This was a far different lifestyle from that of today’s tech-savvy youth. Growing Up Western, a new exhibit opening at the High Desert Museum on Saturday, April 4, will depict how children worked—and played—in  the High Desert. <more>

February 19, 2015
AUTHOR JOHN MARZLUFF TO SPEAK AT HIGH DESERT MUSEUM Welcome to Subirdia reveals rich bird diversity in suburbs In partnership with Oregon Wildlife, the High Desert Museum will host a talk with John Marzluff, author of Welcome to Subirdia and TED Talk presenter, on Wednesday, February 25.  In his book, Marzluff reveals that our suburbs and city parks are often remarkably rich in bird diversity, holding more species than either wilderness areas or urban centers. <more>

February 5, 2015
Free Admission at the High Desert Museum “Mid Oregon Family Free Day” - Saturday, February 21. Bend, Ore. – Central Oregon’s iconic museum is offering free admission Saturday, February 21 thanks to a generous sponsorship by Mid Oregon Credit Union. “Family Free Day” is a rare opportunity to enjoy the amazing wildlife, artful exhibits and meaningful history offered at the High Desert Museum — at no cost.  <more>

January 14, 2015
Controversial sage grouse the topic of a film and presentation at the High Desert Museum. Rescuing Sage Grouse from a Habitat Crisis.  
The High Desert Museum is hosting a presentation by Garth Fuller of the Nature Conservancy about a new, collaborative effort to restore sage grouse habitat. Following Fuller’s presentation there will be a screening of a documentary film by Steve Chindgren entitled  It’s Just Sage Brush: The Life History of the Great Sage Grouse. The film was given honorable mention for cinematography at the International Wildlife Film Festival.  <more>

January 5, 2015
Craft Brewing comes to the High Desert Museum. New exhibit captures the history, culture, art and science of beer making. With all the buzz about the local craft brew scene, it’s only natural that the High Desert Museum would create an exhibit on the subject. Brewing Culture: The Craft of Beer opens with an exhibit preview party on January 16 at 6:30 p.m. and will be on display through Memorial Day weekend. <more>
December 17, 2014
High Desert Museum adds the barred owl to its impressive collection of raptor species. In addition to the popular hawks, eagles and falcons currently on exhibit, the High Desert Museum now has a fifth owl species: the barred owl. <more>
November 17, 2014
High Desert Museum presents new “Science Party” program for the holidays. Winged Wonders explores the fascinating world of flight. Bend, OR — With special programs, exhibits and kids camps, science comes to life at the High Desert Museum. Just in the past year the Museum has introduced people to animal forensics, captured the magic of electricity and addressed the importance of H2O. <more>
November 10, 2014
Renovation planned for High Desert Museum otter exhibit
Plans are underway for a major remodel of the Autzen Otter Exhibit at the High Desert Museum. Thanks to a $250,000 matching grant from the Oregon Business Development Department, the Museum will replace aging equipment, improve the viewing experience and upgrade the habitat for the two river otters. <more>
October 2, 2014
High Desert Museum’s annual fundraiser raises more than $300,000. The High Desert Museum’s 25th Annual Rendezvous netted more than $322,000, the highest amount in several years. “We’re thrilled that the Rendezvous was such a big success, and we owe many thanks to our sponsors and donors. We greatly appreciate their generosity,” said Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, PhD. <more>
September 30th, 2014
Painter Sophie Sheppard wins the 30th annual Earle A. Chiles Award. 
The High Desert Museum has selected Sophie Sheppard, a third-generation Great Basin painter, essayist, farmer and environmental activist, as the 30th annual Earle A. Chiles Award winner. The $15,000 cash award, funded by the Chiles Foundation, honors Sheppard’s environmental stewardship and artistic interpretation of the High Desert. During four decades of creative work, she has brought the unique beauty of the region to diverse groups and has helped raise awareness of the natural resources of the Great Basin. <more>

