There isn’t a better time than summer to step outside and expose yourself to art. We’re a city of creatives and now more than ever the city is buzzing with creative events and artistic enclaves. The best way to spark creativity is to get out and witness it in person. Take yourself out one of these summer days and get exposed. Here’s our top five favorite ways:
Portland Art Museum (PAM): Located smack dab downtown on the park blocks, PAM is a quick hop and a skip for those who work and create downtown. It is the seventh oldest museum in the United States and the oldest in the Pacific Northwest. The Museum is internationally recognized for its permanent collection and ambitious special exhibitions. We recently took a daytime team outing to the museum, taking a moment away from deliveries and promotions to witness the dramatic Gods & Heroes Exhibit (and to take some silly photos inspired by the lush paintings and sculptures). Hot tip: The museum is now offering a Creative License for just $40 a year, which is a total steal. You can use it to access the Museum and the NW Film Center all year long. You’ll also get the inside scoop on programs, lectures, events, and opportunities. This is by far one of the best ways we can think to keep the creative fuel burning during the lazy summer months and into the more focused fall and winter days. On August 21st, the museum will host its first ever Monster Drawing Rally (MDR), a live drawing event and fundraiser featuring more than 75 Portland-based artists. Part performance, part laboratory, part art bazaar, the Monster Drawing Rally is a great opportunity to watch some of your favorite Portland artists create original drawings from a blank page. Inspiration strikes!
- Rooftop Cinema at NW Film Center: Experience great films under the stars in the warm evenings, films like Almodóvar’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (showing August 6th), as well as kitchy drive-in movies at Zidell Yards. The Film Center is currently in the middle of a Paul Thomas Anderson program called “The Art of Reinvention: Paul Thomas Anderson and His Influences.” The film center also hosts a variety of film festivals year round; next up is the Fresh Film NW, a festival celebrating young filmmakers. Getting a Creative License from PAM also gives you reduced tickets to the NW Film Center and it’s unique offerings.
First and Last Thursdays: First Thursdays are a monthly art event in the Pearl, well-known and well attended. Ambling in the Pearl in and out of the galleries is a sure fire way to spark the art bug. We’re usually out with our bikes, cruising the galleries and drinking free wine. The Last Thursdays on Alberta is definitely not-to-be-missed. A community grown event, Last Thursdays is a great place to view and buy local art, get activated to create, and listen to live music.
- Portland Opera: If you need more drama in your life and swelling emotions welling up in the center of your chest, visit the Portland Opera. Guaranteed to make you sigh heartily and make your eyes gleam. One of the more creative programs out there, the Portland Opera often re-imagines traditional Operatic styles, like the current offering The Elixir of Love.
- Literary Arts/Portland Arts and Lectures: Just as summer is waning, the Portland Arts and Lectures season begins, spewing inspiration all over the stage. In addition to live events that are broadcast statewide on OPB, this program connects renowned authors with readers and writers of all ages through classroom visits and writing workshops. The coming 31st season features some of the most influential writers at work today; novelists, journalists, essayists, and poets who have won the most prestigious awards in their profession. Influence your own scribbles with literary exposure. Full speed ahead!