Not to Miss: Portland Winter Lights Festival Debuts Next Month

Portland Light Festival[1] copy As a fan of Lite Brite as a child, for me, this is a sure hit. While searching for upcoming events in the city, I stumbled upon the Portland Winter Light Festival, and was intrigued to learn more.

In its inaugural year, the festival will bring together more than a dozen artists who will illuminate their innovative, vibrant and colorful artwork outdoors. Each eye-catching piece will be featured along the east bank of the Willamette River surrounding OMSI.

Bringing existing outdoor spaces to life, large-scale interactive light exhibits will engage and spark imagination. Buildings will transform into massive canvases for innovative animated projection displays. Performers will manipulate light and fire. Together they all create a dazzling spectacle not to be missed this February 3-6.

“I chose each of the artists because they are gifted and create interesting work,” says Artistic Director Chris Herring.

“We have 13 artists presenting their installations every night of the festival, with several more performers and additional artists who will join us at different times throughout the festival,” says media representative Chad Carter. “The main festival will be outdoors surrounding the OMSI campus. We will also have affiliate events that will be taking place at several locations throughout the city.”

The Portland Winter Light Festival invites the community together during a time of year when the city is traditionally quiet. Portlanders are known for enjoying outdoor activities year round and supporting unique arts events, so this seems like the perfect fit for all.

The festival is free and open to all ages. Prepare to be wowed: Portland Winter Light Festival

Win Free Movie Nights!

CinetopiaHere’s your chance to win a basket of goodies filled with treats for both a cozy movie night at home, and one at Cinetopia, compliments of Contract Furnishings Mart. If you’re not familiar with CFM, it’s certainly worth a visit. They stock a large, high quality selection of hardwoods, cabinets, carpeting, vinyl and much more. CFM is not open to the public, but as a valued client, I am happy to share the use of my account with you. Not only will you have access to any location, but you’ll also save 20-40%. Visit anytime, and just mention that you’re my client at the door of one of the several Portland-area locations. To learn more, please visit: The first person to respond correctly to this Oregon-related movie trivia question wins the basket and Cinteopia gift card:

Which was the final bridge that Reese Witherspoon crossed in the 2014 film, “Wild?”

Slab town Field Trip

school house interior If you haven’t found a purpose to enjoy the NW area known as Slabtown, here are a few good reasons to spend several delightful hours there.

Once known for its lumber mill on Northrup, where its discarded log remnants were stacked outside the homes of the area’s working class, more recently it’s been the forgotten industrial area north of NW “trendy-third,” and it offers a somewhat grittier and interesting area to explore.

The longtime Bedford Brown is a favorite place to buy arguably the best orchids in town, the perfect alternative to the standard bouquet which wilts in a week. While there, hobnob with decorators and the friendly and stylishly dressed staff and peruse the decorator items. It is also one of the best places to buy indoor plants and has an amazing selection of pots, indoor and out.

Just a mile away, stop into the expanded newer home of Schoolhouse Electric, which adjoins their factory facility.  Admire the home furnishings and well designed light fixtures and partake in caffeine at the attached coffee house.

A little jaunt on a side road under 405 gives some lovely dining choices such as the NW outpost of Olympic Provisions, great for both lunch and dinner. Pick up some tea at the nearby Smith Teas, a calm and tastefully designed oasis. Not far away, slurp noodles at the NW Boke Bowl outpost at the base of the Addy building.

Now that there’s a New Seasons at NW Raleigh and 21st, it won’t be long until the area really starts to develop. Explore now while one still feels like a bit of an explorer.

Pet Friendly Portland



Portlanders love their pets, and summer is the perfect season to spend some quality time with a furry friend or family member. Whether you’re up for a snack, a stroll or a snuggle, our fair city fits the bill.

Tin Shed Garden Cafe

Tin Shed Garden Café has been featured on both national and local television, and is known as one of Portland’s most dog friendly spots.  Bring your pooch anytime, but keep in mind that Tuesday night is Dog Lover’s Night and with every human meal purchased you get one free doggie meal! Tin Shed.

Gabriel Park

The 1.7 acres of land that is now Gabriel Park was purchased by the city of Portland in 1950 for $120,000. Centrally located in SW Portland between Vermont and Canby Streets, dog lovers can treat their pups to a lush, off-leash area from 5 a.m. to Midnight every day. Gabriel Park.

Purrington’s Cat Lounge

And, not to leave the kitty lovers out, we’re sure fond of Purrington’s Cat Lounge.  In the mood for a “meowmosa” along with your feline fix? They’ve got you covered! And, best of all, every cat at Purrington’s is adoptable. A truly unique Portland experience for a great cause. Purrington's.

PNCA's New Building: Artfully Brought Back to Life

PNCAPNCA, Pacific Northwest College of Art, had it's beginnings in the Portland Art Museum and has been at 12th and Johnson since the late 90's. The Johnson property has since been sold and PNCA has officially moved into it's stunning new digs at 511 NW Broadway, near the North Park Blocks. This 34 million renovation, includes new architectural elements by Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works, as well as uncovering gorgeous period details from the original 1919 building, formerly a US Post Office.  Newly named the Arlene and Howard Schnitzer Center for Art and Design, this location doubles the Johnson square footage and features public spaces on the first two floors including a cafe.

The area is shaping up to be an art hub with their nearby partner the Museum of Contemporary Craft and the student housing on the Park Blocks, aptly called Arthouse.

Our North Park blocks are polishing up beautifully.

Schoolhouse Electric

When clients Andrew and Yellena James recently gave me a gift certificate to Schoolhouse Electric, I was thrilled. Besides being a generous gift, I had always wanted to visit- and as a triple bonus, the talented Yellana has been chosen as the first artist in a series of exclusive designs and her work was not only prominently displayed in the store, it graces the front of their most recent catalogue.

The building itself was more recently a storage area for the nearby Miller Paint Company- thankfully the current owners removed the brick covering the lovely facade and brought the room back to life. Schoolhouse lighting is made completely in the United States, the designs originating from vintage molds as well as designed in-house here in Portland. The components are finished and assembled just two blocks up the street. The era runs from historic to mid century.

I'm so looking forward to hanging my light- and to spending more time in this delightful local resource known as Schoolhouse Electric.

See more of Yellena Andrew's work. Yellena has an upcoming solo show in Barcelona this year, has designed snowboards for K2 that are in stores now,  and is working on some "kicks for Keds".