Art for the Home at the Japanese Garden

Take a glimpse of the art "behind the shoji," and take advantage of the Labor Day weekend discount.

By Kristin Belz August 26, 2012 Published in the August 2012 issue of Portland Monthly

Head up to the Portland Japanese Garden in the next week and you'll be rewarded, not just by the usual beauty of the garden, but because you'll get a glimpse Behind the Shoji. That's the garden's annual art and homegoods sale, which runs through Monday September 3. The show has been on for a month or so, but there are lots of beautiful pieces left. And procrastinating has its advantages in this case: throughout Labor Day weekend, everything will be 10% off (20% off for members – a good incentive for joining).

This year's show features more than 35 artists from the Pacific Northwest and Japan. Items range from sculpture, ceramics, and prints to scarves and jewelry. Many of the pieces are not to be found anywhere else in Portland. For instance, from Japan, scarves that are silk print on one side, cashmere wool on the other. I want one (or more). They are beautiful enough to hang print-side-out on the wall, but so soft and luxurious, I'd want to curl up and wear it cashmere-side-in, once summer leaves us and fall arrives.

A bonus for waiting to attend the show/sale this weekend: there will be two artist demonstrations, each held at 11 a.m.: 

Saturday, September 1:    Masamichi Nitani – woodworking 

Sunday, September 2:    Michael DiBitetto – printmaker who does ethereal intaglio prints of natural, mostly Oregon scenes. For a good article about his process, read Olga Kozinsky's blogpost.

The "Behind the Shoji" show and sale will be on view through Monday September 3 in the pavilion at the garden, which is open in summer every night until 7 p.m. 

Portland Japanese Garden

Located in the west hills of Portland, Oregon, directly above the International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park. Street address is 611 SW Kingston Avenue, Portland, OR 97205.


12-7 p.m. Monday
10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tue–Sun

Admission to the show is included with garden admission fee, which is 

  • $9.50 Adult
  • $7.75 Senior (62+)
  • $7.75 College Student (w/ID)
  • $6.75 Youth (6-17)
  • Children 5 and under free

Kris Paul (of Lake Grove) handcrafts porcelain into speckled, folded and pinched forms reminiscent of delicate, oversized dumplings. Some are rattles, made to be shaken (not by children).

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