Oregon In Images: A Look Back On 2020

Updated: Oct 19, 2020

There hasn’t been a year quite like 2020 in our lifetimes. The day-to-day normalcy that began this year, when local bands were celebrating new music and holding release concerts in intimate venues all over Oregon. feels now like a distant memory.

Then, the worst pandemic in a century hit, affecting nearly every facet of daily life. Venues shuttered, businesses and schools closed, and people all over the world were forced to adjust to changing realities and new daily anxieties.

But societal and environmental issues weren't put on hold. This summer brought unprecedented civic activism, from Black Lives Matter rallies that have continued for months straight to a Virtual Pride Month that forced people to reconsider how to march. Downtown Portland became a flashpoint for national discussions about race, policing and the ideals of our democracy.

Wildfires blanketed the entire West Coast and forced the evacuations of more than 10 percent of Oregon’s population -- more than 500,000 people. Some no longer have homes to return to.

It’s definitely been a year for the history books, and we at Curbside Press did our best to cover it. From how arts classrooms adjusted to remote learning, to how artists found new ways to reach their fans in an entirely virtual setting, we’ve brought you stories from this unusual year. Thanks to these dogged efforts, and some photo submissions from readers like you, we’ve got plenty of photographs to document it all.

Look back on the year that was with these images, and spread this article around on social media to remind everyone what Oregonians went through this year. To really support our brand of grassroots journalism, consider buying a premium subscription for just $5, unlocking access to our full archive of stories and other premium content.

Editor's Note: Images not provided by Curbside Staff are shown below unedited, with watermarks for attribution.


Salem rock band Wild Ire played a homecoming show in January, after returning from the National Association of Music Merchants concert in Anaheim, CA.
Toronto solo artist Robert Moir played Salem for the first time this year at this show at The Space.

A view of the Elk Rock Island fire, which broke out in early September.
Even the windy Oregon Coast wasn't free of wildfire smoke, as this view of the Yaquina Bay Bridge and hazy sun in Newport shows.
A Black Lives Matter Sit-in at Milwaukie Bay Park.
One of many Black Lives Matter rallies held at the Oregon State Capitol this year.
A message in chalk outside the Capitol steps.
'Guarani Warrior Princess' by Maddelena Martin, painted during a Juneteenth Celebration at River Road Community Park in Keizer.
After re-opening due to COVID-19, the first show at The Volcanic Theatre Pub in Bend featured local solo act This Island Earth.
Local funk band Guardian of the Underdog kicked off the show at The Volcanic on June 12th.
The Lashbrook Brothers playing Week 2 of The Milwaukie Porchfest in September.

Do you have your own photos to submit to Curbside Press? Email us your images, along with some informative captions, so we can feature even more local images of the year that was.

To support our brand of grassroots arts journalism, consider buying a premium subscription for less than the price of coffee. Be sure to share your thoughts with us on social media and spread this article around to show the love for Oregon's creative scene.

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