What Kind of Public Art Do We Want Now?

A conversation with PSU Professor and York historian Darrell Millner, the York artist, and Kristin Calhoun, Director of Public Art, Regional Arts & Culture Council

Three photos of the granit pedestal; one with people touching and reading the plaque, one without the artwork and one with the bronze head of Yorkrtwork atop a granite pedestal surrounded by tall fir trees.

Photo Credits: Mark Graves,
Dave Killen of The Oregonian

Listen to this pre-recorded conversation with the unidentified artist who created York and PSU Professor of History and Black Studies, Darrell Millner. York, a piece of artwork depicting an enslaved man and significant member of Lewis and Clark’s “Corps of Discovery,” was mysteriously installed at Mt. Tabor Park in February. RACC’s Public Art Director, Kristin Calhoun, moderates the conversation. The artist has chosen to remain anonymous.

The podcast runs about 50 minutes and the participants answer many of the questions we’ve been hearing including:  What would it cost to make York permanent? What inspired the artist to make this artwork? Why didn’t we know about York? They consider the benefits and risks of a “permanent” York sculpture and fears that York could continue to be a target of harmful and racist acts.

Public response to York demonstrates the power of art to raise new and hidden narratives, deepen our understanding of issues, and for community healing. 

Listen here:

Join the Conversation!

Learn more about York: link to the article by Professor Darrell Millner https://pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu/black_studies_fac/61/

Transcript: PDF download 

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