ArtsMonth Blog

Artists Open Their Studios During 2019 Washington County Open Studios Tour

Joyce Gabriel_photo by Rick Paulson_pw
Hillsboro Artist Joyce Gabriel showcasing her artwork in her studio. Photo by Rick Paulson.

One weekend a year, artists and galleries in Washington County, Oregon open their studios to the public, showcasing their art and doing demos. In 2019, 58 artists and four galleries from across the county will participate, from 11 am to 5pm on October 19 and 20. From Susan Curington in Gaston to Linda Gerrard in Beaverton, from Sherwood to Banks. You can see it all, including several from Hillsboro!

Admission is free. Stop in at any of the participating artists and galleries to begin the tour. You can use this interactive map to find the studio closest to you.

The first Washington County Open Studios tour was dreamed up eight years ago in the fall of 2010. Seventeen artists gathered in a living room, planned and took the plunge, holding their inaugural event. Since then, the number of participating artists has tripled, and the number of visitors to their studios is over 2000 on the tour weekend. The range of media found in the tour–from the traditional to contemporary–attracts all walks of life and makes a fine showcase of our neighborhood talent.

The Washington County Art Alliance is proud make their Open Studios tour available to everyone. There is no charge to visit the tour, artist entrance fees are kept low, and many studios are wheelchair accessible. This is made possible by generous sponsors from local businesses, grants from the Cultural Commission of Washington County, the Oregon Cultural Trust, the Hillsboro Arts & Culture Council and the Beaverton Arts Council.

Click Here to read a Focus Hillsboro interview with Washington County Open Studios founder Peg Falconer.

Information for this article reposted from the Washington County Open Studios website. For more information, visit

Plan Your Arts Month Adventure

Head over Heels_Jun-2017-3516

The research is in: creative experiences are good for you—anything from watching a play to attending a concert, painting a landscape to learning a new recipe. Art boosts your mood, makes memories that bind you to friends and family, raises test scores, and fosters empathy.* Knowing this, how will you celebrate Hillsboro Arts Month? Find some suggestions below or follow your own creative path by visiting our full calendar of events at

Arts Month Family Fun

On October 5, start your Saturday with a walk through Orenco Woods Nature Park and take time for a game of hide and seek in the colossal stickwork sculpture, Head Over Heels, the number one selfie spot in Hillsboro and a great backdrop for a creative family portrait. Enjoy the fall weather with a picnic in the park, or head downtown for wood-fired pizzas at Pizzario before catching La Boheme at the Walters Cultural Arts Center. A production of Portland Opera To Go, this fun, all-ages staging features a shortened version of this classic opera entertaining for younger audiences. Cap off your outing with a shared chocolate fondue or handmade treat from Study of Sweets on 2nd Street.

Jen Champlin_clay

On Sunday, bring the family to enjoy live music and a delicious brunch from market vendors at the Orenco Station Farmers’ Market. Once you’ve fueled up, your crew will be ready to head down to the studio for a ceramics class—everyone can their own ceramic cup, plate, and bowl (for ages 8+) with Jenny Champlin at Sequoia Gallery + Studios.

Arts Fun for 18 and up

On October 19 and 20, over fifty local artists open the doors to their private studios during the Washington County Open Studios Tour, including fourteen artists and two galleries in Hillsboro. The event is free, and a great way to be inspired, learn about the art-making process, and find unique pieces of art for your home or gifts. Make plans to visit studios on Saturday, then enjoy award-winning Japanese food at Syun or South Indian wine and curries at Virundhu. After dinner, head down Main Street to catch Bag&Baggage Production’s October play, A Clockwork Orange.

Joyce Gabriel_photo by Rick Paulson_pw

On Sunday, visit a few more studios, then put what you learned in the studios to use by trying a wine and paint class at Clark’s Bistro and Pub or Oak Knoll Winery.

Weeknight Creative Experiences

If you can’t wait until the weekend for a night of creative fun, join us for ArtFest on October 1 from 5 to 8 pm. Part of First Tuesday at the Walters Cultural Arts Center, the evening features live music, snacks, and new art exhibits at the Walters, along with special performances on the stage and hands-on activities. Then head Downtown to visit other Hillsboro locations featuring work by local artists, live music, and more.

For another Tuesday break, stop by for a drink and appetizers at Primrose and Tumbleweeds in downtown Hillsboro before heading next door to Lines Studio for a drop-in Salsa dance class. Beginner’s classes are 7 – 8 pm, and Intermediate classes are 8 – 9 pm.


