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!

VENDORS: VENDING APPLICATIONS ARE CLOSED. We will notify vendors of their status ASAP and invoice accepted vendors by October 15; booth fees are due no later than November 30. Please do NOT send payment until you have been invoiced!

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. Scroll down this page to see what you missed this year, and start looking forward to what we’ll have to offer in 2016!

We would like to congratulate the winners in the Curious Gallery 2015 art show:

Staff Picks:

1. Tansu Gothic by Randi Parkhurst
2. Altar 002 by Jesse Lindsay
3. Exploded Atlas Beetle by Ryan Panian
4. Origin by Dave Gonzalez
5. Dead Births Death by Ryan Panian

Popular Choice:

1. Exploded Beetle by Ryan Panian
2. Tansu Gothic by Randi Parkhurst
3. Dragon Hybrid by Ryan Panian
4. Dead Births Death 2 by Ryan Panian
5. Inner Bloom by Dave Gonzalez

Thank you to our curious Gallery 2015 vendors:

Custom Cranium – artistic creations and supplies from the natural world
Sarracenia Northwest – live carnivorous plants and supplies
Dave Gonzo Sculpture – esoteric steel sculpture and jewelry
LacewingArt – shadow boxes, jewelry and other art from natural materials
NW Rockhounds – mineral and shell specimens – skulls, bones, hides and other natural history specimens
Xylographilia – hand-pulled woodcut prints with occult, folklore, and animal-related themes
Salt Circle – bronze cast jewelry, assemblage jewelry, collage art
Little Gold Fox Designs – hand-painted creations on sustainably-harvested wood veneer
Phoenix Obsidian Designs – primitive technology supplies, natural history specimens and art
Tessellate – screenprinted patched with esoteric, geometrical, alchemical and other themes
WolfTea – jewelry created from natural and reclaimed materials
Laughing Crowe – demos and classes on historical and modern shoemaking
Gaean Allusions – hand-thrown pottery and artistic ceramics
Upcycled Shiny Things – jewelry and accessories made with reclaimed and antique materials

We got great press for 2015: Thanks to the Oregonian for this lovely article on Curious Gallery 2015 and some of the influences that went into its creation! And a second wonderful article from the Oregonian–thank you again! Check out this great preliminary write-up from GoLocalPDX, encouraging folks to attend Curious Gallery 2015! And last but not least, Noise & Color PDX really captured the spirit of the event!


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 2015, or are an individual wishing to volunteer at the event, please contact us at


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Here are the workshops we offered in 2015; programming submissions will be open soon!

The Curious World of Fungi
Presented by Peter McCoy

In this presentation we will cover some of the more strange and fascinating aspects of mushrooms and other fungi in the Pacific Northwest. Come and learn about some of the locally abundant and easy to identify species along with their ecological importance and how to work with them as food, medicine, and more.

The Proper Care of Carnivorous Plants
Presented by Jeff Dallas

Think you should put a Venus fly trap or sundew in your terrarium? Think again! Join Jeff Dallas of Sarracenia Northwest as he explains the proper care and housing of carnivorous plants, and why you may want to have one of these unusual life forms in your collection.

Exceptionally High Voltage Apparatus of the 19th Century
Presented by Don Anderson

Nikola Tesla was one of the greatest geniuses of the 19th Century, inventing the AC motor, radio, and our present electrical power system. We will discuss his life, and his inventions up thru 1905. He invented the Tesla Coil in 1890 to generate Extremely High Voltage power that he planned to send wirelessly around the world. A 500,000 volt Tesla Coil that generates spectacular three foot long arcs will be used in various experiments, along with a 100,000 volt Induction Coil and a Jacobs Ladder.

Taxidermy a Beastie! Do it Yourself But Learn to Do it Right
Presented by SkullGrrl Darien

Here’s our hands-on taxidermy workshop! You will get your very own rat to gut, stuff and pose, and then you take it home. All materials provided except imagination. Co-presented with Adam Prawlocki and special guest Alexandra Kosmides! (Materials cost $20, payable at the event)

How to Make a Monster: Creating Memorable Creatures
Presented by Adam J. Prawlocki

A quick and dirty primer on how to make your creatures really shine. Learn how comparative anatomy, sculpting tricks, and a little movie magic can turn a common critter into a credible cryptid.

