The Regional Arts & Culture Council seeks proposals to provide arts access for underserved communities

Portland, Ore – The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) invites nonprofit organizations in the City of Portland to submit proposals for projects that provide arts-related services to communities of color, immigrants, refugees, Disabled and LGTBQ communities. Applications are due by March 14 at 5:00 p.m. In May, RACC will announce grant awards ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 each, for a total of $26,000, through its “Expanding Cultural Access” program.
RACC values a community in which everyone can participate in arts and culture. With funding from the city’s new Arts Education and Access Fund, RACC is eager to support organizations whose programs and projects are expanding access to the arts. This round of grants will be targeted toward communities that have historically been underserved in the past; examples of competitive proposals might include:

  • An event or program that gives underserved artists increased outlets to promote and market their work.
  • A technical assistance/learning/training program for artists in underserved cultural communities.
  • A community event that highlights and promotes the art and culture of one particular community or many different communities. 
Organizations that have already received funding through RACC’s Project Grant program or RACC’s General Operating Support program in calendar years 2013 and 2014 are not eligible to apply. 
For more information on how to apply, including all criteria, visit www.racc.org/access
RACC’s outreach specialist, Tonisha Toler, is also available to help organizations with their proposals; Tonisha can be reached by email at ttoler@racc.org or by phone at 503-823-5866.
The RFP is also available in Spanish and other languages upon request, and applicants whose primary fluency is in a language other than English can call 503-823-5071 to receive live, over-the-phone interpreted assistance from RACC. 

RACC announces first wave of Arts Education and Access Fund investments

44 local arts organizations will receive grants immediately
PORTLAND, ORE – The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) today announced it has awarded 44 grants totaling $150,072 to local arts organizations. The announcement comes on the heels of the first round of payments from the City of Portland’s Arts Education and Access Fund (AEAF). In addition to $200,000 directed to RACC, local school districts received a total of $3.3 million from the AEAF to fund arts specialists.
“All of us at RACC are eager to help arts organizations provide more public access to the arts,” said Eloise Damrosch, executive director of RACC. “The 44 grant recipients announced today, plus the investment plan for the remainder of the $200,000 will help do just that by supporting arts organizations across the region and with a broad range of programs and constituents.”
In addition to $150,072 being distributed immediately, the remaining funds have been allocated as follows:

  • $26,000 will be invested in nonprofit organizations that do not already receive RACC General Operating Support but are working with underserved communities through the arts, including communities of color, the Disabled community, and LGBTQ communities. An RFP will be available online at www.racc.org/accessstarting February 5, 2014. The deadline to apply is March 14 and decisions will be announced in May.
  • $13,000 will fund arts education coordination expenses incurred by RACC during the 2013-14 school year, including 6 hours of professional development training for 26 arts specialists in Portland. This allocation also supports the City of Portland’s participation in “Any Given Child,” an arts education partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC.
  • RACC has up to one year to invest the remainder of the AEAF funds ($10,928) with a number of other obligations to fulfill, including a grants cycle for schools and other arts education programs.

RACC expects a second (and larger) allocation from the Revenue Bureau in April, but the specific amount will depend on the collection of tax payments that are now overdue. Ultimately, as compliance rates improve, RACC expects to receive annual disbursements of approximately $3 million from the AEAF.
These investments are consistent with all legal requirements and intents as set forth in the city code and RACC’scontract with the City of Portland. Specifically:

“First, funds shall be used by RACC to fund grants to support non-profit Portland arts organizations that demonstrate artistic excellence, provide service to the community, show administrative and fiscal competence and provide a wide range of high-quality arts programs to the public.” RACC has awarded $150,072 to the followingGeneral Operating Support organizations:

Artist Repertory Theatre, $5,700
Blue Sky Gallery, $1,134
Bodyvox, $1,882
Cappella Romana, Inc., $1,071
Chamber Music Northwest, $5,305
Children’s Healing Art Project, $1,008
Do Jump! Extremely Physical Theatre, $2,185
Ethos Music Center, $1,449
Friends of Chamber Music, $1,512
Hollywood Theatre, $1,197
Imago Theatre, $2,235
Independent Publishing Resource Center, $882
Literary Arts, Inc., $4,016
Live Wire!, $1,008
Metropolitan Youth Symphony, $2,586
Miracle Theatre Group, $2,273
Northwest Children’s Theatre, $2,486
Northwest Dance Project, $1,134
NW Documentary Arts & Media, $882
Oregon Ballet Theatre, $8,656
Oregon Children’s Theatre, $5,518
Oregon Repertory Singers, $2,240
Oregon Symphony Association, $16,761
PHAME, $882
Playwrite, Inc., $1,386
Portland Art Museum, $22,138
Portland Baroque Orchestra, $1,639
Portland Center Stage, $9,134
Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra,$1,008
Portland Gay Men’s Chorus, $1,033
Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, $2,113
Portland Opera, $15,293
Portland Piano International, $1,008
Portland Taiko, $3,227
Portland Youth Philharmonic, $2,202
Profile Theatre Project, $1,787
Tears of Joy Theatre, $2,129
The Portland Ballet, $1,197
Third Angle New Music Ensemble, $882
Third Rail Repertory Theatre, $1,008
White Bird, $4,755
Wordstock, Inc., $1,008
Write Around Portland, $1,304
Young Audiences of Oregon, $1,819

