Step Out and Explore More with Tillamook's ARTWALK

By Ann Powers | Monday, January 14, 2019

We often talk about all of the great things to do directly on the Northern Oregon Coast, because so many fun-filled adventures await! However, sometimes our charming inland communities may be overlooked in the shadow of that enthusiasm – but they shouldn’t be.

Tillamook is a perfect example. A lot of people breeze through the small, rural town on their way to destinations situated right on the Pacific Northwest shoreline without stopping to explore the friendly and picturesque country community. Sure, numerous tourists pull over long enough to take a tour of the famous Tillamook Cheese Factory, sample a few curds, get a cone and be on their way. And while the cheese factory is definitely a must-see activity worth doing when visiting the North Coast, Tillamook has a wide array of other quality attractions, delicious restaurants, charming shops, interesting museums and more you don't want to miss.

Meet Art Accelerated. In 2015 a group of Tillamook-area artists got together to organize a short pop-up exhibit as a way of filling vacant storefront with something attractive and appealing to passersby. They hoped to inspire a more positive vibe than what travelers might otherwise assume when noticing shuttered businesses in a once-thriving downtown area. With a grant from the Tillamook County Cultural Coalition, the group successfully hosted its first pop-up art show. The local ARTWALK was launched and continues as a popular and vital event to date in stepping up Tillamook's visibility. 

ARTWALK takes place every fourth Saturday of the month from 1 to 3 p.m. Numerous Tillamook businesses, organizations and attractions are actively involved. On a rotating basis they display local artwork at their locations as an added bonus for patrons to enjoy as they shop, stroll, dine and explore all Tillamook has to offer.

ARTWALKS also benefit Tillamook on whole with its benefit to the local economy. After lengthy highway construction temporarily closed downtown streets, sidewalks and access ways, ARTWALK has reinvigorated the flow of foot traffic in downtown. Local officials describe the Art Accelerated ARTWALKS as a win-win-win for travelers looking for cool things to do, merchants looking to increase business and local artists looking to display their craft and talents.

And if you’re passing this way soon, you’re in luck. The next Art Accelerated ARTWALK is scheduled for Saturday, January 26 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Participating businesses and featured artists this month include:

Lucky Bear Soap
Featuring: Connie Vincent 
Pacific Restaurant
Featuring: Christine Harrison
Sunflower Flats
Featuring: Assorted local artists
Tillamook County Pioneer Museum
Featuring: Photo Exhibit “Celebrating Route 6” and paintings by Dennis Worrel (through Feb. 17 with free admission during Art Walk)
Yo Time Frozen Yogurt
Featuring: Thea DeFeyter
Art Accelerated
Featuring: Member artists’ work

And many more! You can find a complete list of the participating galleries, artists and locations here

Thanks to the popularity of the initial ARTWALK and the determination of the founding artists, Art Accelerated was able to establish itself as a nonprofit and open its own art center at 1906 3rd  Street in Tillamook – giving area crafters even more visibility in the community and beyond.

Additionally, Art Accelerated now hosts a variety of creative and artistic services and activities including: an afterschool program for kids, ongoing classes and workshops for all ages, a writer’s monthly meet-up and an open-mic night for poets, storytellers, comedians and song writers at Yo Time Frozen Yogurt in Tillamook. There’s also an Art Accelerated call for artists and photographers underway for the “Celebrate Route 6” show as part of a year-long tribute to the scenic byway that runs from Banks to Cape Meares (another fun adventure to consider while visiting the region).  

And remember, ARTWALK happens every fourth Saturday of the month. So if you can't make the one in January, save the date in February or another upcoming month. 

To learn more about Art Accelerated, call (503) 809-9172. For even more adventures, make sure to check our Daytime Events, Nightlife and Community Events pages. And let us know about your fabulous adventures had while visiting the Northern Oregon Coast; share them in the comments section below.

Photo Credits to Art Accelerated

About the Author Ann Powers
Ann Powers is a reporter and writer who has lived and worked on the Oregon Coast. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Madison and currently working on her master's degree in multimedia journalism at the University of Oregon's Portland campus. Originally from Wisconsin, she now calls Oregon home, describing it as, "the Midwest of the Pacific Northwest," due to its dairy-state status, beautiful environment and friendly people.