Coiled Basketry with Invasive Species
Presented by Peter Michael Bauer

Coiling is one of the three major families of basket weaving. Many cultures from around the world have used the coiling method to create beautiful and strong baskets. In this class you will learn the basics of coiling using various invasive species to weave a small basket. We will also cover various invasive plants that work well for this style, and demonstrate how to harvest and prepare them for weaving.

The Zymoglyphic Museum
Presented by Jim Stewart

An overview of the Zymoglyphic Museum, its collections, and its position as a modern wunderkammer

Inside J.W. Kinsey’s Artifice: Handcrafted Objects of Wonder
Presented by J.W. Kinsey

Makers, creators and artisans, are you looking to expand your repertoire of tools and techniques? This presentation offers an in-depth look at the processes, methodologies, and techniques implemented by J.W. Kinsey’s Artifice, a world-class custom design and fab shop. Over 500 process photos will be presented and discussed, illustrating tooling, construction approaches, casting concepts, concept art and design, as well as a comprehensive portfolio. This presentation is designed with serious makers and designers in mind.

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.

Weapons as Cultural Curios
Presented by Stephen Couchman

A civilizations’ tools of warfare and defense can tell us much about their history, technology, and values. Learn tips on weapon collecting/curating and discuss the relative merits of antiques, reproductions, and “tourist art” weaponry.

Chinook Indians and the Folklore of Food
Presented by Heather Arndt Anderson

A great deal of the Chinook Indian’s worldview was based on the notion that food was symbiotically linked to people. For Portland’s first people, all food was anthropomorphized. It was not just the birds and fish that told their stories, but roots and berries had a say in the myths as well. As they did with all aspects of life, the Chinook imbued the practices of hunting, fishing and gathering with their all-encompassing spirituality. This talk examines the folklore behind Chinookan people’s foodways.

The Altar of Curiosities
Presented by Lupa

In recent years, there’s been a resurgence in interest in cabinets of curiosity featuring natural history specimens, ancient artifacts and other wonders. The altar of curiosities combines the conscious aesthetics of the classic wunderkammer with the meditative focus of the spiritual altar. Lupa discusses how to find and display curiosities, how to incorporate them into your spiritual practice, how to work with antique and otherwise secondhand sacred items, and more!

Leaf Print Scarves & Natural Dyes
Presented by Sarah Hill

Participants will learn the basics of dying fibers with natural materials, including material selection, mordants, and possible local and invasive dye plants, and resources on regional dye stuffs. We will put some of these principals to action while imprinting local leaves on silk scarves. (Materials cost $5, payable at the event)

Wet Felted Bags
Presented by Sarah Hill

Beginning with raw sheep wool, participants will learn the process of wet felting with a resist, producing a small pouch with an antler or black walnut button. The principals covered in this class can be applied to other projects such as felted booties, hats, or larger bags and pouches, and this is a great beginner project for anyone interested in felting. (Materials cost $5, payable at the event)

Curious Gallery Show and Tell
Open to all attendees

Do you have some neat antique or natural history specimen you’d like to share with others? Got some oddity that you haven’t been able to identify? Or are you just interested in other people’s collections of the weird and wonderful? Here’s where you can bring in skulls and tiny terrariums, ancient relics and modern recreations, and share them with like-minded people!

Flint Knapping – The Art of Making Tools From Stone
Presented by Tony Deland

I will be demonstrating flint knapping by making arrow heads and spear points using traditional tools and obsidian. Come find out about this ancient art that has been instrumental to our species’ success for thousands of years!

Steel Sculpture/Torch Welding Demonstration and Workshop
Presented by David Gonzalez

I will be demonstrating how to manipulate and weld metal into creative, flowing and unique sculpture with the oxygen acetylene torch. If patrons are wanting to have something small created, they can help with the creation process. They will learn a bit about steel, welding and tools. Please note that this workshop will be held outside on the venue grounds; please dress appropriately for the weather. Materials fees $5-$10 depending on what you make, payable at event.

What is Rewilding?
Presented by Peter Michael Bauer

What is rewilding? Director of local non-profit Rewild Portland will give a talk on the emerging cultural movement. What is it? Why is it important? How does it relate to the Curious Gallery?

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)

Out With It!: How to Talk to People About Your More Morbid Interests
Presented by Chelsea Mascari

Come discuss the difficult topics of how to tell your family you’re interested in hides, bones, and other dead things, how to deal with opposition, and learn how to “Open The Front Door” with communication.

