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ABOUT THE PORTLAND WINTER LIGHT FESTIVAL

7th Annual Portland Winter Light Festival:

FEBRUARY 4th – 12th, 2022

FREE TO ATTEND

ALL AGES

MEDIA ASSETS

Find press photos, high-resolution maps, and 2021 logos in the folder below.

Our mission is to build community by bringing cutting-edge art and technology to diverse audiences while invigorating the city of Portland in winter.

In order to safely reflect our current pandemic reality, the 6th edition of this tradition is being held as a series of outdoor art exhibitions throughout Portland.

 

The Portland Winter Light Festival (PDXWLF) is a city-wide, vibrant outdoor arts festival held at the height of winter, when there are few free cultural events taking place in the city, and builds community through collaboration between organizations, businesses, artists, and guests.

 

The 2020 festival hosted over 210,000 visitors and presented nearly 200 public art installations, performances, and workshops, all free of charge.

 

The Willamette Light Brigade (WLB) founded PDXWLF in an effort to propel forward its mission of connecting community and enriching the public realm through artful lighting. The Festival began as a coalescence of ideas in 2016, and was spearheaded by Portland State University Professor of Architecture Jeff Schnabel, Lighting Designer and Artistic Director Chris Herring, and former Technical Director Jean Margaret Thomas. The three were separately inspired by dynamic winter light festivals around the world such as France’s Fête des Lumières and Sydney’s Vivid. The organiziation is currently led by Executive Director Alisha Sullivan.

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ARTISTIC DIRECTOR CHRIS HERRING

The inaugural version of the festival took place along the Willamette River, Eastbank Esplanade, and OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry). In its fourth year, the festival's footprint expanded to areas in all corners of the city, including a major presence at Portland State University. In 2020, the festival was once again centered along the banks of the Willamette River.

The 2021 edition of PDXWLF was advertised as the "Portland Winter Light (non)Festival", reflecting the decentralized nature of the activities as necessary during COVID times. During an unprecedented time and through extraordinary weather, thousands of people came out to celebrate light, art, and community.

2022 was a banner year for the Light Festival, featuring over 135 pop-up art installations throughout the Portland Metro area filling retail spaces, storefronts that have stood empty for years, public spaces, hotel lobbies, and businesses with light, art, and community. The event revitalized our dormant downtown core by featuring four major anchor art sites in the central city hosting illuminated sculptures, video projections, pop-up performances, food carts, and more. The work of over 147 community volunteers brought the festival to life, and the event saw a total attendance of 189,000 residents exploring all corners of the city over eight nights. 

PRESS

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OREGON ART BEAT

Portland Winter Light Festival Sparks Illumination

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WILLAMETTE WEEK

Here Are The Five February Art Openings We’re Most Excited to See

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KATU TV

Winter Light Festival Brightens Cold Nights

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EAST PDX NEWS

'Light Fest' again dazzles on Willamette's east bank

MEDIA CONTACT

MICHELLE DAVID

Communications Director

press@pdxwlf.com