Eugene has become famous for it’s mecca of athletic achievements and endless hiking trails. But what many may not realize is the blossoming art community that exists throughout the city. On and off the University of Oregon campus, there are a plethora of ways to get involved in the community as an artist and as a spectator. From craft nights at the EMU to fabulous plays in the famous Hult Center, there seems to be something for everyone. Check out the Emerald’s top art scene recommendations in Eugene:
Performing arts in Eugene:
Whether it be plays, spoken word, improv or dance, the performing arts is alive and well in Eugene. There are many different venues scattered throughout town that house many different levels and forms of talent that can be enjoyed at a fairly reasonable price. The Hult Center for the Performing Arts is a facility located in downtown Eugene with four different stages that host a wide range of productions throughout the year. Some performances on the upcoming list include: a variety of symphonies, the famous improv troop “The Second City” on October 20th, several ballets and the Tony award winning Broadway musical “Bandstand” on November 16th and 17th.
There are several art museums throughout all of Eugene but the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art happens to be right on the UO campus. The JSMA is open to both the public and students from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Entry is $5, $3 for people 62 and up and free for members, UO students and faculty. Throughout the year there are a number of galleries displayed within the museum. Some are composed of student artwork and others are filled with art that has been donated or loaned to the museum from a variety of artists. Their upcoming exhibit “Art of the Athlete: Art and Social Practice” displays art from 36 students and student athletes that is on display from September 21st to February 23rd.
Student Clubs that focus on the arts:
UO has an abundance of student led groups that focus on many different aspects of artistic expression and enjoyment. A few of the clubs available to all UO students to participate in include: The University of Oregon Art History Student Association (creates educational and professional opportunities for students to further their knowledge of visual arts), The Pocket Playhouse (4 to 6 productions per term entirely produced by students, some are even student originals), The Kitchen Sync Magazine (student run creative publication that is open to accepting student submissions that fit their theme each year, this years theme is PLAY)! The list of student groups and clubs that have an art focus is quite long and includes many different art forms that can be enjoyed by all UO students.
Arts and Crafts in the Craft Center:
UO has its very own craft center right in the center of campus in the first floor of the Erb Memorial Union. The center has facilities for woodworking, fiber arts, glassworking, photography, printmaking, metal/ jewelry, paper arts, painting and ceramics. A Craft Center Term Pass is required in order to access the facilities inside the center, which are free to UO students, $25 for UO staff and faculty and $45 for community members and UO Alumni. The center also offers quite a few classes throughout the school year. They have classes for every skill level and a wide variety of art forms, even a date night class in various forms of art that allow participants to bring along a date or a friend. There are also Freebie Fridays where students can create crafts for free each Friday afternoon at the EMU stadium stairs, each class has a different theme and art form.
Take the stage:
UO has its own Theatre Arts program that produces plays throughout the year at the Miller Theatre,on campus just beside Mackenzie Hall on 11th Avenue. All productions are entirely run by students with roles including actors, directors, designers, choreographers, composers, musicians, dramaturgs, producers, technicians, playwrights, publicists and arts managers. They put on everything from student created pieces to award winning plays year round. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities, internship opportunities, and auditions for roles open for all students to be involved in, regardless of major. The productions can be viewed free for UO students. They will be announcing their line-up of performances for the 2019-20 season in October. The art scene in Eugene is constantly bustling with new activities and ways to get involved for the community and students alike no matter the skill level or art form.