Design Creates Space for a Local Artist’s Work and Pacific Northwest Treasures

Joey and Craig Van Blokland had plenty of time to envision and design their dream home. In 1986 they purchased 28 acres on the eastside of Bend and then spent the next 14 years living in a mobile home on the property. They had neither the time nor money to build. Craig was starting his own business, Morales Van Blokland Inc., specializing in custom countertops, and Joey worked as a nurse. In her free time she was busy painting and developing a reputation as a pastel artist. When she sold a painting, she tucked away the money toward the construction of their home, which would house both her paintings and the couple’s collection of art from the Pacific Northwest.

The Van Bloklands chose materials that were both functional and warm. The golden-hued bamboo floors are tough enough to withstand dogs and grandchildren’s tricycles. And this palette of natural-looking materials, cherry cabinets, and textured walls creates a neutral backdrop for bold art. Giant masks are reminders of the couple’s yearly fishing trips to Alaska for nearly 30 years.  Joey explains that seeing masks like the raven “danced” in traditional ceremonies changes one’s connection to art.  “(The masks) have a social and cultural meaning that’s not just about aesthetics,” she says.

Artwork is thoughtfully paired throughout the house: a cerulean Native American “everything bag” of birds and flowers made of glass beads finds echoes in the blue-hued Steen Mountains in a painting by Joey. In another corner, a loon mask is almost lit by a vibrant green tribal bowl below. Joey marvels at the ingenuity of a Native American cedar box carved from a single piece of wood. But for many guests the real showstoppers are Joey’s own paintings, which evoke the drama and grandeur of the Central Oregon landscape she calls home. 

Facebook: Joey VanBlokland Artist

Pull quote: “(The masks) have a social and cultural meaning that’s not just about aesthetics.”—Joey Van Bloklund, artist