Along with fall weather, autumn arts events return to campus

Welcome back to campus! After an action-packed summer of exciting sports events like the World Athletics Championships Oregon22, it’s time to hit the books … and experience all the university has to offer in the way of arts.

Two popular events are back: Ducks After Dark with selected weekly movie screenings and drop-in free crafting activities, both at the Erb Memorial Union. Latinx Heritage Month, which runs from mid-September to mid-October, has many celebrations and events planned as well.

If you are a new student, be sure to visit the Museum of Natural and Cultural History, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and UO Libraries; each offers events, presentations and new and permanent exhibitions throughout the year.


The popular biannual ASUO Street Faire returns Oct. 12. Held on East 13th Avenue in the heart of campus, visitors can browse unique gifts and handcrafted items offered by artisans and nonprofits, and sample appetizing cuisine from a variety of food vendors.

The 41st annual celebration of el Día de los Muertos begins Nov. 1. In Mexico, when the souls of the dead return to this world for a few brief hours each year, they are welcomed with a feast of all the foods and drinks that pleased them in life. Join the Día de los Muertos procession through the UO campus and experience a traditional Day of the Dead celebration with performances by Los Musiqueros, dancing by Ensamble Identidad y Folclor, and an art exhibition by Grabadores Guanajuatenses. The ofrendas, or alters, will be on display to the public from Oct. 26 through Nov. 2.


An online session, “Memory Work for Black Lives,” is scheduled Oct. 21-22.  The two-day event brings Black activists, community members, speakers, librarians and archivists together to discuss the power of Black archival memory and community archives. The session is in conjunction with the “Archives for Black Lives: A Liberated Archives” exhibition of “Don’t Shoot Portland” in the Knight Library.

Image from the 'Many Wests' exhibit Many Wests: Artists Shape an American Idea” opens Sept. 28 at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Featuring the artwork of 48 modern and contemporary artists, the exhibition examines the popular culture, commonly accepted historical narratives, misconceptions and racist cliches surrounding this iconic region of the United States. 


Sphinx Virtuosi Get back into the music at Beall Concert Hall. Concerts in October include Sphinx Virtuosi, a self-conducted orchestra devoted to bringing the power of diversity to the arts, on Oct. 9; Oregon Wind Symphony, Oct. 20; UO symphony Orchestra on Oct. 21; a birthday celebration of music by Romantic era composer Franz Liszt, Oct. 22; ChamberMusic@Beall presents Faure Piano Quartet on Oct. 30. And don’t miss the eerie sounds, also on the 30th, of the pipe organ at Pipe Screams, a Halloween-themed organ performance.


Sculpey clay Who doesn’t love a crafting project? Take a break from studies and make something fabulous at Freebie Fridays from noon to 2 p.m. at the EMU. Create fun designs and patterns using Sculpey clay on Oct. 7. Map out your destiny on Oct. 14 with a collage board. Make a friendship bracelet for your bestie on Oct. 21. And on Oct. 28, paint a pumpkin rock and get some Halloween costume ideas with all the essentials: glue guns, sequins, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, pompoms, puffy paint and more. All UO students are welcome at these free weekly events.


Peek inside the inner workings of the movie biz at an interactive, hands-on Professional Edge workshop on Oct. 13. Participants at Film Finance 101 will learn from industry insiders about developing a budget and pitching ideas to potential investors.

Rocky Horror Picture Show Ducks After Dark returns! Kicking off the month on Oct. 6 at the EMU Redwood Auditorium is “The Bob’s Burgers Movie,” complete with free burgers from Little big Burger for the first 200 guests. On Oct. 13, “Official Competition” pits two ego-driven actors against each other. When an interdimensional rupture unravels reality, an unlikely hero must channel her newfound powers to fight bizarre and bewildering dangers from the multiverse as the fate of the world hangs in the balance in “Everything Everywhere All at Once” on Oct. 20. Just in time for Halloween, get ready to do the time warp again with Frank-N-Furter, Brad and Janet, Riff Raff, Magenta and the gang in the cult film “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” Oct. 27. Free entry for UO students with a valid UO ID.


Join Portland artist and citizen of the Cherokee Nation Brenda Mallory at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art for an Artist Talk on Oct. 5 about her work using reclaimed materials, including cloth, fibers, beeswax and found objects. Mallory’s work addresses ideas of interference and disruption in long-established systems of nature and human culture.

Anthropologist David Lewis will be at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History on Oct. 13 to discuss “Kalapuya Environments,” an exploration of the original Native cultural stewardship of the Willamette Valley and current work to restore and decolonize the area.

Viewed through the lenses of both art history and the history of science, the “Prudence and Curiosity in the Early Modern Collection” symposium Oct. 21 at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History explores the political relationship between statecraft and art.

Join photographer, installation artist and cultural activist Lonnie Graham for “A Conversation with the World” at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on Oct. 15. “A Conversation with the World” comprises work done in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Rim, Europe and the Americas. Graham meets individuals and, through mutual trust, makes a portrait and records a conversation. Regardless of age, gender or nationality, all were asked the same eight questions pertaining to origins, family, life, death, values, tradition and thoughts on Western culture. Their individual portraits and responses make up the content of the project, which the artist hopes will “delve beneath the superficial patina of cultural differences to explore the essential and fundamental motivations of human beings in order to clearly illustrate the bond that is inherently our humanity.”

Art by V. Maldonado Artist V. Maldonado will give an artist talk Oct. 23 at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. “Geographies of Liberation: Self, Land, Mind” will center on self-design and transformation themes and current and past multidisciplinary work, including drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, performance and poetry.

Vancouver-based artist Liz Magor will present “I Have Wasted my Life,” a George and Matilda Fowler Lecture on Oct. 27 in Lawrence Hall. The artist will discuss her recent sculptural and photographic works. Magor’s process and studio practice were featured in Season 8 of the PBS series Art 21, “Art in the Twenty-first Century.”

Streaming resources

Can’t get to an event in person? Google Arts & Culture is a great starting place for finding exhibits, collections, audio, video, images and more.

Explore the UO Channel for a variety of livestreamed events, Department of Art Visiting Artist Lecture Series videos, guest speakers and more.

—By Sharleen Nelson, University Communications