Accessible, Vibrant, and Engaging, Portland Opera To Go’s “La Bohème” Comes to Hillsboro

10.5.19_BOHEMEPortland Opera To Go returns to Hillsboro with the classic opera tale La Bohème on Saturday, October 5 at the Walters Cultural Arts Center (527 East Main St.). Full of romantic intrigue, La Bohème is a riveting tale of love and loss that has continued to move audiences for over a century. The afternoon will consist of 50 minute opera performance, followed by time for audiences questions and meeting the performers. Doors open at 1 p.m. with a 2 pm show time. The program is recommended for ages 12 and above and admission is a suggested $5 donation. There are no advance ticket sales for this performance—day-of walkups only.

Fresh for fall 2019, Portland Opera To Go’s poignant adaptation of La Bohème, Puccini’s classic story of love and loss in the Latin Quarter, concerns the fortunes of four young men whose lives are changed forever when one of them—Rodolfo—falls in love with the girl upstairs. With themes of love, friendship, facing adversity, and coming-of-age, the performance is a condensed version of the longer classic opera, designed to be enjoyed by all ages.

This is the fifth year the Portland Opera and the Walters have worked together to put forward affordable and educational opera programming for the community—with past shows reaching capacity at every performance since 2011 (200+). Be sure to arrive early to get your seat!

More information about this performance and the 2019-20 Walters Concert Series is available at

Celebrating Oregon through Art at the Walters Cultural Arts Center

Chance of Rain by Sandra Pearce

In concert with the kick-off to Hillsboro Arts Month, the vibrant I Love Oregon exhibit opens to the community at the Walters Cultural Arts Center (527 E. Main St., Hillsboro) on Tuesday, October 1, from 5 – 8 p.m. Guests of all ages will also have an opportunity to interact with featured artists and enjoy light refreshments provided with thanks to our supporting sponsor, Decadent Creations. The evening will also include hands-on art and craft projects, artist demonstrations, food trucks, and a full schedule of live performances as a part of ArtFest 2019.

Pollinator Frenzy by Donna Sires

I Love Oregon gathers together the talents of Donna Sires, Sandra Pearce, and Donna Clark in celebration of the majestic beauty of Oregon. Clark, a native Oregonian and Northwest landscape oil painter, captures “the light, texture, moods, and the stories of the lovely rich rural farming heritage that is so uniquely Oregon” in her vibrant plein air work. A native of England and an Oregon transplant, Pearce works in watercolor, seeking to transport viewers in a way that they feel a “part of that scene, enveloped by the heat of that day, or the cool of that dark passageway.” For Sires, a move to Canada in search of nature and green mountains wasn’t successful: “as soon as I crossed the state line into Oregon, I knew I had found my new home.” Her love for Oregon is evident in her tranquil and stunning works in pastel.


Awakening Morning by Donna Clark

The First Tuesday Art Walk is free, open to the public, and takes place on the first Tuesday of every month throughout Downtown Hillsboro from 5 – 8 p.m. Exhibitions at the Walters Cultural Arts Center are open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., and Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The Walters is located at 527 E. Main St. and is situated on the corner of Northeast Fifth Avenue and East Main Street in a one way grid in downtown Hillsboro. Parking can be accessed from either Fifth or Sixth Avenue, and the Walters is conveniently located just two blocks off the MAX Blue line. For more information call 503-615-3485 or visit


Study shows Oregon’s arts and culture industry generates $687 million in economic impact

Oregon’s arts and culture sector contributed $687 million and 22,299 jobs to Oregon’s economy in fiscal year 2015, according to the latest Arts & Economic Prosperity study from Americans for the Arts. Released June 17 at the group’s national conference in San Francisco, Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 includes first-time data from rural Oregon.

“Arts and culture play a key role in healthy, prosperous communities, particularly in rural Oregon,” said Chris Harder, director of Business Oregon. “While this study highlights the significant impact of artists and cultural organizations on local economies, the resulting vibrant communities are places that are more attractive for overall business growth and investment.”

The data reveals that arts and culture jobs across Oregon generated $469.5 million in household income to local residents and delivered $53 million in local and state government revenue. In addition, the 9,911,552 people who attended arts and culture events spent an average of $42.59 per event, excluding the cost of the admission ticket. Event spending, which totaled $322,956,808, includes meals, parking, souvenirs, babysitting and hotel stays.

