This year Portland artist Chris Willis cloned his 400 1968 blow-mold 13-inch Santa Claus figurines into an army of 800 Santa’s.
PORTLAND, Ore. — (Editors note: The above video is from an interview in 2018.)
Guess who’s back? A Portland favorite — the Santa Clones.
The Santa Clones have officially made their return just in time for the holiday season. They are lit up somewhere in Southeast Portland this year and larger in numbers.
Over the years, Portland artist Chris Willis has collected the 1968 blow-mold 13-inch Santa Claus figurines. He now owns 400 of them, according to one of his recent Instagram post. He has displayed them for the last few years in different locations around Portland.
This year he teamed up with Killian Pacific, a local property management company, to set a location for the display of the Jolly Ol’ Saint Nicks.
“When I saw this one I knew it’d be the one,” said Willis about the secret location. “A unique location up off the street. Thought that I’d make it more challenging for those that like to look for them.”
This year the 400 Santa’s became 800 Santa’s due to a wall of mirrors in the location. Willis said the mirrors were a huge reason why he chose this specific location.
“It gave the opportunity to see what 800+ of these Santa’s would look like,” he said.
It took him three full days to set the little figurines up.
“This year they look particularly amazing,” Willis said, “…the glow is truly something to behold. And the reflection makes it even more epic.”
He gives out specific clues on his Instagram to help spectators locate the display.
Clone Clues for 2022
1. Channel your inner mountain goat on these blocks and do a little bit of stair climbing
2. They are not visible from street level, so make sure to look up from 10th or walk through from 11th
3. They are coincidentally close to other things beginning with the letter C. Nearby you’ll find a cider house, a coffee shop, a credit union and a choice market
Any idea where they might be hanging out?
Willis only (annual) request
Tag the clones when you find them with #thesantaclones2022 but avoid specific location tags to keep the mystery alive for everyone.
The Santa Clones art installation will be illuminated daily from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. throughout the holiday season.