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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We have our dates for Curious Gallery 2016! We’ll be back at the Crowne Plaza again on January 9-10, 2016. Click here to preregister at special early bird rates!

ART SHOW: Art show applications are now open! If you would like to display your cabinet of curiosity-themed work in our fine art exhibition, please apply here.

VENDORS: VENDING APPLICATIONS ARE CLOSED. Please consider applying for our art show as mentioned above.

PRESENTERS: Here’s the application if you would like to present a panel, workshop or other presentation at Curious Gallery 2016! You can scroll down to get an idea of what we offered in 2015. If you have questions on whether a presentation would be appropriate, please contact us at curiousgallerypdx(at)

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
Tinplate Studios – Oddities, cryptozoological wonders, prints, masks, disturbing jewelry and accessories
Wolf + Rabbit Emporium – Steampunk/fairytale/dystopian art


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We are currently curating our selection of programming; here’s what we’ve approved so far, and we’ll be adding more in the days to come. If you would like to present a panel, workshop or talk on nature, culture and/or art at Curious Gallery 2016, our application form is here.

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 TBA)

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, payable at the event; workshop to be held Sunday, January 10. 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, other presenters TBA

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 what taxidermy is (and isn’t), some basics of legalities and ethics, 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!

Morbid Curiosities
Presenters TBA

In the classic wunderkammer, the “wonders” weren’t just your run-of-the-mill natural history specimens; they also included medical oddities, strange mutated specimens, and supposed remnants of fabulous creatures known only to myth and legend. Our panelists will discuss this stranger side to the cabinet of curiosities, including how you can create a weird collection of your own, and a chance to ask our panelists any questions you may have about the weirder side of the cabinet of curiosities!


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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 gorgeous Willamette Valley. Carla 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 may be found online at

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!

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.

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 &


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Curious Gallery presented by
Thanks to our supporters


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Ticket Type Ticket Price Quantity Total Price
USD 25 USD 25.00