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The Top 49 Events in Portland This Week: Dec 4-10, 2023

Portland Gay Men’s Chorus, Crafty Wonderland Holiday Art and Craft Market, and More Top Picks
December 4, 2023
Don your gay apparel for a performance by the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus. (Portland Gay Men’s Chorus)
We're here to add some élan to your Google Calendar with a host of can't-miss events happening this week, from The Muppet Christmas Carol to Poog: The Road to Christmas and from Portland Gay Men’s Chorus: Make the Yuletide Gay to Crafty Wonderland Holiday Art and Craft Market.

Holiday hours may vary—please check venue websites directly for the most up-to-date information.

Jump to: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Multi-Day



Takahiro Iwasaki: Nature of Perception Past Event List
Japan Institute artist-in-residence Takahiro Iwasaki (who represented Japan at the 2017 Venice Biennale, aka the Olympics of the art world) will debut his new art exhibition, Takahiro Iwasaki: Nature of Perception,  at Portland Japanese Garden. The Hiroshima-based artist's work includes "architecturally accurate models of historic Japanese sites," which are manipulated into large-scale installations of suspended sculptures and duplicates. In this way, Iwasaki "plays with our sense of the familiar" and subverts viewer expectations. Stop by the garden to view the exhibition and get some nature time as the leaves start to change colors. LC
(Portland Japanese Garden, Washington Park; closing)



alt-J: An Awesome Wave 10th Anniversary Show Past Event List
Despite the trends of 2013 feeling incredibly dated (galaxy print leggings, high-low hem skirts, men's v-neck shirts, overuse of the word "swag," etc), ten years wasn't that long ago. That's why, when I saw that British folktronica trio alt-J was hitting the road on a 10-year anniversary tour for their album, An Awesome Wave, I had to double-check what year it was. Perhaps this tour isn't about nostalgia, but rather capitalizing on their most beloved album while lead vocalist Joe Newman still has that signature warbly, whiny voice. Sing along to hits like "Breezeblocks" and "Tessellate" after an opening set from Berlin-based indie rockers Meagre Martin. AV
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks)

Codeine Past Event List
Codeine sounds like Dinosaur Jr. if they all drank a bunch of, well, codeine. Despite my love of like-minded bands like Unrest, Acetone, and Red House Painters, the '90s sad boys never quite clicked with me…that is, until I heard their Numero Group-released demo album When I See The Sun. The collection features acoustic demos like "Summer Dresses," "Pea," and "Kitchen, which are deeply vulnerable, diaristic songs that carry a sweet innocence compared to their studio albums. The band, who recently played their first show in over 11 years, will stop by Portland with support from dream pop artist Winter. AV
(Mississippi Studios, Boise)


Poog: The Road to Christmas Past Event List
The hags are coming!!! Poog (Goop backward) is the unhinged blend of hypochondria, consumerism, and millennial ennui that you might not have known you needed, served up on a platter covered in retinoids and permed lashes. Kate Berlant and Jacqueline Novak are on the road for the holidays, so prepare for some lymphatic drainage in the form of diatribes on skincare and microgreens. If you are exhausted by the endless, girlbossy guides to optimizing, glass skin, and supplements that occupy nearly every corner of Beyonce's internet, Berlant and Novak are here for you—not to debunk or fact-check these things, but to laugh along. ("The original batch of snake oil had to have had something in it," says Novak.) LC
(Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn)



The Oregon Symphony: Holiday Brass Past Event List
Raúl Gómez-Rojas will conduct the Oregon Symphony's booming brass section for a joyous evening of classical tunes and festive holiday favorites. The program includes yuletide classics such as "Sleigh Ride," "Jingle Bells," and "O Holy Night," as well as selections from Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas. AV
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks)


You’re Wrong About and American Hysteria present A MASSIVE SÉANCE Holiday Spectacular for the Living and Dead Past Event List
Host Sarah Marshall's incisive hit podcast You're Wrong About challenges audience beliefs and illuminates forgotten history. (How much do you really know about the Tonya Harding scandal?) The podcasttackles everything from the Enron collapse to serial killers, and it was named the 2022 Podcast of the Year at the I Heart Radio Podcast Awards. Marshall will join forces with American Hysteria host Chelsey Weber-Smith for this live show, which will offer up comedy, "witchy rock and roll," and a massive séance to shake off the hexes of 2023. LC
(Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn)



