With so many inspiring people and places in Oregon, art and culture abound in enclaves across the state. Feed your friend’s soul with original artwork, immersive classes, museum memberships and fun plans for future events.
While you can’t be with all your loved ones during the pandemic, you can certainly show your love with a piece of Oregon. Best of all, you’ll support local businesses when they need it the most. Make an impact with your dollar and give the gift of Oregon. Here are some ideas for the cultured friend in your life.
Find arts and crafts on the Built Oregon Marketplace.
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 Glass 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 2021 calendar.
Read stories about Oregon art galleries.
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 inventive lighting projects at Ken Scott’s Imagination Gallery in Sisters. Portland’s Black-owned greenHAUS Gallery + Boutique features artisan-crafted goods and gifts alongside vintage wares. Give someone wanderlust with the books by Barbara Tricarico Photography featuring Oregon’s most gorgeous landscapes. From the comfort of home, you can peruse the ceramics, glass jewelry, fiber arts and more at the Salem Art Association’s Bush Barn Art Center Online Marketplace.
Read stories about Oregon art galleries.
The stage will come alive once again, and all of Oregon’s theater lovers will be ready to find seats. The world-famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland offers gift certificates for future shows, as do Portland’5 Centers for the Arts, Portland Center Stage at the Armory, The Elsinore in Salem, and Hult Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene. Other small but mighty theaters also selling gift certificates and season passes include Oregon Cabaret in Ashland, Oregon Contemporary Theatre in Eugene, and Broadway Rose in Tigard. For the young aspiring actors, Oregon Children’s Theatre hosts virtual classes.
Read stories about Oregon theaters.
For history buffs
Amateur historians will get a kick with memberships to 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.
Read stories about Oregon museums.
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. The Enchanted Forest has inspired imaginations for generations, yet it’s struggling to stay afloat during COVID-19. The park is collecting donations and selling souvenirs online — including branded sweatshirts — that locals would be proud to unwrap. 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, Portland Children’s Museum, 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 a sea otter or puffin at Oregon Coast Aquarium, complete with plush toy.
Read stories about Oregon family fun.