Whether you have a weekend off or are skipping school with your high school friends, a visit to the museum is a great way to spend a lazy afternoon. Art, history, aviation, mental health: Oregon has museums for just about everything.
But if you’re looking for an entertaining education in the fascinating science of snow and Oregon’s history, look no further than these new exhibits.
Snow: tiny crystals, global impact
Until April 10, OMSI
Snow is one of those things we take for granted. We admire its delicate complexity as it transforms our world into a winter wonderland, then curse its existence as it turns to ice and then slush. But snow plays an important role in our global climate, from keeping the planet cool by reflecting the sun’s heat to supplying the western United States with water as the snow melts. A warming planet, of course, affects all of that. Snow: tiny crystals, global impact, an exhibit that has been in the works for three years and is now showing at OMSI, explores the white stuff with tons of interactive exhibits aimed at exploring the impact of snow on the global environment. The exhibit will be on display in Portland throughout the spring, then travel across the country to San Diego, Buffalo, New York, Grand Rapids and elsewhere.
Testify — Extraordinary Lives
Until May 15, Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education
Many have found a home in Oregon, having traveled across the country or the world in search of community, climate, or craft beers (sometimes all three), and have put down roots here. For people who have left their home countries in search of refuge from violence, war and genocide, Oregon means something a little different: a safe haven. The new exhibit at the Oregon Jewish Memorial and Center for Holocaust Education Testify – Extraordinary Lives examines 14 lives that found refuge in Oregon. In collaboration with The Immigrant Story, Jim Lommasson and NW Documentary, Bear witness tells their moving stories with photographs, newspaper clips, profiles and short films.
Freeze the day! A history of winter sports in Oregon
Until July 17, Oregon Historical Society
When it comes to snow, we Oregonians especially love our winter sports. Snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, tobogganing: you name it, we’ve got a gear for it. And our immense love for snowy adventure has a story, which is explored in the Oregon Historical Society exhibit. Freeze the day! A history of winter sports in Oregon, from early indigenous practices to Euro-Americans exploring new ways to recreate in the snow, to the development of the many alpine resorts and recreational facilities across the state. The exhibit also profiles 13 winter sports championship athletes, including Olympic snowboarders Ben Ferguson and Chris Klug, and figure skater Tonya Harding.
imagine a world
Until September 25, High Desert Museum
What does the ideal company look like for you? A city without crime? Borders? Money? Religion? Okay, slow down, John Lennon. Before you imagine everyone, check out the High Desert Museum’s latest exhibit imagine a world, which delves into several cases where philosophy, imagination and ambition led to the creation of small communities of people in search of utopia, and the result of these pursuits. The exhibit takes a closer look at the ecological laboratory of Biosphere 2 in Arizona, a once-thriving township called Drop City in Colorado and, of course, the spiritual sanctuary of Rajneeshpuram in Wasco County, Oregon. The exhibit also features contemporary works of Indigenous Futurism.