  • “No less than 5% of the funds RACC receives from the Arts Education and Access Fund shall be used by RACC to fund grants and programs to schools and non-profit organizations that will give access to high-quality arts experiences to K-12 students and for grants and programs directed to communities who are underserved by local arts providers.” (5% of RACC’s $200,000 allocation is $10,000; RACC meets this minimum requirement with its investment of $26,000.)
  • RACC shall “coordinate between School Districts and arts organizations to ensure high quality arts education for Portland students; and facilitate the access of Portland students to the programs supported by the Arts Education and Access Fund.” These arts education coordination costs are capped at “a maximum of 3% of Net Revenues.” (Net Revenues to date are approximately $7,550,000, and 3% of Net Revenues equals $226,500. RACC’s investment of $13,000 is 0.17 percent of Net Revenues, well below the 3% cap.)

For more information on RACC’s role in investing Arts Education and Access Funds, visit www.racc.org/AEAF.

Paul Clay’s interactive video installation “Leda and the Swan” opens at the Portland Building

Portland, Ore –  Working in his medium of choice, interactive video, artist Paul Clay will present his interpretation of the classic “Leda and the Swan” story in the lobby of the Portland Building. The project, which draws on the long artistic tradition of interpreting the Greek myth, consists of a real-time digital projection that responds to the audience through the use of body motion sensors installed in space. Visitors first engage with the image of a swan that appears on the wall of the space and reacts to their body movements—feathered wings spread as arms are moved, feet step, the neck sways, etc. Persistent visitors discover that vigorous movements cause the feathers to fall and reveal the figure of a woman, Leda; a return to slower movements transforms Leda back into the swan once again. As the artist describes it, “The cycle continues on as long as there are participants willing to move.”
Clay’s works are designed to not only provide a sense of wonder and playfulness, but also to provoke critical thought, about pop culture, gender, and issues of race: “I seek to exploit the absurdities and beauty present in our reactionary pop mainstream and carve out new territory in digital experiences.” The installation, situated in the lobby of the Portland Building, runs through February 7th.
About the Artist:  Paul Clay describes himself as a digital creator in 3D and 2D, he received his BA in Visual Arts (concentration in Interactive Media and Computer Science) from Reed College in 2010 and often creates work that draws on his reverence of the natural world and his experiences in and around Hispanic culture.  Clay currently lives and works in Portland, but has also worked and studied in Spain, Mexico, and Chile.

Viewing Hours, Location, Meet the Artist: The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland and is open 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday.  A “Meet the Artist” event will be held on Friday the 24th of January at 4pm in the space.

For more information on the Portland Building Installation Space series, including images, proposals and statements for all the installations since 1994, go to www.racc.org/installationspace.

RACC awards $661,543 to nonprofit organizations, schools, and individual artists for arts-related projects in 2014

