Lights in Lents: Deep Sea Disco – Updates & Full Programming Schedule!

Happy New Year!

January 2024 marks the start of our third-annual “Lights in Lents” community art project for Portland Winter Light Fest. We’re traditionally one of the very, very few East Portland exhibits, and we want to invite you to build glowing & illuminated magic in the heart of our neighborhood! 

In 2022 we made a 2D UV mural… in 2023 we painted 720 sq feet of glow-in-the-dark mural… and in 2024 we’re building a “Deep Sea Disco” sculpture garden! 

This is a community-imagined and community-created sculpture art project – that means what we build depends on who shows up. So far we’ve met four times since August and decided on the theme (deep sea sculpture garden), materials (plastic trash!), shapes (anglerfish, mermaid, seahorse, school of fish & swarm of jellyfish!), and educational elements (plastic pollution & microplastic awareness).

How can you get involved?

♻️Collect & clean plastic waste materials for the project!

Starting now we invite you to explore the many ways you encounter plastics in your home and life on a daily basis…. collect and document the plastic you use in your life! We like this simple tracking sheet from the University of Minnesota

Your (clean) collected materials will be used for our art project – come drop them off on Saturday, January 20th from 12 – 4:00 pm. 

🧪Participate in community-based science & plastic education!

At home… 

  1. Reflect on how you interact with plastic, then consider ways to reduce and eliminate your plastic use! See how plastic free you can be! 
  2. Research and share your favorite fact(s) about the impact of plastic on ourselves and our environment – these will be posted with the exhibit with source citations!

In Community… 

Join us for community-based science on Saturday, January 20th:   

  • [RESCHEDULED – 2/10/24] 10 – 11:30 am – Join us for a community clean-up to collect plastic and trash from the neighborhood (you can sign up with us or on the SOLVE website!)
  • [RESCHEDULED – TBD] 12:00 – 2:00pm: Lunch & Learn: Meet Master Recycler Carla Chen
  • 1:00 – 4:00 pm – Plastic Collection Debrief, Sorting & Processing!

Learn with Portland State University Professor Elise Granek about microplastics in the environment here in Lents:

  • Sunday, January 28th, 12 – 1 pm: Lunch & Learn “In Everything Everywhere All At Once: Microplastics in the Environment”
  • Thursday, February 8th 5:30 – 7:30 pm: Microscopes & Microplastics – Hands-on Science for the Family!

RSVP for all events here!

👩🏽‍🔧Make Art: Come out to Community Build Days!

Community build days for the sculptures are on January 21, January 27, and January 28th. All supplies are provided, as well as refreshments. Projects & participation is adaptable for everyone and all abilities! 

Art opportunities include: 

  • Artist guided large sculpture creation (Anglerfish, Mermaid & Seahorse!)
  • Individual creature creation (we are planning a school of fish and swarm of jellyfish!)
  • Decor development – think seaweed, sea vents, phytoplankton… 
  • Painting
  • Light/space decoration!

RSVP for all events here!

This is a community-imagined and community-created sculpture art project – that means what we build depends on who shows up! 

🎉Call for Performance Art & Music!

During the official PDXWLF display period, we envision the Deep Sea Disco as a community stage! We’d love to create an opportunity for local performances, music, and environmental education about plastic, recycling, and the environment. Creative? Musical? Entertaining? Let us know what you want to bring to the space during the display period of Feb 2 – Feb 10th: fill out our performance interest form here! 

We are also hoping to put together a family-friendly drag show on February 9th – apply to perform at “Drag Net: A Deep Sea Drag Show” here!

Spread Knowledge, not Germs!

Please plan on wearing a mask at all Lights in Lents events unless you are actively eating or drinking! We will have masks and sanitizer available at all events. Winter illnesses are going around and we want to be sure everyone stays healthy and can participate all month!

Thank you to our partners & friends!

This project was dreamed up by nine of your neighbors (including three kids!), and has been built out over the past few months by many more! We’re excited to add you to the list of names that made this project come alive!

“Lights in Lents” is generously funded by a small grant from the Office of Community & Civic Life, and it’s supported in-kind by Four Forces Inc in addition to donations of time, equipment, and resources by our neighbors. If you’d like to support this project or sponsor a “Lights in Lents” event as an individual, organization or business, please reach out to EPC Treasurer Jean Fang at jeanfang.pdx [@] for more information!

“Lights in Lents: Deep Sea Disco” Community Art Project Schedule

Past “Lights in Lents” projects…


Lights in Lents was a collaborative mural on plywood, highlighting what’s important or special about East Portland to youths that one might not see at first glance. 


92 neighbors came out to vision, create, and paint 720 sq ft of “3D” mural that families explored during the festival