Oregon is well known for its outdoor life. Last year I focused on some of Oregon’s hiking trails, so this year I decided to turn my attention to a few of artistic offerings of Oregon. Oregon is filled with people who love art in its myriad forms whether they are participating in its production or enjoying someone else’s endeavors or both, like me.
The Oregon theatre community chooses plays and musicals that span a wide variety of topics, points of view, and genres. From professional theatres like Portland Center Stage in Portland and Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland to smaller theatres like Brushcreek Playhouse in Silverton, Albany Civic Theatre in Albany, and Majestic Theatre in Corvallis, there are opportunities for both professional and amateur actors and actresses in Oregon. In just the past few years I’ve had the pleasure of attending Sex with Strangers, Ain’t Misbehavin’, A Streetcar Named Desire, Dog Sees God, Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, and Les Miserables among others.
Several ballet companies, like the Eugene Ballet, offer interesting and sometimes surprising shows like a ballet based on The Great Gatsby or one based on Dark Side of the Moon album by Pink Floyd. Both were breathtaking performances.
The Portland Art Museum is a wonderful place to fuel one’s inspiration. They often offer special collections in addition to their collection. Every visit I’ve made to the Portland Art Museum has sparked my creativity.
The Oregon coast offers several glass blowing shops where one can buy beautiful pieces by the glass blowers as well as watch pieces being made. Some, like Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio, offer a glass blowing experience/class where one, along with the assistance of a professional, makes their very own piece of blown glass. I’ve participated in this even twice, making a paperweight in 2009 and a bowl in 2014. I cherish my pieces and highly recommend trying this experience!
There are several festivals throughout the state highlighting the beauty, diversity, and vast array of talent to be found in Oregon’s diverse landscape. I’ve sold books at the Wilsonville Festival of the Arts in Wilsonville, a family friendly event where the main attraction is work by local artists as well as The Florence Festival of Books in Florence. I loved watching the kites take flight at the Summer Kite Festival in Lincoln City a few years ago. The array of tulips with Mt. Hood in the background at Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn isspectacular and, to my mind, a work of art.
Whether one wishes to hike a mountain, enjoy other people’s artistic endeavors, or try one’s hand at artistic expression, or all three, even in the same day, Oregon welcomes one and all.
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T. L. Cooper is an author and poet whose work aims to empower and inspire through an exploration of the human condition. Her poems, short stories, articles, and essays have appeared online, in books, and in magazines. Her published books include a collection of short stories, Soaring Betrayal, her Silhouette Poetry Series, and a no vel, All She Ever Wanted. She grew up on a farm in Tollesboro, Kentucky. When not writing, she enjoys yoga, golf, hiking, and traveling. She currently lives in Albany, Oregon with her husband and three cats.
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