More local exhibits appear as Portland Winter Light Festival returns

INCLUDES VIDEO TOUR | Take a look, and you’ll see that this fascinating winter outdoor event featured more entries in outer East Portland than ever before …

Guests who come to the see The Future of East Portland is Bright entry into the 2023 Portland Winter Light Festival glimpse this year’s theme, “The Light of Stars” seeing an animated projection of the universe.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

In its eighth season, the Portland Winter Light Festival (PWLF) continued to expand the participating locations. This year, the exhibit creators were encouraged to focus on interactive activities under this year’s theme for 2023 “The Light of Stars”.

“The festival’s purpose has always been to create a sense of celebration and wonder during the darkest month of the coldest season – and coming out of the pandemic, those values have never been more important,” remarked its Executive Director Alisha Sullivan.

You’ll find our video at the bottom of this article!

Again this year, the PWLF took place during the first two weekends in February. Take a tour, and see what we found that lit up the night in outer East Portland:

The Future of East Portland is Bright – Lents

The largest and most sophisticated exhibit is in Lents Town Center where guests enjoy “Lights in Lents”.

As in the past, Yathzi Turcot, East Portland Collective, the Lents Community, and folks from outer East Portland turned the empty retail storefront space, B-1 of Lents Commons, at the corner of SE Foster Road and 92nd Avenue into a colorful experience.

Different this year, visitors were invited inside the exhibition. There, last year’s mural was on display. But, in addition, for their 2023 entry, several panels were set up inside. The illustrated “the glowing vision of the future of our community dreamed, designed and painted by us!” as organizers said.

This was a free, collaborative art experience for the whole community, created to bring people together to talk about their futures, aspirations, and their dreams, we learned.

There’s lots to see and do in this expanded and interactive attraction located in Lents Commons.

The black-light illuminated displays made the space seem larger than it actually was. Part of their theme, “Like the stars, the future of East Portland is bright!”, was a full-wall animated projection of the universe, swirling and unfolding.

And, guests who stopped by were offered food treats and beverages.

Our congratulations to those who created this delightful experience showcasing talent in outer East Portland!

Halos – Lents

Two huge backlit panels in the window of this Lents Town Center store make an engaging exhibit.

Located along SE 92nd Avenue, this display was easy to miss, but worth finding. It was visible from the Woodstock Boulevard spur side of the Nectar dispensary, at this busy intersection.

Faux stained glass of planets in space, created by 2025th Street, consisted of two panels both approximately 59” square – made of mat board and tissue paper and backlit with LED rope lights.

Destination: Planet Sanctuary and Other Worldly Rescue – Lents

Each of the “stars” on this front lawn depicts a famous animal in history. In the background, their spaceship is about to take off.

In the front yard of “The D Spot” – a private residence on SE 86th Avenue, about a block north of Flavel Street, this exhibit by ARC PDX encouraged passers-by and neighbors to learn about famous animals in history, and imagine an ideal destination for them where they can live free.

“We wanted to incorporate lights, animals, and space into our art and light display, but also include some sort of messaging as well,” artist Deanna noted. “It features pictures of famous animals in history, with QR Code links, to permit visitors to learn about them as individuals. We also have a spaceship display of livestock animals being rescued and brought to a sanctuary planet called Other Worldly Rescue,” she added.

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You’ve seen the still photos of the entries, now watch the video and see the color and action. Also, this is an extended tour, featuring interesting exhibits we found in inner Southeast Portland, as well:

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Our tour, plus visits to exhibits in other areas of East Portland, made for an interesting evening of exploration during the 2023 Portland Winter Light Festival!

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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