And off we go!
|First Thursday in Portland|
A is for art and crafts
Portland is an artsy place.
Art walks: We have four art walks each month, the most well known of which is First Thursday. First Thursday started in 1986 in a what-was-then-mostly-abandoned Pearl District (now one of the most happening places in the city).
I ;last went to First Thursday several years ago, when one of my coworkers, Kelly Kievit, a painter in addition to being a talented graphic designer, had a show at the Froelich Gallery. Sadly, now she has moved to Denver so I don't know any local artists personally to drag me out on Thursday nights!
|Portland Art Museum|
Education: We are home to the Oregon College of Art and Craft and a fine art school, the Pacific Northwest College of Art.
|With my friend April and artist Nikki McClure|
at the Wild Arts Festival last winter
Local art shows: When I was younger, my aunt was a potter. I remember the summer our family painted my aunt and uncle's house in exchange for a full setting of pottery, which my parents still own. She showed her work in the wonderful annual Ceramics Showcase and Local 14 Women's Art Show and Sale.
Last year I went to the Wild Arts Festival for the first time with my friends. It's sponsored by the Audubon Society, and I never even knew it existed.
Crafts: We have great local craft stores beyond the big box Michael's. The most well known are Scrap (a nonprofit creative reuse center) and Collage, but a drop-in arts and crafts studio also just opened up in my own hood and I have yet to visit it: the Craft Factory.
In addition to local craft bazaars held all over town over the winter holidays, the large, amazing Crafty Wonderland (Portland's arts & crafts extravaganza) is not to be missed! Best of all, it's free...and it offers high-quality, all-handmade items, unlike so many of the large craft bazaars nowadays. We also have our own Museum of Contemporary Craft, always a fun place to visit.
Multnomah Art Center: Portland's fantastic parks & recreation district runs several community centers, best of which is the Multnomah Art Center (just .5 mile from my house). In addition to its many performing arts classes (music, dance, and theater), the center offers weaving, pottery, calligraphy, painting, jewelry making, metalsmithing, tie-dye, glass fusing, and mosaic among others. Several years ago I took a fabulously fun mosaic class there. Must do something creative there again soon!
This is just the tip of the iceberg and doesn't even mention all of the great entrepreneurial start-up creative companies that have bloomed in Portland. We love to express ourselves and expose ourselves to art, as our former mayor Bud Clark made famous in 1978:
Next up: Bookstores and breweries!