Historic barns inspire the imagination. One can almost hear the clack of hammers against wood, a dusty farmer, a saw whirring in the distance as the barn is being built. The industry of generations past who worked without manuals, YouTube videos, or the vast information found though the internet. Just know-how passed to them from parents and community.
Maybe, instead, you hear the rustle of hay and the whispering voice of someone talking to their favorite milk cow, a wife calling out that breakfast is ready, children gathering eggs and going about their daily chores.
Or you can imagine the coats of paint, fixed windows, and greased hinges over the years, the generations of a family that passed through these barns. Perhaps the barn you remember or see in your mind’s eye is one that has outlived its purpose and waits, slowly making its way back from where it came. It now sits quietly, a haven for wild things.
This summer the Josephy Center for Arts and Culture in partnership the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce invited artists to tour area barns and create art for an upcoming exhibit. The exhibit, a compilation of photographs, paintings, and drawings by many artist, will open at the Joseph Center on October 6 at 7pm and will run through December 4, 2018.
If you’re interested in taking a barn tour yourself, you can pick up a map from Josephy Center or the Enterprise Chamber of Commerce. There are several routes to choose from. Bring some snacks, your imagination, and enjoy some of the historic barns of Wallowa County. And them come see if the artists’ renditions at the Josephy Center match the pictures in your mind.
PAINTING BY MIKE KOLOSKI