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Get Your Culture On

If dinner and a movie (on TV no less) have been the highlights of too many weekends, get your culture on. Check out these twelve events that are sure to inspire your creative streak and feed your soul.


1) Paper Arts Festival – April

You may never think about paper pushing the same way after these three consecutive one-day workshops in at the Newport Visual Arts Center that include papermaking, surface design, paper dolls, boxes, decorative book binding, silk screening, paper manipulation, photo books and beads.


2) Spring Unveiling Arts Festival – May

Treat yourself to a weekend of discovering new work by dozens of Cannon Beach artists. Festival-goers can explore local galleries, hang out at artists’ receptions, dance to live music, and even try some “edible art.” That’s right—throughout the weekend local chefs, baristas, and candy makers offer special menus featuring items inspired by the festival’s most exciting pieces.


3) Plein Air & More – June

Craving some delicious, salty, coastal air? Head back to Cannon Beach for a stroll and meet more than 50 artists painting, sculpting, creating, and photographing “en plein air,” or “in the open air,” through town and along the beach. Local galleries display the finished works and host artist receptions throughout the weekend.


4) Recycled Arts Festival – June

What was lost—or destined for the landfill—is found, recycled and turned into works of art at this green arts festival at Esther Short Park in Vancouver. Okay, so it’s not technically in Oregon, but come on. It’s close. And it’s cool. And it’s free.


5) America's Largest Antique and Collectible Show – July

Collectors, rejoice! Collectors of all ages and from around the globe gather in Portland for the largest antique and collectible show in America, featuring more than 1,500 vendors. You’ll find a bit of everything at this show, from collectible knick-knacks to vintage clothing, Star Trek figurines to antiques from the mid-1880s.


6) Astoria Studio Tour – July

Get to know dozens of artists in Astoria’s vibrant community. Every July, for one weekend only, the Astoria Society of Artists presents this opportunity to step inside artists’ studios, meet talented and creative people, and experience how these artists create their work.


7) NW Book Festival – July

Get close and personal with 50 critically-acclaimed authors who share their latest books and sign autographs at Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland. With authors who write genres spanning from speculative fiction to travel to children’s literature, there’s something for every reader at this book festival.


8) Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show – July

Every second Saturday of July, year in and year out, Sisters hosts the largest outdoor quilt show in the world. More than 1,300 vibrant quilts from around the world adorn a town that dates back to the 1880s. To really appreciate what goes into the creation of these colorful, textured textile art pieces, sign up for the Quilters Affair, a series of local classes conducted the week prior to the quilt show hosted by The Stitchin' Post. For questions about the classes or registration call 541-549-6061 or email


9) Columbia Gorge International Film Festival – August

Once again you’ll have to venture across the bridge and head into Vancouver, WA, but if you’re a film buff, 300 movies from around the world, not to mention the guest speakers, are calling your name.


10) TBA Festival – September

Every September, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (or, as Portlanders call it, PICA) brings contemporary performance and visual artists from around the world to converge in Portland for 10 days and nights of activity at the annual Time-Based Art Festival (TBA). At this virtually non-stop whirlwind of art, you can head to workshops, galleries, and talks by day, and performances, rock shows, and dance parties at night.


11) BendFilm Festival – October

This celebration of independent film focuses on the creative genius that produces cinematic art even in the absence of commercial interests. Basically the opposite of the Cannes Film Festival, this positively non-exclusive festival in Bend features a casual, relaxed atmosphere and venues that are walking distance from each other.


12) Stormy Weather Arts Festival – November

Crashing waves and the swirling clouds of an Oregon coast November sky create the perfect backdrop for this fall arts festival in Cannon Beach. Throughout the weekend, visitors will enjoy art by writers, musicians, visual artists, and more at the town’s galleries, shops, hotels, and restaurants.

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