Curious Gallery 2016

An arts festival of the wunderkammer revival, January 9-10, 2016 at Crowne Plaza Downtown-Convention Center, Portland, OR. Capacity is limited, so register below for your weekend or day pass.


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Thank you to everyone who made curious Gallery 2016 (January 9-10) such an incredible weekend! Click here for a special note from your beloved curator, Lupa.

We’d like to congratulate our 2016 Art Show winners!

5th (Tie): Ryan Panian Exploded Mantis Shrimp
5th (Tie): Catalyst Studios Mr. Crawley
4th (Tie): Mavis Leahy Libby
4th (Tie): Mavis Leahy Merl, Gone But Not Forgotten
3rd: Ryan Panian Exploded Beetle
2nd: Indi Walter Elven Opulence
1st: Ryan Panian Three Headed Cat

You can see photos from the art show and our event overall here and here.

In other news, stay tuned at Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.


Long before public museums became a feature of many cities, private citizens in Europe and elsewhere formed their own extensive collections of scientific specimens and cultural artifacts meant to educate and inspire their beholders. A longtime collector of natural history specimens, Portland artist and author Lupa wanted to increase awareness and appreciation of wunderkammern (“wonder cabinets”), or cabinets of curiosity, and their eclectic contents. Curious Gallery is the result, a weekend featuring an art show, exhibits, presentations, hands-on workshops, and special programming for lovers of taxidermy, natural wonders, and strange treasures old & new.

Get news, updates, and info on special deals on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.

If you are a business or individual interested in sponsoring Curious Gallery 2016, or are an individual wishing to volunteer at the event, please contact us at


We welcome our Curious Gallery 2016 Vendors:

Catalyst Studios – replica animal skulls and related artworks
Custom Cranium – animal bones, artworks and other oddities
Dave Gonzo Sculpture – handmade steel sculpture and jewelry; unique clothing designs
Frozen Critters – hides, bones, fossils and more natural history treasures
Gaean Allusions Pottery – wheelthrown, hand decorated stoneware
Owlkeyme Arts – esoteric artworks, handmade jewelry and attire
Portland Black Lipstick Company – natural cosmetics featuring unusual colors
RTFX by Lauryn MacGregor – vintage natural history prints and fine art delights
Sarracenia Northwest – a variety of carnivorous plants and care materials
The Zymoglyphic Museum – self-published books, prints of digital collages, postcards
Small Magic Bindery – tiny hand-bound books and more!
Wolf + Rabbit Emporium – Steampunk/fairytale/dystopian art


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Our schedule is now live! Please note that there is a tiny chance of minor changes, but otherwise this is it! (Please click for a larger version)


Just as a heads-up, we WILL be using our token system for hands-on workshops with materials fees. These fees are in addition to the admission price for Curious Gallery, and are only charged to people participating in a select few workshops that involve crafting something to take home. All fees go to the workshop presenters, none to Curious Gallery. You will be able to buy tokens in $5 denominations at the registration desk any time during the weekend; you can pay with cash or card. We will also have signup sheets for workshops at the beginning of the day these workshops are happening–so for example the signup sheets for the Saturday workshops will be available Saturday morning at 10am when the registration desk opens, and the Sunday signup sheets will be available Sunday morning at 10am, not before.

Curious Lightning Talks

You! (And Everyone Else, Too)

Here’s an opportunity for anyone at the event to spend five minutes talking about whatever nature, culture or art related topic they want to share with the audience! Great for those who didn’t feel they had enough for a full hour, but who have valuable ideas to share.

Illustrating Insects!
Stacey “Zebith” Thalden

Learn about painting insects and the creative practice of being a nature illustrator. Hear about the visual harmony found in the natural world and one artist’s passion for Entomology and Painting that turned into a nature inspired career.

Cello Performance By Betsy Tinney
Betsy Tinney

Enjoy the talent and creativity of the Pacific Northwest’s outstanding solo cellist, Betsy Tinney. Her tapestry of acoustic cello woven with an electric looper, has been called “captivating,” “mesmerizing,” and “a rich texture for the ear, reminiscent of dark chocolate and fine red wine.”

Natural History Nickelodeon
Stephen Couchman

A selection of short films with wonders and creativity galore!

Dissect a Sheep’s Eyeball!
Julie McGowan

Have you ever wanted to see inside the eye? Wonder what’s up with the tools you use to observe the world? In this workshop, we’ll do a standard bio-lab dissection of a sheep’s eyeball. Space is limited to twelve paricipants (one workshop per day). Materials fee $5, space limited to 12 people per class.