“This is the most comprehensive data we’ve ever had on how vital arts and culture are to Oregon’s statewide economic prosperity,” said Brian Rogers, Oregon Arts Commission executive director. “Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 is evidence that the nonprofit arts and culture sector is a significant industry in the State of Oregon. It sends a strong signal that when we support the arts, we not only enhance our quality of life, but we also invest in the State of Oregon’s economic well-being.”

While previous studies have focused only on Portland and Eugene, a statewide consortium led by the Arts Commission enabled Baker, Clatsop, Crook, Deschutes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lincoln, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa and Yamhill counties as well as Ashland, Corvallis, Eugene and the Portland Metro area (Northeastern and Central Oregon did combined county studies) to participate.

Spending by arts and cultural organizations and audience members in the Portland Metro area was $330.4 million, up 30 percent since the last Arts & Economic Prosperity study in 2010. The spending outside of the Portland Metro area (Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties) totaled $357 million.

“We are so grateful to the Arts Commission for making it possible for us to participate,” said Sharon Morgan, who was “stunned” to learn that arts and culture spending in Yamhill County totaled $45 million. Morgan, a member of the Yamhill County Cultural Coalition, organized the survey for her county.

Click Here to read detailed reports for each of the Oregon regions and cities that participated on the Oregon Arts Commission website.

The Arts &Economic Prosperity 5 Study was conducted by Americans for the Arts and supported by the Ruth Lilly Fund of the Americans for the Arts. Local, regional and statewide partners, such as the Oregon Arts Commission and its 11 survey partners, contributed time and financial support to the study. Financial information from partner organizations was collected in partnership with DataArts. A full list of the 341 communities who participated in the study is posted on the Americans for the Arts website.

Hillsboro Arts Month kicks off with ArtFest on October 1

Ballet FiestaHillsboro Arts Month will kick off with an evening of music and entertainment at ArtFest 2019 on October 1 from 5 – 8 pm at the Walters Cultural Arts Center (527 East Main Street, Hillsboro).

Taking place during the Downtown Hillsboro First Tuesday Art Walk, which includes music and art openings at more than 15 locations, ArtFest is a free, family-friendly event to begin a month filled with art and culture activities throughout Hillsboro.

ArtFest will feature scheduled performances by local performers, including Una Voz Mariachi Band, the Oregon Chorale, the Westside Youth Choir, New Vision Dance, and an ensemble from the Hillsboro Symphony Orchestra.

Along with performances, visitors will be invited to watch artist demonstrations from the Washington County Open Studios Tour, participate in hands-on art and craft projects, take an Arts Month selfie with one of the #sheeponthego, and enjoy free popcorn while planning out Arts Month activities. Café de Crepes and Grandma’s Spot food trucks will be parked outside, so you can enjoy a sweet or savory crepe or some of Grandmas home-cooking while you watch a performance.

Hillsboro Arts Month is an initiative of the Hillsboro Arts & Culture Council, designed to highlight the creative community of the City of Hillsboro. October 2019 is planned to feature over 60 arts and cultural events and classes, with genres including music, dance, theater, visual art exhibits, classes, literary readings and discussions, workshops, film screenings, and more. ArtFest is just one of several opportunities to participate in Hillsboro Arts Month.

For a full list of arts and cultural outings to attend throughout October, Click Here.

Arts Month Pop-ups!

Artsmonth popup_Portland Opera 11_July 31

We can’t wait until October to celebrate Hillsboro Arts Month! Now is the time to catch one of our pre-Arts Month Pop-Ups throughout the city of Hillsboro. There’s no better way to make memories with your friends or family than by enjoying a creative experience together. Over the next several weeks, Arts Month brings a performing artist to add to a great community event – and with over 60 events, Arts Month will have something for everyone. Upcoming events include:

Thu, August 15 | 5:15 – 6:30 pm | Elemental Sequence Public Art Dedication before the Precious Byrd Showtime Concert at Amberglen Park

Sun, August 18 | 10:30 am-12:00 pm | Dan Waterman Street Magic at Hilssboro’s  Farmers’ Market at Orenco Station

Sat, August 24 | 1 – 2 pm | Bach to Rock Music School at Back to School Event at M & M Marketplace M&M Marketplace

Tue, August 27 | 6:15-7:15 pm | Stilt Walkers at the Tuesday Night Market

Thu, September 19 | 5-6:30 pm | Neftali Rivera on the MAX Train