Live Like A Local: An artist’s guide to Portland

Live Like A Local: An artist's guide to Portland | Soho House

From bookshops to galleries amplifying the work of queer and trans artists of color, local creative and member Christine Miller shares her favourite spots

Monday 9 October 2023 By Soho House

While artist Christine Miller is a native New Yorker, she calls Portland in Oregon home. With a background in geography, fine art and textile design, she moved there with the intention of continuing her career in product development, but instead found a growing conceptual art practice. 

Her work focuses on the design intentionality of physical products, literature and advertisements that have been used to dehumanise African Americans. It’s also centred around racial stereotypes and histories, while simultaneously reframing cultural narratives. Miller is no stranger to the Portland art world, with pieces featured in the Portland Art Museum and her third solo show in the works for next summer. 

Here, she shares her favourite places to experience art, design and more in Portland.

Live Like A Local: An artist's guide to Portland | Soho House

For a lively art exhibit opening...
The Lumber Room is a beautiful woman-owned space with a private collection open to the city and genuinely one of my favourite places in Portland. With its thoughtful visual curation, I’m bringing out my best dressed to this art party.’

For art books and publications...
‘I’m obsessed with buying art publications and building my library. You’ll never leave empty-handed from Monograph Bookwerks and Nationale gallery. Monograph Bookwerks is a store with an old world feeling, while Nationale is a contemporary gallery with an impressive shop. I love to visit both places, grab a publication and eat at a restaurant close by to flip through my new find.’

For a cherished gallery that feels like home...
Ori Gallery was one of the first galleries I visited in Portland. Dedicated to amplifying voices of queer and trans artists of colour, Ori is a gem in the art community.’ 

For shows that bring it...
One Grand Gallery is a space dedicated to art and design. It’s where I go for uncensored and thought-provoking shows.’ 

For the love of objects...
‘I visit Urbanite to get inspiration from its endless amount of vintage home objects. One time I was in a creative block and picked up a 1970s ceramic strawberry cookie jar – I felt like myself after staring at it for a few days.’ 

Live Like A Local: An artist's guide to Portland | Soho House
Live Like A Local: An artist's guide to Portland | Soho House

For new skills...
Outlet PDX and IPRC are wonderful places to take classes. Outlet PDX focuses on how to use risograph machines, while IPRC is a publishing resource centre. IPRC also holds writers’ collectives, poetry sessions and many more workshops.’ 

New spaces to see what’s up and coming...
Parallax Art Center and Flower Factory are new to the city. Both beautiful spaces, Parallax has rotating exhibits and artist talks, and Flower Factory is a coworking space that hosts artist-led block parties and events.’