Ali Wong Past Event List
Pint-sized beef lover and queen of vulgarity Ali Wong will pop by the Pacific Northwest, bringing with her a slick roster of jokes about feminism, anal sex, motherhood, and the horrors of shitting at work. At least, that's what her previous specials have touched on—she's since obtained an "unconventional" divorce, been Emmy nommed, and toughened up on crime in Birds of Prey. Despite all of her fancy-pants status and success, we're betting that this show will still toe the controversially nasty line that Wong knows best. LC
(ilani Casino Resort, Ridgefield)

Matteo Lane Past Event List
Well-fed funnyman Matteo Lane will drop by Portland to serve up his own recipe for success: quick-witted comedy inspired by his Italian upbringing, The Barefoot Contessa, and more. (Carbonara sadly not included.) "Fluent in five languages and with a singing range of six octaves, Matteo lived in Italy as an oil painter and opera singer before starting his comedy career," reads the promotional copy for this show. Cool brag, Matteo! LC
(Revolution Hall, Buckman)

Kickstand Comedy Presents: Secret Aardvark Past Event List
Over 30 of Portland's best improvisers will gather again for this who's who of Rose City comedy. Named after the organizers' favorite local hot sauce, each Secret Aardvark event features an extra-special mystery guest (past guests have run the gamut from David Lynch to random high school theater students). This holiday edition of the show should be wrapped up in a particularly funny bow. LC
(Kickstand Comedy Space, Ladd's Addition)


CloZee: Microworlds Past Event List
Renowned French producer Chloé Herry—aka CloZee—will bring her imaginative and technically precise bass sounds to the Roseland in support of her third album, Microworlds. Thinking of an eyeball as its own little planet, the album explores "how humans are related to our vast universe" through a combination of reflective instrumental samples and danceable beats. AV
(Roseland Theater, Old Town-Chinatown)

White Album Xmas Past Event List
The White Album Christmas variety show is surprisingly really fun. This annual show very much attracts a certain demographic: Beatles lovin', patchouli smellin', nouveau circus appreciators. But really, as long as you can stand the Beatles, it's a damned good time. There are standout performances by the Rose City Circus and their compadres, a near spot-on re-creation of the Beatles' White Album (which is a bit of mixed blessing..."Revolution 9," ugh) by the Nowhere Band. PORTLAND MERCURY CONTRIBUTOR COURTNEY FERGUSON
(Alberta Rose Theatre, Concordia)



The Boy and The Heron Past Event List
Over the last 30 years, Studio Ghibli has become legendary for its lush visuals, emotional and affecting storytelling, and poetic, intelligent approach to nature and the more-than-human world. One of its central figures is (duh) cofounder Hayao Miyazaki, who has made some of the studio's most revered flicks (Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Kiki'sDelivery Service among them). He's also the most endearingly idiosyncratic director, like, maybe ever, and has announced, then broken, his retirement a total of four times. Never change, Miyazaki!! Anyway, if you're a Ghibli fan, you probably know all of this and are already jazzed for his first feature film in 10 years, The Boy and The Heron. It's a hand-drawn, semi-autobiographical fantasy that seems likely to fall in line with all of the reasons you love him already. Those who purchase tickets to OMSI's opening night screening will score free movie snacks, a beverage, and a pass for free museum admission on a future date. LC
(OMSI, Central Eastside)


ZooZoo Past Event List
Imago's globe-trotting holiday tradition returns this year with a colorful array of "hippos with insomnia, arrogant anteaters, introverted frogs, paradoxical polar bears, acrobatic worms, self-touting accordions," and other tricky critters. They'll all come together on stage for an eye-popping family production before heading back into storage (aka Imago's warehouse, which probably looks pretty wild for the rest of the year). LC
(Imago Theatre, Buckman)

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Alaska...A Christmas Show Past Event List
Say HIEEEE to Alaska Thunderfuck, because she’s wiggling seductively down a chimney and into town. She'll pull "heartwarming" stories and songs from her sleigh to warm your icy heart this time around—I'm hoping for something in the vein of her albums "Anus," "Poundcake," and  "Vagina." The RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars season two winner has been busy lately; she hosts the Race Chaser podcast with fellow former contestant Willam and still makes time to call for a ceasefire. LC
(Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn)

