Portland Playhouse The sounds of Afrolitical Movement Portland Oregon

Yamhill County calendar: Chehalem Cultural Center kicks off 2022 with an MLK Day celebration, followed by a gallery show on climate change

And in Salem, the Hallie Ford Museum showcases Northwest photography, as well as Arvie Smith's paintings exploring race and identity.


Imagine the conundrum of trying to plan a theater season right now, or an event that requires six months just to get your speakers lined up. Or a concert series that hinges on the availability of visiting artists facing their own chaotic schedules. Sure, you can do it, but who’s to say what spiked little viral critter is going to shove Omicron offstage in… well, March? Or even February?

Omicron or not, wine country’s arts and culture scene soldiers on. That’s the takeaway, just from eyeballing the next six weeks. A lot is going on. Granted, you’ll need a KN95 mask and show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test in some places, but the fact is, you can go places. Streaming is so 2021.

Here’s a look at what’s going on the next couple of months, mostly in Yamhill County, but with a nod to our neighbors in Salem and Forest Grove. 

"Cape Disappointment" by Dee Vadnais
“Cape Disappointment” is part of Dee Vadnais’ show documenting her family’s history in Oregon, at the Chehalem Cultural Center.

CONTINUING: The Chehalem Cultural Center’s visual art galleries in Newberg are already booked for the year, but you’ve still got a month to catch two from 2021. Dee Vadnais: Her Family’s Story in the Oregon Landscape in the Parrish Gallery and the exhibit, Meditation Milestones: Cairns and Koans, by the duo of Linda Workman-Morelli and Jillian Sokso in the Central Gallery both close Jan. 28. For more information, call 503-487-6883.

Jan. 4: Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem kicks off 2022 on Tuesday with Depth of Field: Selections from the Bill Rhoades Collection of Northwest Photography, organized by curator Jonathan Bucci and featuring works by Rhodes and Robert Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Jim Lommasson, Mary Randlett, and Terry Toedtemeier, among many others. The show runs through April 23. 503-370-6855.

Jan. 8: Work by four artists will be featured in the January/February show for the Valley Art Association in Forest Grove, with a reception from 2-4 p.m. Saturday. Artists include Helvi Smith, B.G. Dodson, Teal Buehler, and Nick Gustafson. 503-357-3703.

Jan. 17: Yamhill County’s 12th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration at the Chehalem Cultural Center will be held 6-7 p.m. in the ballroom with capacity limited to 200 (doors open at 5:30), but it will also be livestreamed. Tai Harden-Moore is this year’s keynote speaker, and music is by the Larhonda Steele Band. Preregistration is required, and proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test is required for in-person attendance. 503-487-6883.

Jan. 18: The artist-owned Currents Gallery in McMinnville opens its first juried show of the year today, The Magic of Winter, and is still accepting entries. The show runs through Feb. 20.  503-435-1316.

Arvie Smith's "Hands Up Don't Shoot" (oil on canvas, 48 by 48 inches) is included in a show of his work at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem.
Arvie Smith’s “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” (2015, oil on canvas, 48 by 48 inches) is included in a show of his work at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem.

Jan. 22: Circling back to Hallie Ford in Salem, we find the work of Portland African-American painter Arvie Smith through March 26. Arvie Smith: Scarecrow, an exploration of race, identity, and systemic racism, is organized by museum director John Olbrantz. 503-370-6855

Feb. 1: Two new shows open at the Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg. For Some Things There Are No Wrong Seasons is an “exploration of the resonant symbolism in domestic objects” by Carolyn Hazel Drake, and Global Warning: A Group Exhibit curated by Chehalem Arts Director Carissa Burkett, features work by Tyler Brumfield, Cynthia Camlin, Ann Chadwick Reid, Noelle Evans, Aron Johnston, Christina Kemp, Sheryl LeBlanc, Molly Magai, Natalie Niblack, and Katie Spain. Both shows run through April 1. 503-487-6883.

Feb. 4:  Salem’s Pentacle Theatre opens the 2022 season with a production of Joe DePietro’s Over the River and Through the Woods, directed by Jo Dodge, through Feb. 26. On deck is William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, directed by Isaac Joyce-Shaw, running April 22-May 14. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test required for admission, and masks must be worn inside.  503-485-4300.

Kelley Baker, "The Angry Filmmaker" will be the keynote speaker at the McMinnville Short Film Festival in February.
Kelley Baker, “The Angry Filmmaker,” will be the keynote speaker at the McMinnville Short Film Festival in February.

Feb. 10-13: The McMinnville Short Film Festival moves back into an actual theater this year for three days of big-screen cinema in virtually every genre you can imagine, although a selection will be available for virtual viewing. This year’s keynote speaker is Kelley Baker. Keep an eye on this space in the coming weeks for a closer look at the films and artists, and for more information, visit the website.

Feb. 11: Gallery Players of Oregon opens its 2022 season with My Way: A Tribute to the Music of Frank Sinatra, created (and originally directed) by David Grapes and Todd Olson. The McMinnville theater’s production runs through March 6, with 7:30 p.m. evening shows and 2 p.m. Sunday matinees. Directed by Evan Tait. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the performance is required, and masks must be worn.  503-472-2227.

ARTS JOURNAL: An epiphany while watching HBO’s Harry Potter 20th Anniversary show: The films are better than the books. Just saying. Fight me. Also, over the holidays I finally devoured Frank Herbert’s first two Dune books (better late than never) and am heading into Children of Dune next. Finally, I’m also geeking out over DC Comics’ Sweet Tooth by Jeff Lemire,  which has been adapted by Netflix. Comics have been my pandemic-inspired balm; I’ve probably read more comics on a tablet (with Marvel Unlimited and DC Universe Infinite) in the past year and a half than I have in my entire life.

Portland Center Stage William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream Portland Oregon

David Bates is an award-winning Oregon journalist with more than 20 years as a newspaper editor and reporter in the Willamette Valley, covering virtually every topic imaginable and with a strong background in arts/culture journalism. He has lived in Yamhill County since 1996 and is currently a freelance writer whose clients have included the McMinnville News-RegisterOregon Wine Press, and Indulge, a food-oriented publication. He has a B.S. degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and a long history of involvement in the theater arts, acting and on occasion directing for Gallery Players of Oregon and other theaters in Oregon.

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