Broken Barrel in Stanfield Commissions Local Artist

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Stanfield's Broken Barrel bar and grill recently commissioned local artist Barb Swan for three large paintings to be displayed inside. (Beau Glynn/Hermiston Herald)

Three new pieces commissioned by artist Barb Swan are now on display at the Broken Barrel, 120 W. Coe Ave.

The installations were commissioned after a cycle of collections from different local artists, who could exhibit their pieces at and sell them through the restaurant.

“We had, for a little while, been featuring different artists, posting their art on our walls and selling it for them,” Broken Barrel owner Martha McClusky said.

She said the restaurant began showing pieces from local artists in November 2022, cycling through a few creators and hanging their works on the walls.

“We really just try to work with local people,” McClusky said. “We get our beef locally, so having local artists commissioned, it’s just important to us to try and have local collaborations wherever we can.”

She said Swan had previously exhibited at the restaurant.

“I just think she’s fabulous,” McClsuky said. “We were excited to feature a local Stanfield artist.”

Swan’s paintings can be seen on display inside the Broken Barrel in Stanfield. (Beau Glynn/Hermiston Herald)

The product of the commission from the Broken Barrel is three new paintings placed above dining tables, where patrons can see them as they dine.

McClusky said she thought the paintings would be a great addition to the restaurant, complimenting the space’s aesthetics.

Art has played a principal role in Swan’s life. A former cake decorator of 30 years, she began to focus more on her artwork in 2019 after retiring from cake-decorating due to the pain it inflicted on her hands.

In her time as a painter, Swan’s pieces have hung in multiple local establishments, such as Sno Road Winery in Echo. She was also honored by the Hermiston Public Library in October 2021 as the Artist of the Month, where a collection of her paintings were displayed for the month.

McClusky gave Swan kudos for pursuing art later in life.

“We love our community and know that there are a lot of talented people who don’t have an opportunity to have a platform and we were excited to be able to do this,” McClusky said. “We just fell in love with some of Barb’s paintings and knew it would compliment our restaurant really well.”

Broken Barrel commissioned three large paintings from Swan. Being three parts of a whole, the pieces correlate and complement each other, as well as the space in which they reside.

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