Make a Tiny Air Plant Terrarium!
Presented by Julie McGowan

Come join Julie McGowan in making small air plant terrariums! Use a container of your choosing, customize it with substrate, and decorate it in various ways– with paint, rocks, yarn, and so much more to make a cozy home for an air plant that you get to take home! Materials will be provided, but you’re welcome to bring some of your own, too. (Materials cost $10, payable at the event)

Cleaning, Preservation, and Art of Animal Bones
Presented by Carla Brauer

Learn how to prepare, clean, and finish skulls and other bones for display, collections, or art. This panel will go over the procurement of raw specimens, how to prepare animal parts prior to cleaning, and the most effective cleaning methods: dermestid beetle colonies and masceration. This will include an overview of the care, maintenance and breeding of beetles as well as the risks and rewards of keeping them. Degreasing and whitening techniques will be discussed, as well as articulation and ideas for using or altering finished bones as art.

Taxidermy 101
Lupa, Chelsea Mascari, Skullgrrl Darien, Katie of Urban Nature Taxidermy

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
Liv Rainey-Smith, Jim Stewart, Adam Prawlocki

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

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.

Chelsea Mascari

Chelsea Mascari, better known as wolfforce, is a born-and-raised California girl who has always had a fascination with animals…even the less-than-lively ones. Chelsea followed a quirky artistic path that led to an intense interest in taxidermy and similar subjects in 2006. She has since sought after knowledge on topics related to bone and fur, along with the animals that bear them. Graduating from Humboldt State University with a bachelor’s degree in Communication, Chelsea hopes to use her acquired skills to educate people about animals, challenge everyone’s thoughts on animal parts, and help those with a more morbid interest find ways to express their passion.

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!

Peter Michael Bauer

Peter Michael Bauer, Executive Director, Lead Instructor. Peter is the Executive Director and lead instructor for Rewild Portland adult programs. A fourth generation Portlander, his first merit badge in the Boy Scouts was basketry. From there he went on to receive his Eagle Scout rank. It was during his years camping during the scouts that he began to yearn for a deeper connection to place. At sixteen he traveled across the United States to attend Tom Brown Jr.’s Tracker School and Wilderness Awareness School in Washington state, where he attended several Art of Mentoring workshops. He has worked as an environmental educator for nearly every environmental education organization in Portland, including Cascadia Wild, Friends of Tryon Creek, Audubon, and Echoes in Time. He loves basketry, playing the banjo and is a fluent speaker of Chinuk Wawa (Chinook Jargon), the Native trade language of the Pacific Northwest. During the summer of 2012 he attended Lynx Vilden’s Stone Age immersion program. Aside from running Rewild Portland, he currently works at Shining Star Waldorf School in Portland as an instructor for their Nature Immersion Program.

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

Tony Deland

Tony Deland, Bowyer, ancestral skills instructor and practitioner. Tony has a Masters in Art Education and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer (Kenya, 2005-2007). While in Kenya he began to learn many of the ancestral skills in real world practice, and was part of building a mud brick and cob home as well as learning the traditional way of making ceramic cooking pots. Through that experience he has been extremely passionate about traditional and ancestral skills ever since. He has been an instructor at the Buckeye Gathering in California and at The Sharpening Stone in southern Oregon. He has also taught at Trackers Northwest as their lead instructor for adult and teen programs. His experience as an Art teacher helps him to simplify these skills and make them accessible to people who may not have any experience with them

Sarah Hill

Sarah is a teacher, naturalist, indiscriminate animal lover, and pun master. Her desire to connect young people with the outdoors brought her to Rewild Portland. Raised in Ridgefield, WA, Sarah spent her childhood fishing with her father, gardening with her mother and wandering her families forested property. This passion for the natural world has followed her throughout her life. In high school, she was a councilor for her local outdoor school program, and later became a science education intern at OMSI. She holds a degree in Life Science from the University of Portland, has developed educational materials and served as an outdoor educator for the Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in Orange, TX, the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, and is currently in charge of the cultural education programs of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and the Cathlapotle Plankhouse. Sarah uses her unbridled curiosity, passion for learning, and life-long connection to the wild lands of the Northwest to aid youth in developing their own sense of place. Sarah coordinates Rewild’s Young Woman’s Nature Skills Program, the Monthly Skills series events, volunteers with 8 Shields Portland, and in her free time can be found felting cat caves for her best kitty friend Sabine.

