Exploring the Artistic Marvels of Bend: A Journey into Public Art

Welcome to Bend, Oregon, a haven where nature and art beautifully intertwine. Join me, Emily Bennett, your guide on an exhilarating exploration of Bend's renowned public art. From the whimsical Golden Squirrel's Wondrous World to the upcoming revival of the iconic Red Sides sculpture, we will immerse ourselves in the enchanting stories behind these remarkable works of art.

The Captivating Tale of Golden Squirrel's Wondrous World

Embark on a journey into the mesmerizing realm of Golden Squirrel's Wondrous World, a masterpiece that reflects the harmony between Bend's rich heritage and the pulsating rhythm of daily life.

As we approach the roundabout at Butler Market Road, Empire Avenue & 27th Street, prepare to be enchanted by the intriguing presence of Golden Squirrel's Wondrous World. This whimsical sculpture, created by Michael Stutz, weaves together elements from Bend's history with a touch of humor, giving us a glimpse into the intricate tapestry of life.

The circular design of the woven steel wheel draws symbolism from Bend's timber mills and the continuous movement of cars. Inside the wheel, the silicon bronze strips in iridescent blue and green hues allow sunlight to dance through, creating a shimmering effect. The center curve, reminiscent of a partial globe, evokes the fluidity of the Deschutes River and the interconnectedness of our blue Earth.

Perched atop this magnificent installation is the golden squirrel, an emblematic figure that captures our imagination and invites us to celebrate nature's influence in our lives. With a touch of playfulness, Stutz's sculpture brings a refreshing perspective to the mundane routines we navigate daily.

The Revival of Red Sides: A Journey Under the Sea

Delve into the enchanting depths of Red Sides, a mesmerizing kinetic fish sculpture poised to receive a vibrant transformation. Uncover its captivating history, join the waiting game, and behold its reinstallation, just in time to mesmerize Bend locals and visitors alike.

Under the sea-themed roundabout at Colorado Avenue and Simpson Avenue sits Red Sides, an iconic sculpture by Miles Pepper that has serenaded passerby since 2001. After years of admirers marveling at its red-accented fish as they gracefully moved with the wind, it's time to give this artwork a well-deserved revival.

Reflecting the Colors of Life:

The red accent on each fish symbolizes energy and vitality. Now, with an upcoming transformation, these vibrant colors will be reimagined using high-quality industrial paint that comes with a 20-year warranty, allowing generations to come to revel in its vibrancy. Drawing inspiration from Aspen trees, which have found homes along Third Street & Murphy Road, Gilded River showcases nature's vibrant hues at their finest. This repainting endeavor is made possible through the City of Bend's ongoing support for public art preservation.

The Charming Comeback:

While Red Sides is taking a brief break from the limelight, we eagerly await its return to the roundabout. By the end of November, Bend will once again rejoice at the sight of these delightful fish. This revival not only fills our streets with color and joie de vivre but also rejuvenates a beloved symbol that connects us with the wonders of the aquatic world.

Join us as we celebrate the beauty and resilience of public art and eagerly anticipate the triumphant return of Red Sides, adding yet another sparkling gem to the artistic tapestry of Bend!


Bend, Oregon, truly is a haven where creativity and nature intertwine to create an unforgettable experience for residents and visitors alike. The captivating public art installations, such as the Golden Squirrel's Wondrous World and the upcoming revival of Red Sides, transport us into a realm where imagination takes flight. As we wander through Bend's streets, these artistic marvels remind us of the importance of connecting with the beauty that surrounds us every day. Join me, Emily Bennett, on this enchanting journey through Bend's vibrant art scene, and let the magic of these masterpieces inspire you.

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