AMERICAN PUBLIC GARDENS ASSOCIATION
2020 VIRTUAL CONFERENCE
JUNE 25 - JULY 9 2020

Portland Japanese Garden
Garden Excellence Award

Portland Japanese Garden sits nestled in the hills of Portland, Oregon’s iconic Washington Park, overlooking the city and providing a tranquil, urban oasis for locals and travelers alike. Designed in 1963, it encompasses 12 acres with eight separate garden styles, and includes an authentic Japanese Tea House, meandering streams, intimate walkways, and a spectacular view of Mt. Hood. This is a place to discard worldly thoughts and concerns and see oneself as a small but integral part of the universe.

Visitors to the garden arrive after ascending a magnificent hillside with native plantings and a dry creekbed designed as a stormwater management system by Garden Curator Sadafumi Uchiyama. At the top of the hill, visitors enter a Cultural Village designed by world-renowned architect Kengo Kuma. The Cultural Village provides a place where visitors can immerse themselves in traditional Japanese arts through seasonal activities, performances, and demonstrations in the Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation Courtyard. The Garden is a living “classroom” that offers tremendous opportunities for experiential learning to all who enter its gates. The lessons of Portland Japanese Garden are many and varied; not only does it speak about the way trees grow and how moss forms on stone, but also about the lives and culture of the people who designed and nurtured this enduring art form.

As a work of art in its own right, Portland Japanese Garden is also a natural vehicle through which to explore Japanese art and design. The series of Art in the Garden exhibitions explore ideas and aesthetics integral to the fabric of life in Japan. By looking outside Western notions of fine art vs craft, the work chosen for exhibition aims instead to define the spirit of this complex culture and to reflect, whenever possible, the beauty of nature and the Garden itself. Our Pavilion gallery, located in the Flat Garden, features 3-4 exhibitions per year. This space is complemented by the Tanabe gallery, located in the Learning Center of the Cultural Village, which features a changing series of exhibitions throughout the year.

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