Portland Art Scene
What makes the Portland art scene so hip? Could it be the numerous visual arts offerings that promote up and coming artists? Or could it be the growing number of visiting international artists with something to offer? It’s all of this and then some! Over the past decade, Portland’s art scene has grown at a steady pace, and it has helped improve the city’s art schools, the quality of artists living in the area, and growth in the museum sector.
Portland is home to the Portland Art Museum. It is the seventh oldest art museum in the U.S. and the oldest art museum in the Pacific Northwest. The campus consists of landmark buildings such as Jubitz Center for Modern and Contemporary Art, the Gilkey Center for Graphic Arts, and the Northwest Film Center. The 112,000 square foot gallery space houses a collection of more than 42,000 objects.
The city’s art galleries host a “First Thursdays” monthly gallery hop event that features visits to the Pearl District and downtown galleries. Alysia Duckler Gallery, Blackfish Gallery, and the Augen Gallery are just a few venues on the menu. Augen Gallery is one of many Portland art galleries that feature multimedia art exhibits from both local and international artists.
Thanks to Portland’s love of all art forms, animators are an active part of the Portland art scene. First, the city hosts or has hosted animation festivals such as the Platform International Animation Festival, Northwest Animation Festival, and the Floating World Animation Festival, to name a few. Next, the Oregon Governor's Office of Film & Television has been involved in major animated productions such as The PJs and Gary & Mike. The office also helps local production studios stay alive by promoting local talent.
Portland Animation Schools and Programs
In addition to an art scene that welcomes and promotes animation art, Portland is home to a number of schools that offer quality art programs. Pacific Northwest College of Art offers a Bachelor of Fine Art in Contemporary Animated Arts. The program combines fine art with digital technologies such as animation. Portland Community College offers a one-year certificate or Associate of Applied Science in Multimedia Art. Other area schools that offer animation programs include ITT Technical Institute and the Art Institute of Portland.
More Animation related programs to consider:
- San Francisco & Online
- Winter Park, FL & Online
Portland Animation Employers
Portland animators work at animation studios, film studios, gaming companies, technology firms, and multimedia companies. They also work in education. The state of Oregon is home to 60 colleges and universities, and 1,318 elementary and secondary schools. Portland is the largest city the state, so most schools are located here or in the surrounding areas. This means, with the right education and certification, finding a teaching job should be easy.
Computer systems and design firms are plentiful as well. There are more than 1,000 in Oregon and most are located in Portland. Aspiring animators interested in working in the film and video industry may find employment opportunities at:
- Deep Sky Studios
- Happy Trails Animation
- Hinge Digital
- Immersive Media
- Marshall Arts
- Wallace Creative Inc
For a list of additional animation studios and multimedia companies, visit the Oregon Governor's Office of Film & Television, Digital Media/Animation Department at http://oregonfilm.org/animation/. You can also try Producitonhub.com.
Animation Careers at a Glance
The animation industry is growing so fast, it is now the fastest growing career in the art world. Job growth for animators is expected to average 14 percent over the next seven years and it shows no signs of slowing down. In Portland, the animator pool increased from 240 to 360 in just three short years from 2006 to 2009.
Salary growth in the state overall is great, while the average salary decreased slightly in Portland. Here are the figures:
City of Portland
Many Portland animators are independent contractors or they manage their own studios. Salaries for these individuals may vary.
For more information about the animation industry in the U.S., visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics at www.bls.gov.