The Siren Theater's Best Christmas Ever! Holiday Comedy and Variety Show Past Event List
Portland's finest funny people will stuff their merrymaking talents into one overflowing stocking, aka the theater's annual variety show, which promises music, special guests, prizes, sketch comedy, and "totally legit" holiday cheer modeled after old-school TV specials. (The lineup includes Shelley McLendon, Justin Himes, and plenty of other local laughers—The Mercury's own Wm. Steven Humphrey will make an appearance!) Grinches beware, though: "If you are looking for a show that is crabby about the holidays, look elsewhere," the promotional materials warn. LC
(Siren Theater, Boise)


The Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition Past Event List
Much like the traditional Christmas treat known as figgy pudding, caroling is a whimsical old-time image of the holiday season that seems to fade little by little, year by year—and that's why I am declaring this December, Little Women Winter. That's right, I'm talking bonnets, handwritten letters, Christmas trees lit with real candles (that's safe, right?), boiled puddings, communal singing, and helping your neighbors à la 19th-century coming-of-age novel. Summon your inner March sister at the annual Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition, which unites thousands of carolers (and timid bystanders) to sing holiday ditties. The top caroling teams will end the night with a very festive "sing-off" on the Figgy Pudding main stage with the potential to win up to $1,000. Velvet capes, top hats, and fur muffs are highly encouraged (by me). AV (Pioneer Courthouse Square, Downtown)



Vagabon Past Event List
Speaking about her adventurous new album, Sorry I Haven't Called, Vagabon told the Guardian that she just "didn't feel like being introspective." However, that lack of introspection did not sacrifice her sharp, cutting lyricism. The album is honest and conversational with a refreshing breeze of effervescent electro-pop. She will support the new album alongside the indie R&B project Nourished by Time. AV
(Mississippi Studios, Boise)



Creatures of Christmas Past Event List
Mysterious creatures from Nordic lore will stop by Nordic Northwest this holiday season, including the 13 Icelandic Yule Lads (don't worry, they were banned from tormenting children in 1746), a Swedish Yule goat (cute and tied to ancient Pagan festivals), Danish and Norwegian nisse (gnome-like dudes with conical caps), and the Finnish Santa, Joulupukki, who looks a lot like the American one these days. While you're there, don't miss Ole Bolle, Thomas Dambo's own mythical creature (a giant troll made of recycled materials). LC
(Nordic Northwest, Metzger, Monday-Sunday)

Orcas: Our Shared Future Past Event List
Those who keep up on regional wildlife news are likely already aware of a dire situation in the Puget Sound, where Southern Resident Orcas are on the brink of extinction due to pollution, vessel traffic, and a dramatic decline of their primary food source, Chinook salmon. (Unsurprisingly, humans have played a central role in the animal's critically endangered state.) The orca, aka the apex predator of all oceans and an utterly majestic creature that deserves to thrive, is the central focus of Orcas: Our Shared Future. The new exhibition of over 100 Orcinus artifacts includes life-sized replicas, fossils, original artwork from Pacific Northwest Coast Indigenous peoples, and more, offering a rare opportunity to deep-dive into the animal's complex social structures, its connections to humans, and the surprising consequences of orca captivity. LC
(OMSI, Central Eastside, Tuesday-Sunday)

Staying Alive: Defenses of the Animal Kingdom Remind List
You don't have to go to the zoo—or even leave the east side—to see cool live animals, and no, I don't mean your neighbor's hypoallergenic Labradoodle. Staying Alive: Defenses of the Animal Kingdom examines the self-defense mechanisms of 16 different animals, from armor-like skin to venom and poison. Best part? YOU CAN TOUCH SOME OF THE ANIMALS. The exhibit's promotional materials don't specify exactly which ones, but explain that "the educator in the exhibit will go over which animals can be touched by the public, which cannot, and why." Also, OMSI promises that the exhibit's animals are *not* stressed. (Couldn't be me!) LC
(OMSI, Central Eastside, Tuesday–Sunday)


