One of my favorite areas to explore is the Alberta Arts District, which stretches out over 15-20 blocks of NE Alberta Street. Amid the plentiful clothing boutiques and taquerías are a lot of great galleries and stores that feature a lot of local work. Here are a few of my faves:
I visited Redbird Studio last year and loved it immediately. This year, I happened to stop by on the studio’s second birthday, which meant free cupcakes!
Owners Paul Evans and Melissa Rau make a lot of the stuff for sale in the shop, which includes lots of stationery and cards, handmade accessories and screenprinted T-shirts and baby things.
I really loved the large-scale portraits by Kevin Noonan of political figures that were on display in the back of the store, which is a whole other gallery called Haiku. Melissa told me Kevin intentionally puts very affordable prices on his paintings. They were so low I seriously considered buying one and toting it home on the plane with me.
Redbird Studio, 2927 NE Alberta St., 503/593-0833
Together Gallery popped up since my last trip to Portland. I arrived just in time to see “The Color of Nature,” an exhibit featuring work from local artists Seth Neefus, Amy Ruppel, and Jill Bliss. Together also has a healthy offering of zines and small press publications, which I’m a big fan of.
Together Gallery, 2314 NE Alberta St., 503/288-8879
Anybody who loves industrial-strength work supplies has a one-way ticket to heaven at OFFICE. The décor and the goods are heavy on the Americana, with a hearty dose of Japanese utility.
I got to check out Jill Bliss and Brittany Kate Powell’s kooky “Califoregon” collection while I was there. And, like I always do, I spent too much money on letterpressed cards.
OFFICE PDX, 2204 NE Alberta St., 888/355-7467