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The Artists

Each cabin features a different artist that has work displayed throughout. We love being able to represent and support our creative community and all work is available for sale, please contact the manager.

Venka Payne

Cabin 4

I live in the Columbia River Gorge, in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, and I take inspiration from the fragments of Ancient Forest that still exist here.  Writing and painting have always been intertwined in my process, but it was painting that I first identified as my mode of expression, and considered to be “my work.”  Recently I’ve been writing more poetry, which flows from my process when I paint, and from just wanting to express things in words.  


I paint with transparent watercolors on cotton watercolor paper. The work itself involves watching, waiting, and layering: water and paint.  When the paintings are finished, I mount them onto professional wood panels.  Then to protect them, I wax and/ or varnish them.  

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Dawn Nielson

Cabin 2

Stitching metal wire onto fused stratums of encaustic wax are key elements of my work. I correlate the action of working with these materials and their optics to the human psyche. All are layered, sometimes cloudy and held together as an effort to close up, heal or just keep it all together. All human beings have their own biological, psychological and sociological cocktail that makes them who they are, no matter how transparent or stitched together they may be.


I am an artist living and creating in the Columbia Gorge in Stevenson, Washington. After a 20+ year career as a graphic artist, five-years as an owner/operator of a coffeehouse and one breast cancer diagnosis, I went back to school to become an art therapist & counselor. After my BFA thesis, I chose to pause my Master's program for art therapy to explore who I was at that time as an artist. I've been exploring ever since.

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Thomas Sikora

Cabin 3

I have been fascinated with photography since the age of 13. I learned the basic photography skills on simple analog cameras, without light meters. The science behind image capture was as important to me as the visual expression through the medium. Initially, I could easily say, everything was image worthy, then my interest narrowed down to cultural photojournalism and landscape photography, finding excitement in working with ethnic groups then seeking solace in the mountains soaking up the natural beauty of our planet. For many years now I have been traveling to the far reaches of the world immersing myself in vanishing cultures as well as wandering off the beaten path to capture most remarkable landscapes. My images are not meant to simply represent the reality but they are my personal rendition of the photographed scene and ultimately should spark curiosity and have a soothing effect on the viewer.

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Jen Smith

Cabin 1

Jen Smith was born in 1967 in Marshalltown, Iowa. When she was 3 her family moved west. 

Jen grew up in the Bighorn Basin of northern Wyoming just 90 miles east of Yellowstone National Park. She draws inspiration from that heritage of living and being raised outside in the badlands, prairies and the Rocky Mountains of that region.  Jen received her BFA from Montana State University, Bozeman, MT. Through the act of exploration she responds to the natural world in it's ever evolving state through the medium of charcoal, pastel pencil. Her work, although naturalistic, is very modern and clean and showcases each subject with great detail and emotion.  She has shown her work nationally in prestigious shows and venues such as “Western Visions” in Jackson, Wyoming at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, and “Art of the West” at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon.  Her work is widely collected across the country.  She enjoys her home art studio in the Columbia River Gorge in the tiny river town of Stevenson, Washington. Jen is considered to be one of the top artists in the Pacific Northwest. 

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