Dream Scenario Past Event List
Fans of last year's Everything Everywhere All at Once will likely dig Dream Scenario, which continues A24's recent propensity for gonzo dream sequences and madcap visuals with a fun plotline: Nicolas Cage stars as a typical dude whose life flip-flops when he begins appearing in millions of people's dreams. If that sounds familiar, you're not wrong—it seems likely that the film was inspired by This Man, who allegedly began appearing in dreams back in 2006. Does this mean we'll start to see more flicks based on old memes, guerilla marketing tactics, and internet hoaxes? I'm here for it. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, Monday-Thursday)

May December Past Event List
If I’m going to watch an ouroboros, I’ll take one helmed by someone as curious and literate as Todd Haynes. Though May December> doesn’t rank with the director’s top-tier achievements—it lacks the sublimity of Carol, the mad invention of I’m Not There, the elemental force of Safe—its intelligence and staying power are tough to discredit. It really is one of the thorniest, most thought-provoking movies you’ll see this year. CONNER REED
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, Monday-Tuesday)

Saltburn Past Event List
Emerald Fennell's latest film is nothing if not polarizing ("Saltburn is the sort of embarrassment you’ll put up with for 75 minutes. But not for 127," says the New York Times), but as the world's preeminent Barry Keoghan stan, I have to at least entertain the idea that it has legs. Saltburn is billed as a "wicked tale of privilege and desire" (oOoOo) that sees an Oxford student attempt to infiltrate the aristocratic world of a classmate on an "eccentric family’s sprawling estate." (Has anything good ever happened at a "sprawling estate?") If you like Agatha Christie and drugs, this one might hit. LC
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, Monday-Thursday)

The Holdovers Past Event List
It's November. It's time to watch Paul Giamatti act his little heart out as a curmudgeonly educator at a New England prep school in the '60s, where a gaggle of students have been left behind on Christmas break. Honestly, though, have you ever heard a film premise that made you want to wear wool socks and drink apple cider more than this one? Plus, and perhaps most importantly, The Holdovers was directed by Alexander Payne, aka the guy who made Election and that movie about wine. It's going to be funny and charming!!! Enjoy. LC
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, Monday-Thursday)

The Shining Back and Forth with Live Score by Corey J. Brewer Past Event List
All work and no play makes anyone a dull boy, so head to the Overlook Hotel (aka the newly minted Tomorrow Theater) for Stanley Kubrick's slow-burn masterpiece played backward and forward simultaneously. The Shining's spine-chilling setting, full of lonely halls and chilly mazes, was adapted from the Stephen King psychological horror novel, and the flick owes at least some of its dramatic effect to the Pacific Northwest—it features the iconic exterior of the Timberline Lodge. (Also, if you need more convincing, Shelley Duvall is in it. I am guessing you know all of this, though.) I'd argue that The Shining is snowy enough to be considered a holiday movie, and this experimental rendition of the film creates "bizarre juxtapositions and startling synchronicities." A live score will be performed by local musician Corey J. Brewer. LC
(Tomorrow Theater, Richmond, Friday-Saturday)

Muppet Christmas Carol Past Event List
Die Hard
ScroogedNational Lampoon's Christmas VacationThe Gingerdead Man starring Gary Busey. They're all very good Christmas movies! But my all-time favorite, the one holiday film that wins out year after year, is The Muppet Christmas Carol. The classic tale is narrated by Gonzo and (the wildly underappreciated) Rizzo the Rat, with Kermit as the earnest Bob Cratchit and Michael Caine as the grumpy Ebenezer Scrooge. But to really appreciate the magic of the movie, first read this fascinating Vulture interview with songwriter Paul WilliamsThe Muppet Christmas Carol was the first Muppet movie made after Jim Henson died in 1990 and it's also the first movie Williams scored after getting sober, so all the heartfelt moments about appreciating life and the people you love in songs like "It Feels Like Christmas" and "Thankful Heart" vibrate with genuine love, grief, and gratitude. Good luck not sobbing your eyeballs out now that you know that, sorry! STRANGER ARTS EDITOR MEGAN SELING
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, Saturday-Sunday)


Miracle at Deadshot Past Event List
In 2014, New York bar owner Greg Boehm temporarily transformed his space into a kitschy Christmas wonderland replete with gewgaws and tchotchkes galore. The pop-up phenomenon has expanded to more than 100 locations all over the world, including Portland's stylish cocktail bar Deadshot. Specialty cocktails are housed in tacky-tastic vessels and christened with names like the “Bad Santa,” the “Yippie Ki Yay Mother F**r,” and the “Jolly Koala.” JB
(Deadshot, Hosford-Abernethy, Monday-Sunday)

