Fill your stocking with December's lineup of arts events

Andiel Brown and the UO Gospel Choir

If the holidays aren’t enough, there are plenty of other December events to fill up your winter break schedule.

The School of Music and Dance has a full roster of events, including music performances by the  UO Chamber and Gospel Choirs and the Oregon Wind Ensemble. Drop in at the “Illustrations in Ink Splats” workshop and create some Ralph Steadman-inspired creative art or visit the Museum of Natural and Cultural History between Dec. 5 and Dec. 19 and grab gifts for everyone on your list at deep discounts.


Program events centered around the Ralph Steadman art exhibition that opened in October at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art continue in December.

On Dec. 4, embark on an inky journey with instructor Marianne Walker at the “Illustrations in Ink Splats” workshop at the downtown library, Bascom-Tykeson Room. Inspired by artist Ralph Steadman’s signature ink splatter style, attendees will learn how to make spontaneous and calculated pop culture art. The event is free and open to the public.  

Art posterIn conjunction with the art museum’s exhibition “The Satirical Eye” — featuring works by William Hogarth, James Gillray, Francisco de Goya and Honoré Daumier, four artists who exemplify visual satire and caricature — Curatorial Extern in American and European Art Emily Shinn will lecture on “The History of Satirical Prints.” The Dec. 14 event also takes place at the downtown Eugene Public library.

On Dec. 5, don’t miss the third annual UO Critical Art Show, an art event that brings student and community artists together to showcase their exceptional work. The event takes place in the main hallway/lobby at the Global Scholars Hall.

Bring the family out to the Jordan Schnitzer Museum for Family Day: Celebrations Around the World Dec. 7 for an afternoon of fun and inspirational activities drawn from current gallery exhibitions.


Drawing on Special Collections and University Archives’ children’s literature collections, “Tomorrow’s Scientists: Children’s Literature of the Cold War Era” consists of original materials from 20th century children’s book illustrators, authors and publishers whose work intersected American politics and the Cold War era. Some of the topics include the launch of Sputnik I, the history of the U.S. space program, nuclear energy and communism. View the exhibition Dec. 2-3 in the Knight Library, Paulson Reading Room.

The Graceful Table,” a 20th-century silver and metalwork collection currently on display in the art museum’s John and Ethel MacKinnon Gallery, explores the history of table service, dining etiquette and international food culture through tableware and dining accessories. The tableware was created by silversmiths such as Allan Adler, known as the “silversmith to the stars,” who designed silverware in shapes inspired by the Modernist art movement, and Porter Blanchard and Albert Edward Bonner, who were part of the Arts and Crafts movement.

Be sure to catch two exhibitions at the art museum before they end Dec. 29: “Third Dimension: Tom Cramer Drawings and Paintings 1974-2019” and “Naeemeh Naeemaei: Dreams Before Extinction and Under the Earth Over the Moon.”

Feed your curiosity during the break at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History where you can explore any number of its fascinating collections, such as the museum’s zoological collection, developed by A.C. Shelton, UO field collector during the early 20th century, which includes numerous bird specimens and comparative skeletons including birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish as well as invertebrates like snails, chambered nautilus, bivalves, corals, arthropods, sea urchins, sea biscuits and sand dollars. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday and students get in free.

Holiday event

Get in some holiday shopping Dec. 5-19 at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History. Discounts at the museum store, which supports the museum’s education programs, can be found during Holiday Nights at the Museum. Admission is free with a nonperishable food donation to FOOD for Lane County.  


Join musicology doctoral candidate and 2019-20 Oregon Humanities Center dissertation fellow Holly Roberts on Dec. 6 for a work-in-progress talk: “Ecstatic Devotion: Musical Rapture and Erotic Death in 17th- and 18th-Century Iconography, Operas and Oratorios.”


Enjoy a concert Dec. 8 at Aasen-Hull Hall presented by the UO School of Music and Dance, featuring the Pacific Artists Collective, a student-run, interdisciplinary chamber orchestra that offers students and community members a chance to perform as well as experience the behind-the-scenes work that goes into a production.

Don’t miss a high-energy performance by the UO School of Music and Dance’s Gospel Choirs, Dec. 9 at Beall Hall. In 2013, under the direction of instructor and director Andiel Brown, the acclaimed UO Top Gospel Singers became the first gospel act ever to perform in China.

Soromundi Lesbian ChorusCheck the School of Music and Dance calendar for additional events.

Don’t miss a meet and greet, reading and book signing with UO geologist Marli Miller along with a musical performance by the Soromundi Lesbian Chorus, Dec. 12 at the Museum of Natural Culture and History. On Dec. 19, it’s lasso demonstrations and a talk on charrería tradition with charro Antonio Huerta, plus a demonstration and guided activity with local artist Patricia Montoya-Donohue.


Fall Dance Loft posterThe UO Hip-Hop and Politics of Race freshmen interest group will present the  sixth annual UO Hip Hop Jam Dec. 5 in the Global Scholars Hall. This event is free and open to the community, and all ages are welcome. Since the jam began in 2014, attendance has grown steadily and more than doubled to about 500 people by 2016, when legendary California rapper Chali 2na headlined the show.

The Fall Dance Loft will host a diverse showcase of student work Dec. 6 at Dougherty Dance Theatre in the Gerlinger Annex.

Pub talks

Join UO professor of journalism Torsten Kjellstrand on Dec. 4 for Ideas on Tap: Representation in Storytelling, a discussion about mainstream representations of native people and the perils that can arise when stories about native communities are shaped by non-native voices. Admission to the Museum of Natural and Cultural History’s monthly pub talk is free at Viking Braggot Company’s Southtowne Pub in Eugene.

UO neuroscientist Cris Niell studies the function and development of neural circuits for visual processing to better understand how we make sense of the visual world. On Dec. 11, he will discuss his research involving mice, zebrafish and octopuses in a Quack Chats pub talk at 6 p.m. at the Ax Billy Grill and Sports Bar at the Downtown Athletic Club in Eugene. All Quack Chat pub talks are free and open to the public.

—By Sharleen Nelson, University Communications