Monarchs, Mine Whales, Marbled Murrelets, and the Milky Way: How You Can Contribute to Our Understanding of the Natural World Through Citizen Science
Laura Guderyahn

Citizen science: what is it, how does it work, and how can you get involved? This talk by a board member of the Northwest Ecological Research Institute focuses on opportunities here in our Portland-METRO community as well as some nation-wide projects.

Thinking Like a Mushroom: A Discourse on Fungal Behavior + Hands-on Cultivation Workshop
Brad Blickenstaff

Learn how to cultivate mushrooms in your own home, from basic care and species to cultivation and harvesting techniques. And you’ll get to take home your very own mushroom spawn to start your home cultivation efforts. OPTIONAL: If you want to take a spore-cultivated log home there is a materials fee of $20; however, if you just want to attend the talk and not take home a log there is no materials fee

Spiders of the Pacific Northwest: How to Identify, Illustrate, and Love All Creatures With Eight Legs
Jessica Szabo

Spiders! What are they, why are the beneficial and not evil? You’ll learn how to identify spiders, focusing on local taxa, and how technical, scientific illustration plays a part in identification.

Event Design as Curatorial Ring-Mastery; or Behind the Scenes at Professor Oddbody’s Splendiforous 4-D Wunderkammer
Stephen Couchman

Ever wondered what it would be like to run your own event, or what it’s like creating something like Curious Gallery? Come see how making a weekend of eventing is like putting together one very large cabinet of curiosities with the organizer of such local events as GEAR Con, HOWLCon, and the Rose City Steampunk Film Festival.

The Beauty and Functions of Feathers: Identification Basics and the Legalities of Collecting Feathers
Char Corkran

Do you love feathers? Learn what you need to know to collect the plumage of a variety of birds, to include legal restrictions and permits, alternatives to real feathers, how to identify found feathers, and more. A hands-on demonstration will allow participants to try identification for themselves with real feathers and field guides.

Barking Up The Right Trees – Peeled Cedars as a Link to the Past on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Chris Donnermeyer

Peeled western redcedar trees and huckleberry harvest and processing are closely linked in the archaeological record at many areas of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. I will be presenting on this topic and providing an exhibit for the 2016 Curious Gallery with the intent of sharing information related to huckleberry resource extraction and the association of this historic activity to peeled cedars. I will have several hands-on items to share at the exhibit, following my presentation. The display banners include background information on peeled cedars, huckleberry processing sites, and the seasonal rounds conducted by pre-contact peoples.

Demo: Metal Alchemy
Dave Gonzo

Transforming metals into organic sculpture along with combining different metals for a beautiful contrast of the mediums for the physical realm to experience. Will be held in a shelter just outside the door to the back parking lot.

Ethics & Legalities of Animal Remains

With the rise in popularity of taxidermy and specimens, it’s important for collectors, artists and other curious folk to know what laws govern the trade in hides, bones, etc. Discuss notable legalities and ethical questions.

Bee-Inspired Fascinators With Millinery Arts Old and New
Amanda Shaw

Use the power of expressive fashion to save the bees! This hands on workshop will allow you to make your very own bee-inspired fascinator hat using old and modern millinery techniques. Space is limited to 20 people; materials cost $25.

Visual Alchemy: Where Art & Magick Meet Part I: History

Laura Tempest Zakroff

In part 1, we’ll explore the power of art and the crafted object through history and multiple cultures from around the world in both 2D and 3D format through sculpture, paintings, shrines, altars, and more.

Visual Alchemy: Where Art & Magick Meet Part II: Practice and Application
Laura Tempest Zakroff

In part 2, we’ll cover the making/crafting of your own art for spellcraft, as well tips on collecting art and artifact to harness intent, be it for spiritual or artistic pursuits.

Successful Carnivorous Plant Culture for the Pacific Northwest
Jeff Dallas of Sarracenia Northwest

Carnivorous plants are some of the most amazing yet totally misunderstood plants on the planet. Learn how to successfully grow these amazing plants, and take one home with you too! Materials cost $5; space limited to 20 people.

Bone Cleaning Basics
Carla Brauer

Learn how to prepare, clean, and finish skulls and other bones for display, collections, or art. We will review the most common and effective cleaning methods, as well as degreasing and whitening techniques.

Resurrecting Dead Cosmetics: Historical Inspiration and Cosmetic Crafting
Presented by Kim Damio

As a cosmetic crafter, I have been heavily influenced by historical sources. Historical beauty recipes can be creatively inspiring, educational, and surprisingly accessible. They can also be difficult to interpret, hard to recreate, or even dangerous. Please join me as I relate some of my successful—and less successful—experiences adapting period formulas for modern use.

