by Claire Staley
Eugene’s Whiteaker neighborhood prides itself on its eclectic and independent nature. The variety of the businesses and restaurants in the area are mirrored in the abundance of public art and quirky residential architecture.
The Whiteaker Block Party celebrates all that makes the neighborhood unique every summer, but business owners here take it a step further, participating in a monthly art walk, with its next installment this Friday. The walking tour of local art, food and music winds through Whiteaker businesses such as olivejuice, Wandering Goat Coffee Company, the Eugene Whiteaker International Hostel, and Pizza Research Institute.
Though the monthly event creates foot traffic to the nearby Jefferson West Side and downtown neighborhoods, the art walk is centered around streets south and west of Eugene’s main thoroughfares, into small and relatively secluded art galleries and a family-run 24-hour independent cafe.
The solidarity found between residents and business-owners in the Whiteaker is apparent in their distinct network–one that can be seen by walking the route on the bright yellow art walk maps found in many shops and cafes around the neighborhood. It’s a family-like sentiment, and a shared love of art and independence that make Whiteaker residents proud.