Call for Artists: Public Art Purchase Opportunity | Behavioral Health Resource Center

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) is seeking artists living in Oregon and Southwest Washington to submit portable scale original two-dimensional artworks for direct purchase into the Public Art Collection at Multnomah County’s newly constructed Behavioral Health Resource Center.

Our preference is to spend a maximum of $2000 per artwork. The budget available for these purchases comes from Multnomah County’s Percent for Art Program and totals approximately $50,000.

To learn how to apply for this direct purchase opportunity, be sure to read the following guidelines and tune into our info sessions—details are listed below. The due date for submissions is Monday, November 28th, 2022 by 11:59pm.


About Behavioral Health Resource Center

Multnomah County’s Behavioral Health Division is renovating a building at the corner of SW Oak & SW Park Ave in downtown Portland. This will be the site for a new comprehensive behavioral health resource center that will offer immediate basic services for people experiencing houselessness, substance use and/or mental health challenges. These services include showers, laundry and mail service in a Day Center, as well as long-term stabilization through connections to services and treatment, short-term shelter and longer-term transitional housing. Working closely with people with lived experience, health providers, downtown neighbors and community members, the County is planning a trauma-informed, peer-supported center. (Note: definitions of some terms mentioned are available at the end of this document.)

Art Opportunity

This project is seeking artists to submit original 2-D portable scale art works for direct purchase. These artworks will be installed throughout the five floors of this building that offer transitional housing via a 30-day shelter and a 90-day shelter. This building will be open to visitors who will have access to showers, laundry, peer counseling, housing, meal service and additional services.

To avoid the potential to trigger a negative emotional response in visitors and users of the building, the interior color scheme and artworks connected to the building are designed to be trauma-informed.*

The full call for artists can be downloaded here. *The trauma-informed design guidelines are available on this downloadable document.*

Vo Vo, Mum and Gran in the Kitchen, Wool, cotton, and polyester embroidery floss, 2020.

Eligibility & Review Criteria

Artists living in Oregon and Southwest Washington are eligible for this opportunity. RACC is committed to engaging new communities of artists and expanding the range of artistic and cultural expression represented in the City’s public art collection. Artists who have experiences with houselessness, substance and/or mental health challenges will be prioritized.

The types of original artwork that qualify for this opportunity are paintings, photographs, drawings, textiles, collage, Bas relief, mosaic, glass, ceramic, metal, prints and other original media intended to be hung on a wall with a 4” depth maximum. Artists, please specify clearly if the submitted artwork is part of a series of works, and if the series needs to be purchased together as a whole, or if individual works in the series can be purchased.

Artworks with electrical components are not eligible for purchase at this time.

Size: Two-dimensional artwork that fit the following dimensions will be prioritized:

30”W X 40”H X 4”D or smaller (76cmW X 102cmH X 10cmD or smaller)

Framing: Please submit unframed artworks, unless the framing is an integral part of the artwork (please state that in the “Conceptual information” field in the application for that submitted piece). RACC reserves the right to reframe purchased artwork if a submitted frame does not meet the collection standards. Consider the potential for your submission to be framed behind acrylic.

How to Apply

All application materials must be submitted through the RACC Opportunity Portal, an online application system. Applicants will need to create an account, or log into their existing account at

For first-time users of the portal, view a brief video learning how to register here.

Application Requirements

  • Statement of interest. Based on the information given, please address the following (written or oral):
    •  a brief description about your overall artistic practice;
    •  your interest in this project by addressing how you see your submitted work connects to this project’s mission and values;

There are two options in submitting these responses:
-Written Statement: 3000 characters or less
-Oral Statement: Upload a video/voice recording no longer than 2 minutes

  • Up to 6 images of past work. You can submit up to 6 artworks and provide up to two images per artwork. Images should be jpegs no larger than 5 megabytes each. For each artwork, provide the title, media, dimensions, year completed, and purchase price. Conceptual information is optional.
    • (Note: If you are submitting a series that consists of more than six images, please include images that best represent the series and provide additional information regarding the series in the conceptual information field.)
    • Please only submit original prints and artworks, and not reproductions of artworks.
    • You have the option to upload a video file of the artwork instead of a jpeg.

Once you have started your application, you can save after each step and sign out—your application will be saved as a draft that you can continue to work on as needed. Once you hit “Submit,” your application is final. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions during the process.

Information Sessions for Artists

  • Monday, November 7th at 12pm on Instagram Live. Follow @regionalarts on Instagram to stay informed of this and other upcoming opportunities.
  • Monday, November 14th at 6 p.m. PDT on Zoom, RSVP here. Watch the previously recorded info session here. You can access the transcript here.

Attendance is encouraged but not required to apply for this opportunity.

We’re Here to Help!

If you have questions about the overall opportunity or the RACC Opportunity Portal, please email Morgan Ritter, Public Art Exhibitions & Collections Specialist, with questions or to set up a time for a phone call.

If you don’t have a computer or online access, please don’t hesitate to contact RACC for assistance. Also, if you prefer   these materials in another language please contact RACC for translation services.

Important Dates

  • November 7th & 14th – Info Sessions
  • November 28th – Applications Due
  • Mid-January 2023– Panel review/artist selection
  • Late January 2023 – Delivery of artwork
  • February 2023 – Framing of artwork
  • March 2023 – Installation of artworks in center

Definitions of some terms mentioned in this call

“Homeless” is lacking a permanent place of residence while “houseless” is lacking or in need of a house.  For many people, “home” means experiencing a sense of community, and it is possible for a person to build “community” wherever they may be staying.

A “trauma-informed approach” incorporates three key elements: (1) realizing the prevalence of trauma; (2) recognizing how trauma affects all individuals involved with the program, organization, or system, including its own workforce; and (3) responding by putting this knowledge into practice”(SAMHSA, 2012, p. 4).

“Peer support” is based on the principle that people who have been successful in the recovery process are uniquely qualified to help others experiencing similar situations. Through shared understanding, respect, and mutual empowerment, peer support specialists help people become and stay engaged in a recovery process based on their self-directed goals.

The full call for artists can be downloaded here. *The trauma-informed design guidelines are available on this downloadable document.*