McMenamins St. Francis Interiors 2017 — photo 15 of 62: “In Good Company” by McMenamins artist Kolieha Bush is one of many works of art gracing the walls of their Old St. Francis School in downtown Bend, Oregon. May 2017. About this painting Kolieha wrote:
I feel fortunate to call the people portrayed in this painting my friends as well as my coworkers. Prominently featured are fellow artists Olivia Behm, Jenny Joyce, Myrna Yoder and Lyle Hehn, with whom I’ve worked extensively throughout the years.Camera used: Olympus OM-D E-M5 with Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 zoom lens.
From painting exterior building borders in dry, dusty heat, to the more confined business of painting bathroom borders and faces on pipe elbows, working as a McMenamins artist offers a variety of unusual working conditions and challenges. One of the most memorable projects was painting a 40-foot canvas from a three-story scaffold at McMenamins Back Stage Bar in Portland. It felt like we were up on the rigging of a ship, with the canvas rippling in the wind every time one of us moved. Painting headboards in the old jail at McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale has also been a rewarding experience, as it allows a number of us to work together in the same space, share ideas and get feedback from each other.
My husband Joe Cotter, who passed away in 2012, was another with a long relationship with McMenamins. Though Joe is not portrayed directly, the central image in this painting is of his bronze sculpture of Jerry Garcia, located at Edgefield. As my partner, Joe had a very profound impact on my life, and his passion, inspiration and creativity were evident to all who met him. Our son, Noah Cotter, has worked as an artist for McMenamins as well; the border along the bottom of the painting was inspired by one of his designs.
I’ve also included stylistic elements from the art of my friends and coworkers, Reeva Wortel and Eona Skelton, and drew inspiration from the creative metalwork of Jeff “The Plumber” Allen I have met some really fine people doing this work and am continually meeting new ones. I’m grateful to say I am “in good company!”
For further details about the story behind this photo, see the related article My Pilgrimage to McMenamins St. Francis.