I met Arden's mother, Amanda, at a dog park a couple of months ago. She's also a photographer, so we fell into a little shoptalk. We met up again at the park and I learned more about her family. I asked if I could photograph Arden for this project and she agreed. Arden was wonderfully sweet and didn't stop smiling the entire time we chatted. I don't remember what it was like to be 10 years old, but Arden is making it look like a breeze.
Who are you?
I'm Arden Conde. I'm artistic. I like to make a lot of stuff. I have an older brother. I love nature. And I love art. I'm creative. I go to Highland Elementary. I like being with my friends and I've just always liked school. Our school gets to do Storyline, which is really connected with art. We decorate a wall to be the setting. Right now we are learning about Shakespeare and it's good because we don't just read about a book, we actually get to create artwork based on it.
Where do you come from? What brought you to Bend?
I was adopted from Vietnam when I was six months old. I just recently went back to visit my family. It was really cool, but it was a little overwhelming because there was a lot of people.
What do you like about Bend?
I like the nature in Bend and it's a fun place and it's beautiful. I like to draw pictures of the nature and I like to play in it. I like to bake and I like to draw. I usually like making desserts. Probably the best thing I've ever baked is cupcakes with filling. My favorite things to draw are roses and trees. And like drawing people, too.
How do you contribute to the community?
Just recently we started doing a project where we would take trash out of the river and then create art with it. I'm doing that with my Girl Scout troop. Two weekends ago we went to the coast and we went to Washed Ashore. They get trash out of the ocean and build really big sculptures. It's important to keep the Earth safe. We all live in it, so it needs to be healthy and we need to be healthy.
Do you have any thoughts regarding Bend's growth?
Bend is getting more trashed. But, I mean, everyone's welcome here, which is good. I want it to be healthy. The more people that come, the more pollution we're putting into the Earth.
What do you wish for the future?
Me and my friend have this dream of having a cafe together. And we would display some of my art and sell it. And I want the Earth to be healthy and I want our family to be safe.
I look up to my art teacher, Marlene. She has an art class that we go to every Wednesday at her house with six other people. We make lots of cool stuff and she's actually helping with the river cleanup. We make soap and homemade paper, which we're doing today.