Portland, OR. The Portland Winter Light Festival (PDXWLF) kicked off its biggest festival to date with a full roster of over 100 works of art. It’s running through February 12th at dozens of locations throughout Portland. (Here’s a link to an interactive Google map to help you find the installations.) It’s the seventh year of the community-wide event. Last year, instead of large gatherings along the waterfront, PDXWLF worked to keep people socially distant because of the pandemic. In 2022, the festival is more robust.
“Over the past two years of the pandemic, Portlanders have shown that they care about community, celebration, and each other. Now more than ever it feels important to put your mask on and go out and safely rediscover our city,” says Portland Winter Light Festival Executive Director Alisha Sullivan. “We are incredibly proud to be one of the very few activities that provided free, in-person opportunities to safely interact with art in 2020 and 2021, and we look forward to doing so again in 2022.”
Planned highlights include:
● The return of Helianthus Enorme by Fez BeGaetz, a 25’ tall sunflower with 3,500 pixels of
● Large-scale building projections by lighting art Mark Johns and Craig Winslow
● Participation from students at Leodis V. McDaniel School Skyline K-8, Portland State
University, University of Oregon, and local children from the Lents neighborhood
● Virror, a 6’ tall LED wall with a 3-D scanning sensor that acts as a “virtual mirror”
● Bioluminescent Beasts, a light-reactive installation by popular local artist Mike Bennett
● ‘Green Fuse’, a multimedia art experience from CymaSpace combining music and
sound-responsive LED lights strips to benefit both Deaf and hearing people
● An illuminated bike ride, roller disco night, four evenings of Silent Disco dances, and
many more opportunities for attendee participation
● Installations all over Portland including in Tigard, Lake Oswego, Milwaukie and Hayden
From Portland Winter Light Festival 2022:
What: Portland Winter Light Festival 2022
When: February 4 – 12, 2022
Where: At sites throughout Portland, with anchor locations at Pioneer Courthouse Square, World
Trade Center and Electric Blocks (Anchor locations will only be operating on weekends, 6pm –
10pm Friday and Saturday nights, February 5 – 6 and 11 – 12.) Citywide maps available on
website. Google Map here.
About the Portland Winter Light Festival
The Portland Winter Light Festival (PDXWLF) is Portland’s premier outdoor winter art activity
that transforms, illuminates and animates Portland’s nighttime urban landscape.
The mission of the Portland Winter Light Festival is to build community by bringing art and
technology to inclusive audiences while invigorating Portland in the winter. This not-for-profit
activity is funded by support from individual donors, and corporate sponsors and is powered by
PGE Green Future renewable power. Support is provided by Presenting Sponsor PGE, the City of
Portland, Downtown Portland (a collaborative project between Downtown Portland Clean & Safe,
the Portland Business Alliance, and the City of Portland), Here Oregon, Northern Illumination
Company, TriMet, Portland Streetcar, NECA IBEW Local 48, the Oregon Cultural Trust and many
more. Venue Partners include Pioneer Courthouse Square, the World Trade Center, and the
Electric Blocks. To donate, visit www.pdxwlf.com/donate.
Founded in 2016 by the Willamette Light Brigade, the festival has established itself as a premier
regional attraction for artists and visitors due to dazzling and dynamic digital art installations,
In 2022 the festival is taking place entirely in open-air and outdoor spaces, allowing for plenty of social distancing and minimizing crowds. Attendees should still expect to follow all state and federal COVID-19 guidelines. See our COVID-19 guidelines page for more information.
As always, PDXWLF is an all-ages, free event! If you want to contribute, consider signing up as a Volunteer or Donating today.
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.