By Megan Hobbs | Published October 2016

You may think of your favorite coffeehouse or watering hole in terms of where you begin and end your day with beverages and friends, but in Eugene, cafes and bars also serve as venues for local visual artists, creating hubs for intellectual discussion and discovery. We will cover a few of our favorite spots, but part of the fun is finding your own—and getting something tasty to eat and drink while you’re at it!

The presence of locally sourced art in coffee shops is as stimulating as the espresso, with the likelihood that the artist themself is at a table nearby dreaming up their next project. This is especially true at the Wandering Goat Coffee Company, which attracts caffeine­fueled artistic types from the surrounding Whiteaker neighborhood. The Goat changes its art installations on a regular basis and, like the coffee shop itself, the art tends toward the gritty and unique.

Nature-centered artwork is prominent at Morning Glory Cafe. This bustling cafe may be small, but they support art in a big way. The artist changes monthly and each new installation adds life and style to the cozy interior. Shanna Trumbly, featured in August, uses acrylic on stretched canvas and muted colors to depict her collection “Daydream.”

Noisette Pastry Kitchen is similarly adorned. This local gem makes its wall space available to any artists interested in displaying their work, from vivid, nature­centered photography to mixed media frontier­style skulls adorned with colorful crystals. Noisette aims to coincide its art changeover with the First Friday ArtWalk in order to present customers with fresh visual stimulation. Noisette baristas note that they often witness customers actively engaging with the art on display, and have become used to fielding inquiries about the artists.

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Margaret Godfrey, a painter for over 20 years, is one of the four current “Excelsior Artists” at the Excelsior Inn Ristorante. She has been a member of this invite­only group for more than four years.

“I was very flattered to be invited,” she says, “and felt I had made it to a certain level of art, that this talented group actively wanted my paintings displayed next to theirs.”

Owner Maurizio Paparo hosts a reception for the community at least once a year to showcase the talent and creativity of these four fine artists.

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Local art displayed in such a relaxed setting sparks conversation and cultivates positive attention for the artists. At Tailored Coffee Roasters, for example, photographer Zachary Edward’s natural vistas are a pleasing compliment to the wood floors and ample bright light in Tailored’s gallery­like space.

Some venues, like Oregon Wine LAB, have a scheduled calendar of artists that rotates monthly. Owner Mark Nicholl says he looks for artwork that will mesh well with the aesthetic of the space and considers how to best highlight the artist’s work.

“We see our tasting room as a space for artists to present their name and work to the community, something we do with great pride,” Mark says.

The tasting room’s high ceilings and spacious walls are the perfect canvas for pieces large and small, and visitors can take in the latest installation at their leisure while enjoying a glass of wine from the bar and a meal from the Da Nang Vietnamese Eatery food truck.

Our appreciation for art and community grows with each new venue allowed to local artists. These points of discovery benefit local business and emerging artists alike, and they encourages the intellectual conversations necessary for our community to thrive.

Excelsior Inn Ristorante

754 E 13th Ave.

541/342-6963

excelsiorinn.com/ristorante

Morning Glory Café

450 Willamette St.

541/687-0709

morninggloryeugene.com

Noisette Pastry Kitchen

200 W Broadway

541/654-5257

noisettepk.com

Oregon Wine LAB

488 Lincoln St.

458/201-7413

oregonwinelab.com

Tailored Coffee Roasters

291 E 5th Ave.

541/345-2261

tailoredcoffee.com

Wandering Goat Coffee Company

268 Madison St.

541/344-5161

wanderinggoat.com