Exploring the Art Scene in Eugene, Museums and galleries galore

Exploring the Art Scene in Eugene, Museums and galleries galore

Beaverton has many opportunities to enjoy the arts, however, I am often eager for an art adventure. I recently traveled to Oregon’s second largest city, Eugene. Known as “Track Town,” I discovered Eugene also has a thriving arts community. The downtown area is filled with galleries, museums, and public art. There are over 40 murals officially listed on the city art walk but there are perhaps another hundred more unofficial art surprises all over town for the curious wanderer to discover.

Starting at the Hult Center of the Performing Arts and viewing the moving Japanese American Memorial, I took a walk downtown on Willamette St. I poked my head into galleries along the way, Karin Clarke and White Lotus. At the intersection of Willamette and E Broadway are 4 pillars symbolizing the seasons as well as another sculpture titled “The Storyteller,” honoring author Ken Kesey.

I turned on 13th, strolling by shops and sidewalks filled with students, on the way to the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon. The museum opened in 1933 to house the Murray Warner Collection of Oriental Art. In 2002, the university launched a reinvigoration and expansion with major donor Jordan Schnitzer. Completed in 2005, it now houses an extensive collection of artworks that are culturally diverse and provides a unique and significant space for learning and enjoyment. Both the museum and the collection are spectacular, as is the setting within the campus.

The day I went the weather was lovely for sitting outside the building on one of the benches in the campus green space or within the interior courtyard. Pieces from artists such as Hung Liu, Alison Saar, Long-Bin Chen, and Chiho Aoshima stood out as striking and thought-provoking.  Its peaceful and uncrowded galleries have plenty of places to quietly sit and reflect.

I highly recommend a day trip to the area. There are more museums and galleries to explore than I could mention here. Remember to support the arts and help them thrive!


Should you wish to plan your own art filled day in Eugene, here are some resources:

  • eugenecascadecoast.org
  • lanearts.org
  • jsma.uoregon.edu


Amy Mower is a local artist and lifelong Beaverton resident. She is passionate about the future of the arts in our community.