My wife and I love to go out. In fact, it is one of our favorite things to do in the whole world. But, going out can be expensive and, more than that, going out can become tedious if you keep doing the same things and visiting the same haunts. Luckily, we are creative and resourceful people living in a creative and resourceful city—and this resourcefulness if made so much easier with the internet. The internet is what helped us plan our latest night out. A simple Google search, and we were off to the races.
First Thursdays in Portland, Oregon are a great time to go out. The First Thursday of each month is the day when all of the local art galleries introduce a new show, a new artist, new artwork. To commemorate this event, the Portland Art Museum each first Thursday from 5-8 PM opens its doors to the general public… for free!
Right in the heart of Downtown Portland in the Park Blocks, comingled with PSU and within shouting distance of Powell’s City of Books, the Portland Art Museum is housed in a huge, modern building designed by the later enowned Italian American architect Pietro Belluschi, a leader in the modern Architect movement.
We drove into downtown and found affordable parking and made our way by foot to the museum. We saw a line stretching out the door and we were, admittedly, quite nervous. But, the line moved efficiently and soon we were inside, transported into a world of creativity and beauty.
From sculpture, to paintings, to engravings, to ceramics, to mosaics, from famous artists to local and lesser known; with over 1300 works on display, there is something for everyone. With the exhibits constantly turning over, there is always something new to experience.
My wife was lost in some pencil and charcoal drawings displaying, not heavy handedly, mans’ encroachment on nature. I found myself lost and transported in the Impressionistic works of Monet, Renoir, and Mattisse.
We got a work out. Upstairs, downstairs, sitting, standing, walking. Who knew art could contribute to cardiovascular health! We needed more time. By the time the museum closed, we had only scratched the surface of our experience and were thirsty for more. Luckily, more could come as early as the first Thursday of next month… or earlier if we decide to pony up for a membership.
The Portland Art Museum is located at 1219 SW Park Avenue in Portland, Oregon. For more information on current displays and exhibits, visit their website at http://portlandartmuseum.org/.