Art’s Night Out
Artists are doing things here. Simply put, Oregon’s art scene is happening—be it in a refurbished warehouse in Portland, the back-room of a coffee house in Corvallis, amongst the downtown shops in Bend or next door to a taffy maker at the coast. Join us as we gallery hop from first Thursdays to last Fridays, witnessing Oregon art at its best.
Newberg has long been known for its award-winning wineries but head downtown on the first Friday of the month and you’ll find a vibrant gallery scene—the monthly Art Walk. Starting February 4, peruse the galleries in its historic downtown. Nearby in McMinnville, on the third Saturday of the month, wine will flow at the Art and Wine Walk from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. along Third Street. Taste new varietals and take part in the local arts exhibits in this iconic wine country town.
In Corvallis, add shopping to the agenda on the first Thursday of every month. Here, galleries and shops keep their doors open well into the evening. Fridays are art days in Eugene. Head downtown on the first Friday for ArtWalk, where you’ll see a dozen or so venues hosting fine art and performance exhibits. Head over to the Whiteaker ‘hood—home to Ninkasi Brewing, Territorial Vineyards and Sweet Life Patisserie—on the last Friday to see cutting-edge exhibits and to hear local musicians.
Bend kicks off its spring season with the Spring Art Hop on April 1. And Ashland’s monthly first Friday gallery openings are not to be missed. Visit Medford during the annual Art in Bloom festival, May 7-8. Head downtown where you’ll find rows of local artists presenting their work. If you can’t wait until May, check out the monthly Third Friday Art Walk.
A big draw for gallery hoppers, the picturesque coastal town of Cannon Beach was named one of the 100 Best Arts Towns in the country and features a number of galleries, bookstores and unique shops tucked into beautifully weathered gray houses. Check out the North by Northwest Gallery right across from the city park, with a rotating collection of paintings, jewelry, photography and work by famed sculptor Lillian Pitt. In the Columbia River Gorge area, Hood River has monthly art shows and events at the Columbia Center for the Arts.
In Portland, the problem is not what to see but rather how to choose from the more than 150 galleries located in the city’s inner radius. You can’t go wrong in the Pearl District at the long-standing and ever-popular First Thursday. Over the last 20 years this former warehouse district has gained national acclaim for its arts scene. Here on the first Thursday of the month, galleries stay open late (usually until 5:30 to 8:30) so you can check out the latest exhibits. There is often live music and refreshments, and almost all of these openings are free of charge.
Keep up the momentum the following night at First Friday in the Central Eastside Arts District. Though this industrial area has long been home to artist’s studios, it’s quickly gaining praise for its emerging gallery scene.
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