February's Pop Culture Hot List

The art, the film festival, the concert, and the book you can't miss this month.

By Fiona McCann January 27, 2016 Published in the February 2016 issue of Portland Monthly

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Akio Takamori’s Yellow Mountain.

The Exhibition

Large-scale installations, neon figures, ceramic portraits, and metaphorical, moody landscapes: this year’s Contemporary Northwest Art Awards is an eclectic showcase of eight of the region’s most significant artists working in all manner of media, among them Portland artists Dana Lynn Louis and Samantha Wall. Prejudice, war, technology, and the environment are some of the issues addressed in the works on show at the Portland Art Museum’s fourth biennial awards exhibition (February 13–May 8). 

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The Screening

Take J. J. Abrams, add Benedict Cumberbatch, mix in some of Grammy-winning composer Michael Giacchino’s sweeping score, and top it all off with the Oregon Symphony: the result is Star Trek Into Darkness, with the symphony playing along. Set phasers to stun. (Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, February 12)

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The Film Festival

The first-ever Portland Kids’ Film Festival kicks off at the Hollywood Theatre on February 7 with a smorgasbord of screenings for young cinephiles. Expect two curated programs of animated and live-action shorts, with the heart-string-tugging story of the friendship between a mouse and a bear, Ernest and Celestine, as the festival’s main feature. Kids, get ready for some serious screentime.

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The Book

Seventeen female writers share their experiences—from rushed to relished, sensual to slimy—of losing their virginity in The V-Word: True Stories About First-Time Sex (February 2). The new book for YA readers, edited by Oregon author Amber J. Keyser (pictured above), brings together stories of disappointment and delight, including same-sex firsts and drunken surrenders.

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