September 15, 2014
High Desert Museum’s annual fundraiser raises more than $300,000. The High Desert Museum’s 25th Annual Rendezvous  netted more than  $322,000,  the highest amount in several years.  “We’re thrilled that the Rendezvous was such a big success, and we owe many thanks to our sponsors and donors. We greatly appreciate their generosity,” said Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, PhD. <more>

July 22, 2014
Painting Oregon’s Harvest: The Art of Kathy Deggendorfer opens August 30Kathy Deggendorfer’s popular watercolors have been called “whimsical, happy and vibrant.” Her recent work, for an exhibition at the High Desert Museum, is best described as delicious. <more>

June 18, 2014
High Desert Museum unveils a world of nature, In The DarkIt’s a dark, moonless night in the High Desert… prime time for nocturnal animals of all sorts. This is when small mammals like kangaroo mice and jack rabbits forage for food, find a mate and fulfill all their basic needs. For them, the light of day represents mortal danger from every direction. <more>

February 12, 2014
High Desert Museum Names New President:  Dr. Dana Whitelaw chosen to lead the iconic non-profit institution. Central Oregon’s premier Museum has a new leader. Dr. Dana Whitelaw, formerly VP of Programs at The High Desert Museum, has been appointed President, effective immediately. Dr. Whitelaw was selected after an exhaustive nationwide search by the Museum Board of Trustees. Board Chair David Souther, who led the search committee, said the unanimous decision bodes very well for the future of the Museum. <more>

October 26, 2013
High Desert Museum loses a beloved animal friend. Thomas, the longtime resident river otter at the High Desert Museum, died yesterday from old age.  Thomas was 16 years old and had been delighting Museum guests since 2002. <more>

October 24, 2013
High Desert Museum honors Thomas J. Connelly with 2013 Annual Earl Chiles Award. The High Desert Museum has chosen Dr. Thomas J. Connolly, Research Director at University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History & State Museum of anthropology, for the 29th annual Earle A. Chiles Award. The $15,000 cash award, funded by the Chiles Foundation, honors Connolly’s work leading teams of archaeologists who conduct cultural resource management studies for state agencies as well as utility companies, federal agencies and municipalities. <more>

September 9, 2013
High Desert Museum President Janeanne A. Upp to retire. Museum President Janeanne A. Upp, who oversaw the High Desert Museum through a period of growth and financial stability, will leave the organization in December 2013, the museum announced today. Ms. Upp will retire after over 20 years in the museum industry. <more>

August 15, 2013 
Exhibition of fine art printmaking to feature 
some of the biggest names in Northwest art. Creating Impressions: Printmaking in the Northwest opens August 24th. Rick Bartow, Dale Patrick Chihuly, Morris Graves, Mark Tobey and Marie Watts are just a few of the famous names behind the fine art prints in a new art exhibition at the High Desert Museum. <more>

June 28, 2013
Be The Dinosaur: Life in the Cretaceous. 
Charging into the High Desert Museum on June 29thTwo things we know for sure: Grade school kids are positively infatuated with dinosaurs. And video games are part of their everyday lives.Our new exhibit, Be the Dinosaur: Life in the Cretaceous combines interactive video simulations with traditional displays and fossil specimens in a dramatic exhibit that answers these common questions… <more>

September 25, 2012
High Desert Museum Honors Rebecca J. Dobkins with Earle A. Chiles Award. Dobkins has championed the art, cross-cultural dialogue, and public understanding of Native Americans. <more>

July 19, 2012
High Desert Museum Awarded Prestigious National Grant for Collections Plan. Plan aimed at developing a strategy for enhancing Museum’s collections, strengthening future exhibits and programs. <more>

October 27, 2011
Polka, Beloved Northern Spotted Owl at High Desert Museum, Dies at Age 26. He and his mate, Dot, were America’s only captive breeding Northern spotted owls, and helped efforts to save the controversial threatened species. <more>

October 1, 2011
High Desert Museum Honors Patty Limerick with Earle A. Chiles Award. Her scholarship and forums challenge popular mythologies about the West. <more>

January 24, 2011
High Desert Museum Awarded Re-Accreditation from American Association of Museums. The Museum has again achieved accreditation by the American Association of Museums, the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. <more>