Portland, Oregon is as famous for its art as it is for its food and music. There are so many artists—painters, sculptors, found art, etc.—in fact, that each year, there is an Art Walk in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood. The artisans in Mt. Tabor open their homes and studios for a free art exhibit. This art walk (don’t worry. You can drive too!) through the fabulous Mt. Tabor neighborhood, not only helps familiarize you with the different architectural and landscaping styles of the homes in this southeast Portland, Oregon neighborhood, it also brings you face to face with many of the fine art and the artisans who create it.
You begin the walk perched atop a hill with a panoramic view of downtown Portland and Mt. Hood. There, you’ll encounter a stone staircase surrounded by wrought iron fencing, various shrubs and flowers, and meet a modern home filled with blown glass and metal work. The artisan will smile and offer you a brownie, which you’ll accept and consume as you traipse around the house and admire his handiwork. Down below, a few blocks away, you’ll come across a ranch style home with a gigantic yard and a living full of beeswax art, and a very friendly dog. You’ll admire the metal work winding down the English Garden created by another member of the Mt. Tabor art community. Further in and closer to Mt. Tabor Park, you’ll find simple, quaint homes with mixed media art. Each home has two things in common: friendly occupants living in charming abodes and art that is soulful and well crafted.
But, let’s go further. How about a four story, turn of the century mini-mansion with a huge garden? Daisies, lilies, orchids, roses, tulips. This natural beauty leads you inside the home you’ll discover a painting studio and enough water color paintings to make the Portland Art Museum green with envy (And, of course, the Art Walk costs you nothing but time and exertion).
You see, the Mt. Tabor Art Walk typifies Portland, Oregon. It’s not about the fine art or the classy homes or the interesting artists. It’s about community. It’s about using the amazing city and its amazing inhabitants around us to create a lasting impression. It’s about letting creativity shine and blossom. It’s about encouraging our inner child to color outside the lines, and not worry if blue and pink clash a little. In essence, the Mt. Tabor Art Walk is a microcosm of Portland, Oregon. It’s an annual event that is uniquely Portland, and belongs on your yearly calendar of events. It’s as good for the eyes and ears as it is for your heart and lungs.