Sippin' on Sixth Past Event List
This holiday-tiki-themed cocktail bar pop-up (a spinoff of the hit Miracle pop-up, which takes place at Deadshot this year) invites you to "imagine Santa on a surfboard instead of a sleigh and palm trees instead of pine." Drinks range from the "Merry Spritzmas" (Prosecco, aperitif, tawny port, cognac, lemon, falernum, fig preserves, and cardamom bitters) to the "Jingle Bird" (bourbon, pineapple rum, Campari, lime, pineapple, and "jingle mix"). JB
(Courtyard by Marriott Portland City Center, Downtown, Monday-Sunday)

Sleigh Love Past Event List
Sleigh the day with a menu of delightfully tacky holiday-inspired drinks and other nostalgic treats at the cocktail bar and restaurant Hey Love. The vibe is described as "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation but more, and located in a cocktail-soaked indoor jungle." Sample offerings include "Noggy by Nature" (an eggnog slushie) to "Toboggan Time" (Hey Love's signature frozen spin on Irish coffee, made with a Rumplemintz float, whipped cream, and candy cane sprinkles). DJs will add to the chaotic merriment starting at 9 pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. JB
(Hey Love, Buckman)

2nd Annual Holiday Lights Wine Walk Past Event List
Traipse through picturesque Abbey Road Farm at night, illuminated by dazzling holiday lights. You'll get to grab a glass of wine before touring the goat barn, vineyard overlook, poultry pasture, toolshed, silo garden, and pig pasture, all decked out in their holiday best. Fertie's BBQ will sling succulent smoked meats for dinner, and the trailer will offer warm treats and candy canes. Plus, proceeds will be donated to a different charity each weekend. JB
(Abbey Road Farm, Carlton, Friday-Sunday)


December to Remember 2023 Past Event List
Portland's alt-rock station 94/7 is back with its annual December To Remember concert series featuring radio regulars like Talk (with Wilderado), Cannons, Bakar, Portugal. The Man, The Moss (with the Walters), Fishbone, and Beach Weather (with the Beaches). Think of it like one of those holiday advent calendars, but instead of cheap, tasteless chocolate, you get to see live music. This week, the festivities will continue with dream pop heavies Cannons (Wednesday) and British indie rocker Bakar (Sunday). AV
(Crystal Ballroom, West End, Wednesday & Sunday)

Portland Gay Men’s Chorus: Make the Yuletide Gay Past Event List
This year, the Portland Gay Men's Chorus will make the Yuletide gay—as in happy and homosexual. The vocal ensemble has set out to produce the "gayest holiday concert of all time" with a performance inspired by classic variety and sketch comedy shows like the Carol Burnett Show, The Muppet Show, and Saturday Night Live. Prepare your pipes for some deep, Santa-esque belly laughs—no laugh track necessary! AV
(Newmark Theatre, South Park Blocks, Friday-Sunday)


A Christmas Carol Past Event List
If the impending holiday season elicits your well-deserved "Bah, humbug," I recommend taking this dependable Yuletide delight for a spin. After all, what's more Christmassy than a bunch of intrusive ghosts and a notably grumpy old dude? Portland Playhouse's A Christmas Carol is a Dickensian feast of holiday theatrics that offers a contemporary interpretation of Ebenezer Scrooge's ghostly journey, adapted with original lyrics by award-winning playwright and director Rick Lombardo. LC
(Portland Playhouse, King, Wednesday-Sunday)

Dracula: A Feminist Revenge Fantasy, Really Past Event List
Look, I love Dracula as much as the next person, but he definitely has what I'd describe as a misogyny issue—I mean, who kidnaps women and sucks their blood?? Couldn't be me! Anywho, playwright Kate Hamill's adaptation of Bram Stoker's sanguinary novel "bounces between horror and humor," challenging gothic tropes and twisting the vampire tale on its gory head to create something cool and feminist, but still scary. After all, isn't it about time we drive a stake through the heart of the patriarchy? LC
(Portland Center Stage, Pearl District, Wednesday-Sunday)

