Pine Meadow Ranch Center for Arts and Agriculture

Pine Meadow Ranch Center for Arts & Agriculture

 

Pine Meadow Ranch was acquired by The Roundhouse Foundation in 2017. Prior to this acquisition, this 260 acre ranch was ranched, farmed and cared for by aviatrix and rodeo stalwart Dorro Sokol, who died in 2017 at age 90. Many of the buildings at Pine Meadow Ranch were built in the 1930s. They include a bunkhouse, caretaker's cabin, woodworking sheds, tack rooms and a home designed by one of Oregon’s preeminent architects, Ellis F. Lawrence.   Lawrence was the mind behind a score of historic buildings around the state, including the University of Oregon’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene.

The vision of Pine Meadow Ranch is to connect sustainable agriculture, conservation arts and sciences with traditional and contemporary crafts and skills integral to ranching life including: metal, glass, wood and leather work, ceramics, fibers and textiles, writing, painting and drawing, photography and music.

Today, Pine Meadow Ranch continues to operate as a working ranch and is developing and expanding arts, agricultural and ecological projects using the assets of the property. Our goal is to preserve the land, the views, and historic buildings of Pine Meadow Ranch for years to come. Click here for a current photo gallery of PMR.

Whychus Creek runs through the Ranch. Just a few years ago Sokol was an integral partner in the restoration of the Creek; check out this video from our partner the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council to learn more.

History of Pine Meadow Ranch Center for Arts & Agriculture and The Roundhouse Foundation

The Roundhouse Foundation has supported the work of the creative community in Central Oregon since 2002.  The mission has always been, in part, to promote the economy of Sisters and Central Oregon through the arts.

Trustees of the Foundation had been dreaming of creating a center with state of the art studio space for artists to excel through education and access to the proper tools. The center  would also work to preserve the beauty of the area and honor its local historical roots.  The Center envisioned had to be beautiful and inspiring.

In 2005, The Roundhouse Foundation funded a study asking what was needed in the Sisters area to support the artist community.  The answer was -- support for local artists and galleries.  Help increase sales by bringing more buyers. More joint advertising and promotion.

Much of that has occurred -- we now have a state designated Arts District, many more healthy galleries, more opportunities for artists to showcase their work, and the Sisters Arts AssociationPublic art has increased and we have added a magnificent new entry sculpture at the West Portal entrance to Sisters in the new roundabout.

In 2016, Roundhouse Foundation revisited the question of where the needs are now, eleven years later and the answer was very much different.  The community at large was invited to give input around the Center for Visual Arts. Roundhouse Foundation enlisted the help of 30 local artists.  We wanted to have local working artists experience an artist residency to inform how Sisters could be designed.  We sent artists to Penland in North Carolina, Arrowmont in Tennessee, Sitka Center at the Oregon coast, Sedona, Arizona and even to Maine in the middle of winter.

Each of these artists participated in a class or residency program and brought back information about how their experience could be replicated here in Sisters.  The artists enthusiastically endorsed the idea for a Center in Sisters.

How was Pine Meadow Ranch chosen as the location?

 

After research at other locations; discussions with the Sisters community; and lots of work the Foundation created a list of requirements for a location in Sisters.  It was determined that the ideal location would be:

  1. Within walking distance of downtown Sisters.
  2. Have as little impact on traffic as possible.
  3. PARTNER with lodging not compete.  The best case would be if visitors could stay at lodging in town and support the local tourist economy. We would consider building some “bunkhouse” type housing for participants in school activities if we were able to get proper zoning.
  4. PARTNER with local restaurants not compete. Creating a central kitchen would be considered to accommodate some food for participants and also for some culinary artistry.
  5. A campus type setting imbedded in a working ranch -- preferably with several workshop spaces to start and the Sisters setting with mountain and green space views.

 

Pine Meadow Ranch accomplishes the original goals in the following ways:

 

  1. Preserve the ranching tradition by maintaining the agricultural lands.
  2. Make use of preexisting structures that are currently unused by converting existing agricultural buildings into workshop space. (Successful artist centers often make use of empty manufacturing facilities -- Sisters doesn't have that urban resource but does have empty agriculture buildings.)
  3. Create a working classroom space on the timber/creek ground by working with the local schools, Oregon State University-Cascades, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), Deschutes Land Trust and Upper Deschutes Watershed Council.
  4. Preserve the historic buildings and the ranching and timber traditions with help from the High Desert Museum, Oregon Historical Society, Des Chutes Historical Society and Three Sisters Historical Society.
  5. Develop ways for the public to access this historically private land.
  6. Create jobs.
  7. Create a cultural tourism economic center.
  8. Celebrate and encourage local economic health through innovation and collaboration.

 

Learn more about RHF's Agriculture and Conservation plans here.

Learn more about our Artist in Residency program here.

How does Pine Meadow Ranch fit into the Sisters Country vision?

 

In 2019 community partners came together once again to evaluate the current assets of Sisters Country.  Pine Meadow Ranch Center for the Arts & Agriculture fits into many of the action items for a prosperous Sisters.  Especially:

"Develop and promote Sisters Country as the "Artisanal Capital of Oregon,” building on its strategic location and spectacular environment, expanding the artisanal economy including visual artists, trades and crafts people, musicians, performance artists, writers, brewers, distillers, and farm-to- table chefs."

as well as

"Develop and promote a Sisters Makers District, where wood, metal, and glass crafts, woven crafts, pottery, and arts studios mix with local food and craft beverages, creating a pedestrian friendly zone that compliments, diversifies, and expands the local economy and supports entrepreneurialism and innovation."

to name a few.  Pine Meadow Ranch Center for Arts & Agriculture is working with community partners in a variety of ways to support the implementation of the community vision.

Click here to read the Sisters Country Vision Document.

Click here to reach the Sisters Country Vision Action Items.