: Historic Carousel & Museum of Albany by Willamette Valley Visitors Association

Oregon Gifts for Fans of Arts and Culture

Oregon art, classes and museum gifts for that special someone in your life.
November 20, 2020 (Updated October 27, 2022)

With so many inspiring people and places in Oregon, art and culture abound in enclaves across the state. It’s easy to give a gift that feeds the soul with original artwork, immersive classes, museum memberships and fun plans for  events.

What better way to show your love than with a piece of Oregon, while at the same time supporting local businesses. Make an impact with your dollar and give the gift of Oregon. Here are some ideas for the cultured friend in your life.

You can buy local glass art or make your own at Lincoln City Glass Center. (Photo by Sparkloft Media)

For artists

Let your friend unleash their creative side with glassblowing classes at Lincoln City Glass Center on the Coast, Nichols Art Glass in the Columbia River Gorge, Eugene Glass School in the South Willamette Valley, and Live Laugh Love Art in Tigard, among other glassblowing studios. In Eastern Oregon, find metalsmithing and youth art classes at Josephy Center near the Wallowas and pottery and glass-etching at Crossroads Carnegie Art Center in Baker City. Bend’s The Workhouse features life drawing and writing classes. For artists who love to be inspired, purchase a membership to the Portland Art Museum, Hallie Ford Museum of Art or Coos Art Museum; or make a donation in their name to arts organizations like Washed Ashore. Anyone who’s walked the shoreline labyrinth of Circles in the Sand on the Southern Oregon Coast will delight in branded merchandise or a calendar.

Read stories about Oregon art galleries.

Bush Barn Art Center (Photo courtesy of Salem Art Association)

For art enthusiasts

You don’t have to be an artist to appreciate art. Across the state, galleries and studios showcase local artists’ work for purchase — and you just might find the perfect piece to spruce up your friend’s space. Check out the coastal fine art at Northwest By Northwest Gallery in Cannon Beach, bronze statues at Soderberg Gallery & Studio and Greene Bronze Studio in Cascade Locks, and whimsical, imaginative paintings at The Art of Alfred A, Dolezal Gallery in Terrebonne. Portland’s artist cooperative Blackfish Gallery displays a rich cross-section of Oregon artistry — plus one of the artists is always at the gallery during business hours. Give someone wanderlust with the books by Barbara Tricarico Photography featuring Oregon’s most gorgeous landscapes. Peruse the ceramics, glass jewelry, fiber arts and more at the Salem Art Association’s Bush Barn Art Center.

Read stories about Oregon art galleries.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival's annual lineup often receives acclaim. (Photo by Jenny Graham / OSF)

For thespians

The stage brings stories to life, so why not help the Oregon theater lovers in your life find a seat in an upcoming production? Consider tickets to the world-famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Portland’5 Centers for the ArtsPortland Center Stage at the ArmoryThe Elsinore in Salem, and Hult Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene. Other small but mighty theaters also selling tickets and season passes include Oregon Cabaret in Ashland, Oregon Contemporary Theatre in Eugene, and Broadway Rose in Tigard. For young aspiring actors, Oregon Children’s Theatre hosts seasonal acting classes.

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An exhibit at Tamastslikt Cultural Institute.
Tamastslikt Cultural Institute tells the stories of Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla tribes. (Photo by Sachie Yorck)

For history buffs

Amateur historians will get a kick out of a membership to one of the state’s thoughtfully curated museums, including the Oregon Historical Society,  High Desert Museum, Favell Museum, Columbia River Maritime Museum and the Willamette Heritage Center. Or let them learn about Oregon’s original inhabitants and support Indigenous tribes with memberships to Tamástslikt Cultural Institute, The Museum at Warm Springs and Chachalu Museum and Cultural Center. Anyone who loves aviation marvels will be wowed by Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum and Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum. Science-obsessed friends will geek out with an annual membership to Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), Eugene Science Center, and Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals.

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A mother and daughter look at a Humpty Dumpty display.
The Enchanted Forest is a favorite theme park for many lifelong Oregonians (Photo by Enchanted Forest)

For families

Kids and grown-ups of all ages take delight in Oregon’s museums and theme parks. Show your love for the state’s timeless attractions  with a gift certificate or merchandise. Purchase a brick in a friend’s name for the Albany Historical Carousel, where each wooden animal is handcrafted and painted. Salem’s Enchanted Forest has inspired imaginations for generations and has an online shop that includes artwork, apparel and gift certificates. Find more fun stocking-stuffers at the websites for McMinnville’s Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum and The Oregon Vortex in Gold Hill, plus gift cards or memberships to Gilbert House Children’s Museum in Salem, Ashland’s ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum and the Eugene Science Center. For animal lovers, symbolically adopt a red panda or giraffe from the Oregon Zoo, a cheetah or tiger at Wildlife Safari, a rehabilitated wolf or bear at Wildlife Images, a raptor at the Cascade Raptor Center, or your favorite sea creature at Oregon Coast Aquarium, complete with plush toy.

Read stories about Oregon family fun.

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