PORTLAND, ORE. — The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) has awarded $661,543 in project grants for calendar year 2014, including 60 grants to nonprofit organizations and schools, and 88 individual artists in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties. This sum is 10.7% less than RACC awarded for project grants last year, attributable primarily to across-the-board cuts from the City of Portland, RACC’s largest funding source. Clackamas County, Washington County, Multnomah County, Metro, and Work for Art also help fund these project grants.
With applications at an all-time high, this year’s grants were especially competitive – only 42% of all requests were fully or partially funded. Even so, many individual artists were successful in securing RACC funds for the first time – 60% of all funded artists and 20% of all funded organizations this cycle are receiving their first RACC project grant.
Fifty-eight volunteers served on 14 different panels organized by discipline. Most (93%) served as a RACC panelist for the first time, and 38% identified as non-Caucasian and/or multicultural. Guided by staff during the months of October, November and December, these volunteers evaluated 134 proposals based on artistic merit, audience development and financial accountability, and forwarded their final recommendations to the RACC board of directors, which approved the grants on December 18.
A summary of funded grants can be found at www.racc.org/2014projectgrants. Among them:
  • First-time grant recipients David Ornette Cherry, a jazz and world music composer, will integrate storytelling, visual arts installation, and his Organic Nation band into a music performance; Anthony Hudson (aka Carla Rossi) will host a monologue and song-driven cabaret utilizing storytelling, music, dance, video and drag to tell the story of Weimar Germany juxtaposed against contemporary America; and playwright Deborah Rodney will further develop her original musical play for youth, “Bully the Kid,” through a series of community readings.
  • Badass Theatre Company received their first RACC project grant to support an upcoming production ofSans Merci by Johnna Adams. Colored Pencils Art and Culture Council plans to develop a series of events in partnership with Multnomah County libraries to promote local authors and ESL students from diverse communities. The Northwest Animation Festival will use its first award to showcase the breadth of animation for NW audiences, and The Projects Festival will present workshops, panels and performances with experimental artists working in comics.
  • The Art Gym in Clackamas County will feature a major exhibition and publication for Vanessa Renwick, and Christopher Mooney will exhibit his large scale portraits depicting workers on the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Willamette River Bridge.
  • Washington County residents will see a new round of Ten Tiny Dances presented by the Beaverton Arts Commission and new mosaic pavers created by the community with artist Lynn Adamo installed at the Shute Park Library in Hillsboro.
  • In addition, an anonymous donor continues to provide special funding for an annual “Innovation Prize” of $2,500. This year’s award for outstanding, innovative, media-oriented project goes to Laura Heit for a hand drawn animated installation and film titled “Two Ways Down.”
“RACC has been working hard to reach out and collaborate with new artists and new artistic communities in the region, and I believe that this fantastic slate of upcoming projects reflects that commitment,” Eloise Damrosch, executive director of RACC. “We are looking forward to another year of creation and innovation, and we will continue evolving our process and procedures to ensure that we are supporting a diverse array of artists and organizations in our community.”
A complete listing of grants appears below, and summaries of each grant are available atwww.racc.org/2014projectgrants.
Note: (*) denotes Clackamas County applicants, and (**) denotes Washington County based applicants.  All other applicants are based in Multnomah County.
Individual Artist
Lynn Adamo **
Community Participation
 $                  3,947
Andrew C. Anderson Furgeson
 $                  5,400
Yulia Arakelyan
 $                  5,675
David Bee
Media Arts
 $                  4,500
Heather Lee Birdsong
Visual Arts
 $                  3,041
Paul Cavanagh
 $                  4,973
Meshi Chavez
 $                  3,404
David Ornette Cherry
 $                  4,500
Taiga Christie
Community Participation
 $                  3,759
Krista Connerly
Visual Arts
 $                  4,500
Tyler Corbett
Visual Arts
 $                  4,230
Lori Damiano
 $                  4,129
Zackery C. Denfeld
Social Practice
 $                  6,000
Steven Doughton
Media Arts
 $                  4,798
Melanie Flood
Visual Arts
 $                  4,421
Jack T. Gabel
 $                  5,870
Jeff Gierer
Community Participation
 $                  5,100
Damien Gilley
Visual Arts
 $                  4,784
Daniel J. Glendening
Visual Arts
 $                  5,320
Cheryl Green
Media Arts
 $                  4,600
Michael Griggs
 $                  6,000
Stacey Hallal
 $                  4,350
Jo Hamilton
Visual Arts
 $                  4,232
Allie Hankins
 $                  4,336
Wayne Harrel
 $                  2,194
Jen Harrison
 $                  5,686
Laura Heit
 $                  3,662
Laura Heit
 $                  2,500
Hector Hernandez
Community Participation
 $                  4,309
Justin Hocking
Community Participation
 $                  4,035
Tahni Holt
 $                  5,150
Kurtis Hough
Media Arts
 $                  5,100
Anthony Hudson
 $                  2,866
Laura Hughes
Visual Arts
 $                  5,168
Linda Hutchins