Raptors, Rodents, and Regurgitation: A Dissection of Owl Pellets
Presented by Amanda Fisher

Participants will discover what owls have for midnight snacks as they dissect an owl pellet and take home their findings. The types of bones will be identified, as well as tips on cleaning, protecting, and using your bones for artistic purposes. (Materials cost $5, limited to 35 attendees.)

Performance: The Maiden Morte
Nathaniel Johnstone

Mari Lwyd (Grey Mare/Holy Mary) is said to represent the uneasy frontier between living and dead, and have many roles: Harbinger of Death and Endings, Bringer of Luck, Marker of Justice, Tester of Wit and Intelligence. Does she bring you blessings of the future or test your past? Experience an improvisational live music/dance performance piece that fuses together elements of Modern Traditional Witchcraft, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Dance, Inspired World Music, and Ritual Performance, with improvised live music by Nathaniel Johnstone

Still Death: A Skull-Drawing Session

Our take on the “still life” drawing session, Still Death is your opportunity to draw, paint and otherwise artistically capture a wide and weird variety of animal skulls as artistic subjects! We’ll have a brief discussion about the skulls on hand, and then the rest of the time will be yours to create as you choose! Come armed with your own art supplies, or make use of the paper and colored pencils we’ll have on loan. Everyone is welcome, from “I’ve never drawn anything” to “I’m a seasoned pro!”

Taxidermy 101
Lupa, Carla Brauer, Darien Baysinger

In recent years taxidermy has become rather trendy, but what’s it take to be a modern-day taxidermist? In this group panel we’ll discuss taxidermy and other arts using animal remains, where to get supplies and how to start creating your own taxidermy creations. We’ll also have a Q&A session, so bring your questions about this ancient art in the 21st century!


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skinny1Lupa is a Portland-based artist, author, and amateur naturalist. Since 1998 she has incorporated hides, bones and the like into her mixed-media practical creations, with a special emphasis on honoring the beings who once wore these remains in life. Lupa has published several books on nature-based spirituality, to include her 2010 Skin Spirits: The Spiritual and Magical Use of Animal Parts. Her primary website, The Green Wolf, serves as a portal for her work in general. As organizer for Curious Gallery, it is her wish to create a place for those who love the natural world and the creativity it inspires a place to meet, learn, and share their works and accomplishments.

Carla Brauer

Carla is a bone obsessed nature lover living in the farm country surrounding Salem, OR. She began teaching herself the art of bone preservation many years ago while working on a goat meat ranch and being unable to discard the beautifully horned heads of the bucks that they were slaughtering for meat. Over the years, she has refined her craft to produce impeccably cleaned bones that can be passed down for generations. She uses a colony of flesh-eating dermestid beetles along with other processes, both natural and chemical, to achieve museum-quality specimens. She also does bone carving, painting, metalizing, and repair and restoration of bones, horns and antlers. She can be found online at

Julie McGowan

Julie McGowan is a creative enthusiast now living, working, and going to school in the Portland area. Her curiosity sprawls through subjects of alternate history, subculture communities, local creative endeavors, music, and whatever art projects she can get her grubby little hands on. Julie is a friend of the Curious Gallery family and helps to run other annual Portland events such as GEAR Con, HOWL Con, and the Steampunk Film Festival.

Amanda Fisher

Amanda Fisher is a Portland-based artist and educator. She has spent over a decade developing and teaching classes to youth on a wide variety of science topics, and more recently discovered how to combine her love of science education with her craft of creating jewelry. Midnight Snack Jewelry features the bones of rodents, birds, and shrew dissected from owl pellets found locally on Sauvie Island. Each bone has been eaten, regurgitated, dissected, and reconstructed into wearable artwork!

David Gonzalez

David Gonzalez was born in Albuquerque, N.M. in 1976 and started creating steel sculpture 23 years post birth. He started with steel fabrication on oversea storage containers moving into structural steel which evolved into self taught sculpture. By following his intuition and the having the skills & knowledge of steel fabrication he has migrated to Portland, Oregon creating pieces for local shows, private clients & businesses within the states & internationally. David is a member of the Pacific Northwest Sculptors and also is on the board as show coordinator helping organize shows, demonstrations, work shops and ideas. The sculpture that comes through him has been called gothic, medieval, dark and has a esoteric energy to it. David creates on how he is feeling or holds a specific intention for each piece to hold that energy. You can find him and his works online at

Kim Damio

Kim Damio is the founder of Portland Black Lipstick Company, an independent cosmetic company that specializes in natural makeup and historically based formulas. Kim’s enjoyment of cosmetic crafting and love of research have allowed her to uncover strange and glorious mixtures from the past. She has been experimenting with cosmetic recipes for over fifteen years and has survived one resultant explosion, an accidental essential oil poisoning, and continuous over-exposure to absolute beauty.