Liberace & Liza Holiday at the Mansion (A Tribute) Past Event List
It's November, which means the holidays are in full swing, whether you like it or not!! Get into it with this sequined holiday tribute, in which classically trained pianist David Saffert and singer/actor Jillian Snow Harris will charm the crowd as showstoppers Liberace and Liza Minnelli. Liberace's real-life music director Bo Ayars will conduct the musical performance; expect foot-tapping piano medleys and jazzy tribute songs. LC
(Portland Center Stage, Pearl District, Wednesday-Sunday)

Black Nativity Past Event List
Written by innovative playwright, poet, and social activist Langston Hughes, Black Nativity first premiered in 1961 and was one of the first off-Broadway plays composed by an African American person. This interpretation of the gospel play will be presented by PassinArt, an African American theater company that interpreted the bluesy, Pulitzer-nominated play Seven Guitars earlier this year. The production will blend nativity storytelling, dance, and traditional Christmas carols with brand-new songs, and it's directed by Jerry Foster, who has previously helped direct the Juneteenth and Kwanzaa Celebrations for the North Portland library and the Peace Festival for Black Women for Peace. LC
(Brunish Hall, South Park Blocks, Thursday-Sunday)

Home for the Holidays Past Event List
In this cheery musical revue, a bus full of passengers headed home for the holidays find themselves stranded in Iowa, where they wrangle up some Yuletide spirit with stories and songs to ward off the snow storm. LC
(Broadway Rose New Stage Theatre, Tigard, Thursday-Sunday)

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker Past Event List
It's The Nutcracker—you already know the premise, but it never really gets old, does it? Tchaikovsky’s magical score will spring to life again in this sugar plum-packed rendition of the longstanding holiday tradition, complete with mice, tin soldiers, and a timeless trip to the Land of Sweets. LC
(Keller Auditorium, Downtown, Friday-Sunday)


Anya Roberts-Toney: Water Witch Moon Mother Past Event List
I gushed about Anya Roberts-Toney's work in a piece for Art & About PDX a few years back, so it's safe to say I'm stoked to see her return to Nationale for another solo exhibition of jewel-toned compositions, which typically contain equal parts feminine revelry and illusive unease. Sneak peeks on her Instagram reveal a move toward bolder, more color-forward compositions in oil-on-linen, but Roberts-Toney maintains a dreamy sensibility that always reminds me of that one episode of Wishbone where he travels to the Eloi's futuristic, pink-tinged fruit garden from The Time Machine, in the best possible way. (If you have no idea what I'm referencing, why not remedy that by spending some time with Water Witch Moon Mother?) LC
(Nationale, Buckman, Monday-Sunday)

Converge 45 Contemporary Arts Biennial Past Event List
The free, citywide art exhibition Converge 45 is in full swing, with artists showcased across over 15 venues in Portland, including college campuses, the Portland Japanese Garden, and Pioneer Square. The biennial's theme, Social Forms: Art as Global Citizenship, takes on topics of Amazon deforestation, indigeneity, citizenship, and immigration, and aims to amplify the voices and experiences of people of color, so you're bound to find a cause you can get behind. I'm looking forward to local textile legend and Seneca Nation member Marie Watt's Chords to Other Chords (Relative) and Yishai Jusidman's history-driven cyanotypes in Prussian Blue. LC
(Various locations, Monday-Sunday)

Our Unfinished Past: The Oregon Historical Society at 125 Past Event List
The Oregon Historical Society is a history-maker in itself—founded in 1898, OHS has become a vital source of perspective on our region's story, sharing critical context with visitors for 125 years. Featuring over 100 objects and archival materials from its museum and library collections, Our Unfinished Past: The Oregon Historical Society at125 examines the institution's complex history and its unique mission to "advance knowledge and inspire curiosity" about Oregon history. LC
(Oregon Historical Society, South Park Blocks, Monday-Sunday)

Richard Mosse: Broken Spectre Past Event List
Have you been adequately blown away by Richard Mosse's Occidental? (If not, make time to see it—the current Blue Sky Gallery show displays Mosse's photo documentation of oil spills from an abandoned pipeline in northwest Peru's Indigenous Kichwa territory.) Fans of Mosse can head to another installation of his work at Lewis & Clark College's Hoffman Gallery. The lauded artist's film Broken Spectre "seeks to overcome the inherent challenges of representing climate change" with three years' worth of footage from the heart of the Brazilian Amazon. LC
(Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art at Lewis & Clark College, Southwest Portland, Monday-Sunday)

