Enjoy events and exhibitions throughout the city, including the return of the Mayor’s Art Show
Lane Arts Council, Maude Kerns Art Center, ArtCity and City of Eugene Cultural Services are partnering to host this year’s Visual Arts Week from Oct. 6-15 at various locations throughout downtown Eugene. The week of exhibitions and activities celebrates arts in Eugene and provides a platform for experimentation, creativity and dialogue.
The opening celebration will take place from 5:30-8 p.m. Oct. 6 as part of Lane Arts Council’s First Friday ArtWalk. The event begins at the Farmers Market Pavilion with award announcements and acknowledgments of this year’s Community Arts Grants recipients. Community members can enjoy live music, an artists’ marketplace and a lantern-making project led by BEAM before embarking on guided or self-guided tours of downtown Eugene’s vibrant art scene. Visual Arts Week offers immersive experiences and participation at all levels, including the return of the popular Mayor’s Art Show at the Downtown Eugene Public Library.
The Mayor’s Art Show celebrates local artists and art production by recognizing the accomplishments of those who are committed to enriching their communities through visual arts. The juried show, presented on the second floor of the Downtown Eugene Public Library, is intended to cultivate diversity, equity and access to the visual arts in Eugene. Works by 42 artists are included in this year’s show, and patrons can vote for their favorite entry for the People’s Choice Award either in person or online until noon Oct. 13. Other awards will be granted for categories of Mayor’s Choice (2D and 3D selections), Juror’s Choice and Curator’s Choice, awarding $500 to each artist. The Mayor’s Art Show will remain on display at the downtown library from Oct. 6-29 and can also be viewed online.
Several galleries in downtown Eugene will open unique exhibits for Visual Arts Week beginning Oct. 6. New Zone Gallery will host Salon des Refusés to feature artists who were not accepted into the Mayor's Art Show and Karin Clarke Gallery will showcase works from last year’s Eugene Biennial. Maude Kerns Art Center is offering a series of creative workshops, both in-person and online, to encourage artistic education and participation at all levels, and MECCA will challenge artists to reimagine unwanted materials and turn scrap into art for the Object Afterlife Show. A new season of Windowfront Exhibitions will be unveiled at multiple locations, transforming downtown’s empty storefronts into interactive exhibits. Other participating galleries include White Lotus Gallery, Art with Alejandro and ArtCity Studios.
New for 2023 is the inaugural exhibition of Cultural Currents, a project of Lane Arts Council and City of Eugene Cultural Services that is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. Through Cultural Currents, artists create temporary public art installations that advance representation and narratives for groups that have historically been excluded, misrepresented and/or marginalized in Eugene. The goal of this initiative is to promote a greater sense of belonging for our community by supporting diverse approaches to arts and storytelling. After reviewing dozens of applications last spring, the Cultural Currents Advisory Committee selected 10 artists who received stipends to create paintings, sculptures, printed banners and audio/digital projections for public display throughout downtown Eugene.
The week will come to a climactic finish with BEAM, a celebration of illuminated art hosted by ArtCity. Visitors can enjoy a magical evening of art incorporating light at the BEAM showcase from 7-9:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Park Blocks. Starting at 7 p.m. Oct. 14, the nighttime BEAM BRiGHT Parade will lead human- and electric-powered floats through the streets of downtown. The parade will conclude with the BEAM After Party, which begins at 8:30 p.m. at the Farmers Market Pavilion and will feature a red carpet, live DJ, food carts and dancing.
More information, including an interactive map and a complete listing of installations, events and participating galleries, can be found online at www.eugene-or.gov/vaw.
Cultural Services provides year-round programming to promote public art and cultural events throughout Eugene. The team utilizes responsible and catalytic leadership to support the public’s vision for a thriving arts and cultural sector that contributes to the community’s social and economic well-being.