Jeff Dallas

Jeff Dallas is co-owner of Sarracenia Northwest carnivorous plant nursery. He started growing carnivorous plants as a child, and has now been growing carnivorous plants for more than 30 years. As the collection grew, he began selling off excess plants at Portland Saturday Market in 1995. Today with his husband Jacob Farin they run Sarracenia Northwest propagating, growing and shipping carnivorous plants all over the country through their website, Jeff has also worked for many years for the Multnomah Education Service District Outdoor School program as a Site Supervisor, and now as Program Specialist for Outdoor School. In addition to making these rare and unusual plants available to the public, a big part of our business mission is to help educate first time growers to help them be successful with these poorly understood plants.

Laura Tempest Zakroff

Laura Tempest Zakroff is an artist, designer, author, and dancer based in Seattle, Washington. She received her BFA in Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and trained at Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia and the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts. Laura’s work blends traditional and modern media with an aesthetic that spans numerous cultures and centuries. She is inspired by mythology and esoterica, and enjoys mixing the macabre with fantasy and wonder.

Tempest & Nathaniel Johnstone

Nathaniel Johnstone is a multi-instrumentalist musician with an appetite for myth and Tempest is a major pioneer of Fusion Bellydance, Modern Traditional Witch, as well as an accomplished visual artist and designer. Together they create unique improvised performances that capture the essence of dance, ritual, music, and magick. They are based in Seattle, WA &

Amanda Shaw

Amanda is an artist based out of Beaverton, Oregon. She has an intense desire to learn and engage with materials and has taught herself multiple fiber arts. For Amanda, art comes from the sensory experience of working with different materials and she believes that the quality of those experiences are reflected in the finished piece.

Chris Donnermeyer

Chris Donnermeyer is the Heritage Program Manager on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, overseeing the management of all archaeological resources on the 1.3 million-acre forest. He has been working as an archaeologist for 15, working in states throughout the Southwest and Pacific Northwest. Other interests include music, collecting vinyl, running, swimming, hiking, gardening, and cooking.

Char Corkran

Char Corkran was born loving wildlife, and studied writing as well as biology at Brown University. As an independent wildlife consultant and volunteer, she has surveyed and trained others in amphibians and birds. She co-authored an amphibian field guide and wrote a book on using nest boxes to study birds.

Jessica Szabo

Jessica Szabo is an arachnologist and biological illustrator. She has a Bachelors degree in Organismal Biology and is currently a Masters student at Portland State University where she studies spider biodiversity on urban green roofs. Jessica has been working with spiders for over 4 years and has been drawing since she was a child.

Brad Blickenstaff

Brad Blickenstaff is an avid forager and cultivator of all types of edible, medicinal, useful, strange and beautiful fungi; studying mushrooms like a monk studies the spirit, exploring ways to use fungi to heal the planet and its inhabitants. He has been Vice President of the Oregon Mycological Society for the past two years, resided in PDX (Cascadia) for 9 years, and born on our mothership Gaia 26 earth-orbits round the sun ago. He also loves geometry and goats.

Laura Guderyahn

Originally from Chicago, Laura Guderyahn moved to Portland in 2006 to serve as a Northwest Service Academy AmeriCorps member for the City of Gresham. After working on staff for Gresham’s Natural Resources Program as their Watershed Restoration Coordinator for 8yrs, she now works with the City of Portland’s City Nature East program as a Natural Resources Ecologist. In this position, she manages natural resource projects in a variety of habitats throughout Portland Parks and Recreation natural areas. She collaborates with technicians, planners, scientists, engineers, permit authorities, contractors, community volunteers and non-profit organizations to develop and implement natural resource management strategies and solutions. Laura has a BA in Biology from Augustana College in Illinois and a Master’s degree in Conservation from Ball State University in Indiana.

Betsy Tinney

Betsy Tinney, winner of the 2012 Pegasus Award for Best Performer, is a professional cellist in the Pacific Northwest, known both for her graceful musicality, her talent for improvisation, and her broad versatility. Betsy’s solo cello work, a tapestry of acoustic cello woven with an electric looper, has been called “captivating,” “mesmerizing,” and “a rich texture for the ear, reminiscent of dark chocolate and fine red wine.” When not behind her cello, Betsy is a web designer/developer, visual artist and calligrapher, and part-time pixie. Website:


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Curious Gallery presented by
Thanks to our supporters


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Preregistrations are now CLOSED. You can still buy your admission at the registration desk starting at 9:30am on both Saturday, January 9 and Sunday, January 10, with cash or card. See you there!

You can buy your tickets at the door all weekend starting at 9:30 both mornings, cash or card. Adult day passes are $25, adult weekend are $45. Kids 7-13 are $13 day pass, $23 weekend. Kids 6 and under are free.