Rick Bartow: What the Crow Knows Past Event List
Rick Bartow, an enrolled member of the Mad River Band of Wiyot Indians, Vietnam War veteran, and leading voice in the contemporary Native American art movement, passed in 2016. Those unfamiliar with his work shouldn't miss this exhibition of his printing collaborations with Mika Aono and master printer Seiichi Hiroshima of Moon and Dog Press. Bartow's expressive, gestural style comes to life in brilliant mark-making and naturalistic storytelling. LC
(Froelick Gallery, Pearl District, Tuesday-Saturday; opening)

Secret Room Work•Shop Pop-Up Past Event List
Risograph print studio and comics and art publisher Secret Room Press has joined the other lovably artsy weirdos at Lloyd Center and opened a sparkly new pop-up art gallery and print shop. The Secret Room Work•Shop home to Life on Earth: A RISO Art Show, "a RISO art show showcasing over 25 cartoonists from the Pacific Northwest and beyond," plusweekly events and workshops and a curated selection of books, cassettes, vinyl, and VHS. Drop by the next time you're headed to Floating World Comics. LC
(Lloyd Center, Lloyd District, Wednesday-Sunday)

Ralph Pugay Past Event List
The last time I wrote about Ralph Pugay's work was at the end of 2020, when his delightfully cartoonish cat posters (referencing '70s-era motivational posters) positioned humor and anxiety side-by-side. Pugay's simplified imagery and imaginative, open-ended statements felt like the perfect response to a year of pandemic isolation, and I expect that this solo show will feel similarly therapeutic. Adams and Ollman describes Pugay's new work as "absurdist and biting," so I wouldn't expect motivational cat posters this time around, but a collection of works that still feels playful and poignant. LC (Adams and Ollman, Northwest Portland, Wednesday-Saturday)

A Sense of Place: the Art of George Tsutakawa Past Event List
One of George Tsutakawa's gargantuan fountains once graced the Lloyd Center, and they still stand at the Seattle Public Library's downtown branch and the Memorial Gates of Seattle’s Washington Park Arboretum. Seattle-born but educated in Japan, the sculptor's public works blend Pacific Northwestern and Japanese aesthetic sensibilities; they also seem to draw inspiration from Abstract Expressionism, feeling both ambitious and personally expressive. Tsutakawa, who passed in '97, created over 70 bronze fountain sculptures in the US, Japan, and Canada, and his artistic process was complex, spanning a wide variety of mediums like sumi ink and woodblock printing. (I highly recommend looking him up on YouTube and watching a documentary or two.) A Sense of Place: The Art of George Tsutakawa is the first Oregon exhibition of his work. LC
(Japanese American Museum of Oregon, Old Town-Chinatown, Thursday-Sunday)


The Makers Fair Holiday Market Past Event List
This 11-week market will feature 140 local craftspeople all under one roof, so consider your gift-giving list trounced. Vanquished. Utterly defeated. If you are the type of person who starts stressing about "the holidays" long before they're here (aka me), never fear: You'll find pretty much everything under Santa's sun, from woodturned decor to vintage goods, candles, and holiday treats, at the gargantuan pop-up. LC
(Rejuvenation, Buckman, Monday-Sunday)

Zoo Lights Past Event List
Lions, tigers, and bears will have you saying "oh my!" in childlike wonder at the Oregon Zoo's immersive holiday lights experience. Be mesmerized as you walk through tunnels of sparkling lights, take a ride on the zoo train, and enjoy treats like elephant ears and hot cocoa. SL
(Oregon Zoo, Washington Park, Monday-Sunday)

Crafty Wonderland Holiday Art and Craft Market Past Event List
Find one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your list at Crafty Wonderland, one of Portland’s OG indie markets. This holiday shopping extravaganza features over 250 artists, designers, and crafters selling wares from ceramic dumplings to bow ties for cats. Grab tickets for Friday's preview night to get first dibs on the goods and a free drink at the bar, or save money on Saturday and Sunday timed-entry tickets (they're just $4, and you can stay as long as you like). SL
(Oregon Convention Center, Lloyd District)

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