Heather Arndt Anderson

Heather Arndt Anderson is a Portland, Oregon–based food writer and plant ecologist. She is the author of Portland: A Food Biography (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014) and Breakfast: A History (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013), a contributing writer to The Portland Mercury and the magazines Narratively, The Farmer General and Remedy Quarterly.

Stephen Couchman

Stephen Couchman is Curious Gallery’s operations manager and an operator of several Portland-area film festivals & fan conventions. Upcoming events include HOWL CON, the horror/fantasy convention for werewolf lovers; the 5th annual Steampunk Film Festival; and GEAR Con, Oregon’s largest steampunk gathering.

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.

Liv Rainey-Smith

Portland artist Liv Rainey-Smith specializes in the superannuated art of hand-pulled xylographic prints. Her unique woodcut process incorporates a mixture of traditional and modern tools as well as a blend of European and Japanese printmaking technique. Each print is an original impression direct from the hand-carved woodblock. She draws inspiration from early woodcuts, folklore, dreams, nightmares, and esoteric traditions.

Rainey-Smith was introduced to the art of printmaking at Oregon College of Art and Craft where she received her BFA in 2008. Her work has graced the pages of volumes published by Three Hands Press, and most recently appeared in “Starry Wisdom Library: The Catalogue of the Greatest Occult Book Auction of All Time” from PS Publishing.

J.W. Kinsey

My background is in fine art, and I have a degree in Computer Graphic Imaging. My career path began in the Silicon Valley workforce as an interface designer and digital artist. From there I owned and operated a high-end custom cabinet shop: it was here that I began to develop and nurture my wood and metal working skills. This has culminated in my current endeavor, J.W. Kinsey’s Artifice, a small artisan shop specializing in the creation of unique, design-driven projects focusing on timeless beauty and craftsmanship.

Jim Stewart

Jim Stewart is the curator of the Zymoglyphic Museum, the world’s only repository for the study and display of art, artifacts, and natural history of the Zymoglyphic region.

Adam J. Prawlocki

Adam J. Prawlocki has worked in a number of fields, including monumental sculpture, special effects, exotic animal husbandry, venomous snake wrangler, and taxidermy. Prawlocki is known for his attention to lifelike positioning and detail when preparing skeletons, and an anatomical based approach to creating rogue and fantasy pieces.

Skullgrrl Darien

Skullgrrl Darien has been a collector for over 25 years and is a specialist in skeletal articulation and procurement of strange things. She and her business partner Adam Prawlocki are the eccentrics behind Custom Cranium in Eugene, OR and they create new wondrous things out of leftovers, give classes on how to do it, and make huge future plans constantly.

Peter McCoy

Peter McCoy is the co-founder of Radical Mycology, a grassroots organization and movement that teaches the means to easily work with mushrooms and other fungi for personal, societal, and ecological health. For the last 8 years, Radical Mycology has provided free resources and held internationally attended conferences that share the science of fungi and mushroom cultivation in a way that is open-source, practical, and relevant in the context of modern life. Peter’s work is guided by his vision of a more myco-literate culture where the existing knowledge gap around the fungal kingdom has been closed and the beauty and gifts of these incredible organisms has been fully embraced. Peter believes mycology should be accessible, open-source and practical for all lifestyles and life cycles and not shrouded in mystery, as it has been for so long.

Katie of Urban Nature Taxidermy

I am an avid naturalist with a love for all things wild. My background is marketing; I am a graphic artist turned taxidermist – and the visionary behind Urban Nature Taxidermy’s Soft Sculpture taxidermy. I have used my creative background and love of utilitarian art to give new “life” to an old idea – TAXIDERMY – an art form popularized during the Victorian era and now primarily only practiced in the sport hunting world. It occurred to me, that taxidermy could be appreciated as so much more than a “trophy”. In looking at the old, worn and dusty taxidermy stuck on walls in museums and hunting cabins….. I thought, this could be tactile. It should be! We learn through touch and we are drawn to the things that we can connect with and hold and feel. The aim of my work, is to educate, entertain, and inspire.

Don Anderson

Don is a physicist and electrical engineer who is a Steampunk inspired Maker of 19th Century Exceptionally High Voltage devices. The Steampunk aesthetic uses traditional materials (copper, brass, steel, wood and glass), a honest and understandable 19th Century based design, yet remains highly functional, with embellishments and elements of beauty. These include Tesla Coils, Induction Coils, Van de Graaff generators, Wimshurst machines and Jacob’s Ladders, with arc lengths up to three feet (500,000 Volts).

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.


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