Other items include 'Elf - The Musical,' 'She's Speaking,' Portland Book Festival and Portland Gay Men's Chorus

COURTESY PHOTO: PORTLAND STREET ART ALLIANCE - Jeremy Nichols, an artist with Portland Street Art Alliance, stands in front of his new mural at Black Iron Grill in Vernonia, one of eight murals painted by PSAA artists to beautify the town's downtown.

Vernonia art

The Portland Street Art Alliance has done some cool projects in Portland, and it has now completed a series of eight outdoor public art murals in downtown Vernonia — a town 44 miles west of Portland.

The Columbia Economic Team, working with PSAA and local resident Rachael Organ, secured a grant through Travel Oregon to help beautify the Vernonia downtown by painting on several blank walls.

The artists were Jeremy Nichols, Francisco Morales, Maddo Hues, Hayden Senter, Oliver Casillas and Dan Lee. They weave together stories of Vernonia's past and present, while creating art to expand its future — such topics as camping, biking the Banks-Vernonia trail and fishing on Lake Vernonia, as well as commerce, logging and timber operations, railroad, flora and fauna and cinematic history.

"I felt like I was a part of Vernonia for that week or two," Senter said. "Seeing the same kids run around the block, or the same few people who couldn't sleep at night coming up and talking when I was wrapping up painting for the day. I feel lucky being able to paint in a place where public art doesn't happen that much or at all."

COURTESY PHOTO: TRIUMPH PHOTOGRAPHY - Austin Comfort stars as Buddy (right) and Mark Pierce as Santa in Lakewood Theatre Company's "Elf — The Musical."

'Elf — The Musical'

Holiday shows are following shopping's lead — earlier the better, at least in the case of Lake Oswego's Lakewood Theatre Company's "Elf — The Musical." Lakewood starts its holiday show Friday, Nov. 5, and it goes through Dec. 19.

It's based on the wonderful 2003 New Line Cinema hit starring Will Ferrell. Austin Comfort stars in Ferrell's Buddy role. For more:

'She's Speaking'

A new project dedicated to women's voices and artistry, "She's Speaking" is a night of music by women, 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7 at Alberta Rose Theatre. It features Edna Vazquez, Arietta Ward, Bre Gregg, Kristen Grainger, LaRhonda Steele, Beth Wood, Liz Chibucos and Naomi La Violette. For more:

Portland Book Festival

The 2021 Portland Book Festival will be a hybrid event next week, Nov. 8-13 — there'll be virtual programming Nov. 8-12 and in-person events Nov. 13 at Portland Art Museum and Portland'5 Centers for the Performing Arts. For more:

Artistic change

Portland Gay Men's Chorus has announced that its artistic director, John Atorino, who has been on the job since January 2020, will be leaving his post after the group's "Gather" concert in December — which happens to be its first event since the COVID-19 pandemic started last spring.

Atorino managed PGMC's virtual season.

Mary McCarty, the associate conductor, will serve as interim artistic director through the season.

Pittock Mansion

"Critters Make Merry" is the theme of this year's Christmas exhibit at Pittock Mansion, which opens Nov. 22. Tickets are on sale at

Away they go

Three Oregon Zoo-reared California condors have been released in Arizona, marking another important step in the effort to save the critically endangered species from extinction.

They were hatched and raised at the Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation in Clackamas County and released at Arizona's Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.

"The condors released last month are doing great," said Tim Hauck, program manager for The Peregrine Fund. "They're roosting in good spots and getting plenty to eat."

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