Kick off an early morning at Wilsonville Town Center Park to begin the Wilsonville Public Art Tour (A) and view publicly accessible art installations from every corner of the city. The art tour includes one-of-a-kind pieces at parks, plazas, schools and libraries. The sites are close enough to enjoy the tour by foot or bike. In summer, catch the annual Festival of Arts and take in visual, literary, cultural and performing arts from around the Pacific Northwest, all in the heart of Wilsonville.
If after being an arts and culture spectator you are ready to pick up the brush and discover your inner artist, visit Happy Art Ceramic Studio (B) and paint your own pottery. Conveniently located in Wilsonville Town Center, the studio provides paints, tools and technique. All you have to do is express your creativity on a blank mug, plate or figurine.
In the afternoon, head to the Old Aurora Colony Museum (C) to discover the origins of regional colonial culture. The five-building complex offers a self-guided tour of the Ox Barn, Steinbach Cabin, Kraus House, Will Family Summer Kitchen and Tie Shed—all with their own stories and traditions. Step back to colonial time and participate in age-appropriate activities.
Next, discover local art at Three Rivers Artist Guild & Gallery (D). The galleries are all for public viewing and purchase, and completely owned and operated by volunteers who are passionate about arts enrichment. Venture up and down 2 miles and three sites starting at the Willamette River. Take home handmade cards, jewelry, ceramics, wood craft, wall art, glass or fiber.
The Tualatin Heritage Center (E) is home to exhibits, events and lectures that preserve the region’s rich history. On the outside, behold a 1920s Craftsman-style church surrounded by ice-age boulders and a garden of diverse floral species. On the inside, discover a gateway to exhibits and programs that celebrate and preserve regional history. From an encased 14,000-year-old mastodon tusk to signed ledgers by Tualatin pioneers, you’ll learn about the evolution of the area through the years.
Just 10 minutes away is the centerpiece of the robust arts community in Sherwood. Over 100 artists have displayed their work through the years at the Sherwood Center for the Arts (F). In addition to being a beloved local venue, the center offers enrichment programs that explore multicultural arts from Japanese Taiko drumming to Mexican folk tales.
Spend the rest of the afternoon discovering arts of every medium at the Chehalem Cultural Center (G). Find a fine arts gallery, exhibition hall, clay studio, music rooms and classrooms. Be sure to check their events calendar to anticipate the latest art walk, festival or class!
Journey through the nearly mile long Tigard Outdoor Museum (H), to immerse yourself in the complex tales of individuals who have influenced Tigard through the years. The trail boasts six exhibits made from stones, mosaic inlays, writing and research. See the history of the Tualatin Valley come to life in the form of modern works of art.
Next, head to the art cooperative Blackfish Gallery (I). The gallery is owned and operated by a community of artists who will happily discuss the exhibition with you. Nestled in Portland’s trendy Pearl District neighborhood, this spot is popular for its palpable culture and sophistication, where you can indulge in an artisan experience.
Close out your day with a standing ovation an easy 20 minutes down the freeway. The Lakewood Center for the Arts (J) is a megaplex of the performing arts, where dance and drama assemble for your viewing pleasure. It’s home to the often-sold-out shows by the Lakewood Theatre Company. But it isn’t just a 220-seat auditorium. You can find ballet, jazz and exercise studios, a lobby clad with regional art displays, a consignment shop, enrichment classes for your youngest visitors and an annual arts festival that attracts 25,000 visitors each year. There is something here for patrons and players alike.