Discover Astoria's Art SceneAstoria, Oregon has an art scene that is just as rich as the historical foundation of the town. Take a close look and you’ll discover a varied palette of artists, chefs, musicians and craftsmen who make Astoria and Warrenton vibrant with creative expression. Read on for insider tips on exploring the area’s artsy side during your next trip.
1. Walk With Us
Hit the streets with local Astorians every second Saturday of the month for a lively art walk downtown where you can meet artists, discover new masterpieces, and celebrate the artistic expression available on Oregon’s North Coast. Venues vary month by month so look out for galleries highlighted with colorful pinwheels and enjoy the snacks and refreshments as you go. Maps are available at participating galleries and shops or at the Astoria Downtown Historic District Association office or website.
2. Get Artsy Outdoors
More than 100 vendors showcase a variety of products at the Astoria Sunday Market from May through October. All products are hand-crafted, grown, created or gathered by the farmers, craftspeople and artisans of the area. With an abundance of locally made artwork to choose from, you’re more than likely to find a treasure worth taking home. Don’t miss the beautiful Garden of Surging Waves, a city park designed to honor and celebrate the Chinese heritage of the Lower Columbia region. The park occupies the corner of 11th and Duane (adjacent to the Market) and features many pieces of artwork that impart a deeper understanding of Chinese culture and tradition.
3. Browse the Galleries
From photo exhibits to abstract impressionist galleries, Astoria and Warrenton are brimming creativity. Stop by Imogen Gallery in downtown Astoria to explore the contemporary works of jewelers, mixed media artists and painters or drop in Riversea Gallery to explore a curated collection of fine art by nationally and regionally renowned artists. If photography is more your cup of tea, check out Lightbox Photographic Gallery. Be sure to check gallery websites for upcoming exhibits so you don’t miss out!
4. Let Creativity Take Shape
Mugs, vases, floats and frogs – when it comes to glass-blown treasures, Fernhill Glass Studio has it all. Browse the finished pieces or pop in for a glass blowing demonstration. Fernhill welcomes custom orders with prices dependent on the size, color and complexity of each piece. The studio also offers a variety of classes available to walk-ins with next-day pickup.
5. Light Up the Room
Want your home to be a work of art in itself? Drop by HiiH Lights Barn on the second Sunday of the month or schedule an appointment to browse the elaborate handmade sconces, ceiling fixtures, lanterns and lamps that are available. Nationally recognized artists Lâm Quảng and Kestrel Gates create one-of-a-kind sculptural lights and installations that are found in galleries from Seattle to Berkley, Calif. Pieces have even made their way to New York’s Metropolitan Opera to the set of “Madame Butterfly.” Their newest works are on display in downtown Astoria at Imogen Gallery. Looking for a hands-on experience? HiiH Lights also offers papermaking classes for aspiring artists and enthusiastic newbies.
6. Create Your Own Masterpiece
If you’d rather create your own work of art than spend the day gallery hopping, Astoria and Warrenton are full of places to help you channel your inner Monet. The Astoria Art Loft is home to an art gallery, workshops and a variety of ongoing classes. Learn watercolor or acrylic basics, or rent out one of the nine artist studios for yourself. When inspiration for your next artistic endeavor strikes, visit Dots ‘N Doodles for fine art supplies, located adjacent to the Art Loft. If painting with a glass of wine in-hand is more your thing, check out the tipsy painting classes at WineKraft, a local wine bar. Classes start at $35 and painting subjects vary, as a different local artist teaches each class.
To learn more about the local art scene, check out the story behind one of Astoria and Warrenton's creative souls here.