The Best Art Galleries in Portland's Pearl District

Marcelina Morfin

Portland may be a foodie’s paradise, but it is also an art lover’s haven. The heart of the art community can be found in the Pearl District where established galleries sit alongside newer art venues, all of which highlight an impressive array of contemporary art. From local artists to international talent, here are the best galleries to experience Portland, Oregon‘s art scene.

North Park Blocks

1. Blue Sky Gallery

Art Gallery

Established in 1975 as the Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts, Blue Sky Gallery focuses on local, national, and international artists and the incredible scenes they capture with their cameras. Located within the historic DeSoto Building in a 3,700 square-foot space, visitors will find amazing art by both emerging and established talent. Each year the gallery hosts 20 to 30 exhibitions to educate the public, help further the careers of their artists, and open communication between viewers and artists. Current exhibitions highlight the work of Washington D.C.-based photographer Jared Soares whose current photos explore the hip-hop culture in Roanoke, Virginia, and Adriana Lopez Sanfeliu whose show focuses on New York City’s Puerto Rican women of Spanish Harlem and their families.

2. Bullseye Gallery

Bullseye Gallery

Part of the Bullseye Glass Company, which makes colored glass for art and architectural purposes, Bullseye Gallery explores the use of kiln-formed glass in art objects and experiences, including glass in architecture. They often host lectures, panel discussions and other events in order to exchange views on the contemporary art scene. Another important part of the gallery’s program is its exhibitions, which feature national and international artists and their innovative works. For example, the current show, ‘Poetic Ghost,’ displays Cassandra Straubing’s stunning glass blouses, based on designs by fashion designer Babette. Other artists showcased include Martha Pfanschmidt who creates kiln-formed glass paintings, and Kate Baker, whose works combine printmaking with glass.

Bullseye Gallery, 300 NW 13th Ave., Portland, OR, USA, +1 503 227 0222

3. Charles A. Hartman Fine Art

Charles A. Hartman Fine Art

Founded in 1996 by Charles A. Hartman, the eponymous Charles A. Hartman Fine Art specializes in contemporary and modern art. This gallery hosts several exhibitions throughout the year highlighting a solo artist or group of talent and represents regional and international artists working in a variety of media. The present art show, ‘Wildlife,’ showcases the incredible photographs of nature captured by Portland-based Corey Arnold. Past exhibitions have included paintings depicting dream-like scenes by Anna Filder. Other artists represented include photographer Raymond Meeks and watercolorist Rachel Davis.

Charles A. Hartman Fine Art, 134 NW 8th Ave., Portland, OR, USA, +1 503 287 3886

4. Elizabeth Leach Gallery

Elizabeth Leach Gallery

An institution on Portland’s contemporary art scene since 1981, Elizabeth Leach Gallery showcases renowned Northwest artists and established international talent. Featuring a wide range of media, the gallery hosts several exhibitions each year with two shows running simultaneously, which highlights a solo artist or group. ‘Through the Lens: Portraiture & Self Portraiture,’ has recently been on display and features the work of acclaimed artists such as Nan Goldin and Robert Mapplethorpe. Spectators can also find works by Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Bourgeois, and Ann Von Mertens to name but a few. A well-respected gallery, the founder, Elizabeth Leach, belongs to the Art Dealer’s Association of America, an invitational organization representing the best galleries and art dealers.

Elizabeth Leach Gallery, 417 NW 9th Ave, Portland, OR, USA, +1 503 224 0521

Froelick GalleryCourtesy of Froelick Gallery

5. Froelick Gallery

Art Gallery, Building

Founded in 1995, Froelick Gallery seeks out contemporary artists who have ‘strong and independent views.’ Located in the DeSoto Building, the gallery represents a diverse group of regional, national, and international artists at varying stages of their careers and who work in a variety of media. On the first Thursday of each month, a new exhibition opens with a public reception to coincide with Portland’s monthly gallery walk. Artists and genres to be explored at Froelick include Laurie Danial, who creates abstract works, and sculptor Ronna Neuenschwander, whose works are inspired by her time in the USA and abroad in Mali, Africa.

6. Gallery 114

Gallery 114

Founded in 1990, Gallery 114 is an artist-run cooperative where members can shine and have complete control over their artistic creations. Featuring local artists, the talented group works in a diverse mix of media, including painting, drawing and installations to name a few. Current members include new media artist Erin Robinson Grant, sculptor Alfred Stone, and painter Myra Clark. In addition to the solo or group exhibitions held each month, the gallery also presents curated shows, plays, lectures, screenings of music and film, and even author readings—making it a truly unique and creative space.

Gallery 114, 1100 NW Gilsan St., Portland, OR, USA, +1 503 243 3356

7. Gallery 903

Gallery 903

Established in 2010 by Susan Hodge and Herschel McGraw, Gallery 903 is an art venue that focuses on emerging and established artists who create paintings, sculptures and photographs. Striving to connect artists and collectors, the gallery hosts groups shows and solo artist exhibitions throughout the year, which showcase artists from the Pacific Northwest region and across the nation more generally. Art patrons will find colorful watercolor and ink paintings by Sara Sjol, playful bronze sculptures of animals by Georgia Gerber, and beautiful black-and-white photographs of sand dunes by award-winning photographer Jock Bradley to name but a few.

Gallery 903, 903 NW Davis Street, Portland, OR, USA, +1 503 248 0903

8. Hap Gallery

Hap Gallery

Hap Gallery was established in 2013 to give artists a venue to display their work and to experiment with curatorial and gallery practices. Wanting to create a space where artists and art aficionados could come together, the gallery hosts fascinating monthly exhibitions displaying various media, including paintings, textiles, fibers, and sculpture. The current show, ‘Back and Forth: Collaborative Paintings,’ features a group of paintings, which depicts classical sculpture plus imaginary items by Mathew Zefeldt and Kyle Austin Dunn, accompanied by individual paintings by each artist. Other artists who have exhibited include sculptor Ryan Reggiani and Wendy Given who works in a variety of media.

Hap Gallery, 916 NW Flanders Street, Portland, OR, USA, +1 503 444 7101

9. J. Pepin Art Gallery

Art Gallery

J. Pepin Art Gallery
Courtesy of Upfor Gallery
Named after its proprietor, artist Jennifer Pepin, J. Pepin Art Gallery was created to give artists with mental illness a voice and venue for their work. Seeking to change the way people view mental illness and to end the stigma associated with it, the gallery gives artists a space to display beautiful works of art while sharing their stories of how mental illness played a role in their creative process. Some of the talented artists represented by the gallery include Evan Orlando who creates colorful woodcuts and metal works and painter Alexandra Peterson. The gallery also donates a portion of its proceeds to various organizations that help bring about awareness of mental illness.

10. Upfor Gallery

Upfor Gallery

Founded in 2013 by Theo Downes-Le Guin, Upfor Gallery specializes in contemporary art by emerging and established artists. While the 1,700 square-foot gallery displays a range of media, including paintings and sculptures, the gallery places an emphasis on new and digital media, reflecting the role that technology is playing in modern life. Hosting monthly exhibitions, visitors will find cutting edge large-scale abstract photographs by Akihiko Miyoshi and sculptures by Brenna Murphy. Upfor is a great venue to witness how artists experiment with the ever-changing technological world.

Upfor Gallery, 929 NW Flanders Street, Portland, OR, USA, +1 503 227 5111

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