Emerald Art Center carves out a community for local artists of all skill levels, showcasing and selling masterworks from neighborhood virtuosos at their gallery and workspace. Contribute time alongside money with a Participating membership, which unlocks the perks of patronage in exchange for one day of gallery hosting per month, or five hours of equivalent service. When not running the show, members pick their way through a variety of rotating and permanent exhibits or introduce their own work to artful eyes during frequent EAC-sponsored member shows. Monthly meetings foster networking opportunities, cultivate creativity, and encourage spontaneous conga lines. Artist biographies, featured on the Emerald website and in the gallery's Artist Bio Book, delightedly divulge factoids and sample images from each member.
Owned and operated by glass artists and collaborators Alejandro Hernandez and Ciara Cuddihy, Studio West houses a gallery of fine paintings and glasswork attached to a full glassblowing studio. The cream walls and bright lights of the gallery give way to the industrial metal and stony tile of the workshop, where artisans can be seen retrieving white-hot gobs of glass from the furnaces. These mounds of molten potential are regularly rolled and shaped into handmade trinkets and vases, which can be immediately smashed and melted, completing their life cycle. Visitors can experience the process for themselves during workshops, where they receive hands-on training from the glassworkers in how to bend the superheated silica to their will.
When it was founded in 1987, Frame Central was a social hub for artists, and was even curiously named for facial hair. However, Beard Outlet has since morphed into a seven-location franchise, dedicated to simplifying the framing process. The shops’ onsite stock of matboard, frame moulding, and other key supplies ensures speedy DIY framing projects—which visitors can complete in an hour—and single-day professional framing. An array of pre-framed mirrors and artwork allows shoppers to enhance their blank walls without taping a napping friend to them. Shoppers can also stock up on framing supplies such as case glass and hanging hardware.
The picture preservers at A Framer's Touch encase beloved paintings, photos, and keepsakes in artfully constructed wall hangings that have garnered numerous awards at regional and international framing competitions. After art is transported to the shop, certified framers embark upon the 10-step framing process by consulting with customers to decide on the piece's materials, design, and ability to hang. A stockade of approximately 2,500 moulding samples proffers ample aesthetic options for frames' outer boundaries, and a variety of mats, glass coverings, and needlework choices allow for mind-bending levels of customization. Though rates vary as much as each piece's framed-in contents, basic prices range from $39.99 for an 8"x10" frame to $139.99 for a 24"x36" frame with a mat. To ensure professional work and eliminate the chances of frames being lost or damaged while catapulted between store and workshop, all framing takes place in A Framer's Touch's art-coddling shop.
Framed Art's experts transform unsheathed artwork, photographic heirlooms, and old family tax returns into custom-trussed adornments worthy of the most exclusive fireplace mantles. An 8"x10" frame ($50+) modestly complements a stairwell gallery of school portraits, while a 22"x28" casing ($100+) could corral a raucous concert poster. Basic framing estimates cover matting, backing, glass, and a plain perimeter of black wood or metal. Larger or more ornate options ensconce the most precious specimens in carved wood, lace mattes, or lasers.
Backspace is Portland's nexus of music, art, community, and food. To ensure your eyes are open wide enough to read the entire menu of organic fare, order a Stumptown Coffee libation right away. A single ($1.75) or double ($2.25) espresso packs a sufficiently perky punch. Chase it with a buildable quesadilla, which pairs Jack cheese with your choice of fillings such as black beans, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, or peppers ($6), or a ready-built vegan hummus plate ($6.50). All salads––including the broccoli goddess ($5 for small/$6.50 for large) and the kalamata-olive-dotted Caesar ($4.50 for small/$6 for large)––are vegan. For a hand-held helping of fresh greenery, order a turkey avocado wrap, which is stuffed with soy turkey, red peppers, onions, and tomatoes ($7). An all-local beer selection is available for coffee-averse non-insomniacs.