 $                  4,800
Lawrence Johnson
Media Arts
 $                  5,700
Evan La Londe
Visual Arts
 $                  2,805
Mark LaPierre
 $                  3,013
Jeff Leake
 $                  3,788
Waylon Lenk
 $                  2,778
Ellen Lesperance
Visual Arts
 $                  2,883
Alain LeTourneau
Media Arts
 $                  5,905
Brian Lindstrom
Community Participation
 $                  4,800
Gabriel Liston
Visual Arts
 $                  1,588
Joaquin Lopez **
 $                  3,216
Dana Lynn Louis
Visual Arts
 $                  5,100
Anna Magruder
Visual Arts
 $                  2,986
Susannah Mars *
 $                  4,204
Jim McGinn
 $                  5,400
Anita Menon **
 $                  5,328
Stephen Miller
 $                  3,071
Renee Mitchell
Community Participation
 $                  5,355
Christopher Mooney *
Visual Arts
 $                  4,500
Emily Myers
Visual Arts
 $                  3,285
Sarah Nagy
 $                  5,100
Motoya Nakamura
Visual Arts
 $                  5,430
Loren Nelson **
Visual Arts
 $                  4,025
Caroline Oakley
 $                  5,640
Chris G. Parkhurst
Media Arts
 $                  5,320
Susan E. Peck
Community Participation
 $                  3,998
Roger Peet
 $                  5,310
Andrew Phoenix
 $                  4,708
Ryan Pierce
Visual Arts
 $                  5,236
Tracy Pitts
Media Arts
 $                  4,309
Melissa Reeser Poulin
 $                  4,423
Alicia Jo Rabins
 $                  3,400
Wendy Red Star
Visual Arts
 $                  4,313
Vanessa Olivia Renwick
Media Arts
 $                  4,930
Jen Delos Reyes
 $                  3,881
Dmae Roberts
 $                  5,800
Deborah Rodney
Community Participation
 $                  3,990
Danielle Ross
 $                  4,654
Paul X. Rutz
Visual Arts
 $                  4,280
Julie Sabatier
Media Arts
 $                  4,304
Tracy Schlapp
 $                  4,893
Stephanie Simek
Visual Arts
 $                  4,220
Anne Sorce
 $                  5,092
Dao Strom
 $                  5,850
Marianna C. Thielen
 $                  4,570
Lorenzo Triburgo
Visual Arts
 $                  5,301
Leslie Tucker
Visual Arts
 $                  2,879
Philip Van Scotter
Media Arts
 $                  4,256
Holcombe Waller
 $                  4,500
Shu-Ju Wang
Visual Arts
 $                  4,729
Damaris Webb
 $                  4,223
James Westby **
Media Arts
 $                  5,100
Kelly Williams
Community Participation
 $                  5,990
Reeva Wortel
Visual Arts
 $                  5,015
Erin Yanke
Media Arts
 $                  5,038
45th Parallel
 $                  5,132
Badass Theatre Company
 $                  4,680
Beaverton Arts Commission **
 $                  5,415
Blackfish Gallery
Visual Arts
 $                  3,825
Boom Arts
 $                  3,686
Cascadia Composers
 $                  3,000
Colored Pencils Art and Culture Council 
Community Participation
 $                  3,071
Community Alliance of Tenants
 $                  4,630
Conduit Dance, Inc.
 $                  6,000
Creative Music Guild
 $                  4,463
Creative Science School PTA
 $                  2,588
Curious Comedy Theater
 $                  5,520
Disjecta Interdisciplinary Art Center
Visual Arts
 $                  5,700
Estacada Arts Commission *
Community Participation
 $                  5,369
Estacada Together *
 $                  5,700
Fear No Music
 $                  4,500
George Middle School
 $                  2,250
Grout Elementary
 $                  4,400
In Mulieribus
 $                  4,294
India Cultural Association **
Community Participation
 $                  4,350
Irvington School PTA
 $                  5,100
Jewish Theatre Collaborative
 $                  2,250
Ko-Falen Cultural Center
 $                  1,548
Community Participation
 $                  4,500
Live on Stage
 $                  4,391
Los Portenos **
 $                  4,503
Media Rites
Media Arts
 $                  4,388
MetroArts, Inc.
 $                  4,229
Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon
Community Participation
 $                  4,500
Museum of Contemporary Craft
Folk Arts
 $                  4,500
My Voice Music
Community Participation
 $                  5,288
National Alliance on Mental Illness
of Clackamas County (NAMI-CC) 
Community Participation
 $                  4,275
New City Initiative (JOIN)
Community Participation
 $                  4,500
Northwest Animation Festival
 $                  4,399
Northwest Film Center
Community Participation
 $                  3,720
Open Meadow Alternative Schools
 $                  4,228
Opera Theater Oregon
 $                  5,945
Oregon Cultural Access (ORCA)
Community Participation
 $                  4,728
Oregon Jewish Museum
Visual Arts
 $                  3,520
Performance Works Northwest
 $                  2,388
Portland Children’s Museum
Visual Arts
 $                  5,400
Portland Community College
Visual Arts
 $                  3,854
Portland Experimental
Theatre Ensemble 
 $                  6,000
Portland Jazz Festival
 $                  5,690
Portland Oregon Women’s
Film Festival
Media Arts
 $                  5,100
Portland Queer
Documentary Film Festival
Media Arts
 $                  5,850
Portland Vocal Consort **
 $                  3,744
POV Dance
 $                  4,487
India Arts and Culture Council
 $                  4,520
 $                  5,390
Signal Fire
 $                  2,800
The Art Gym *
Visual Arts
 $                  5,700
The Circus Project
Community Participation
 $                  3,637
The Library Foundation
Community Participation
 $                  5,400
The Obo Addy Legacy Project
Community Participation
 $                  4,388
The Projects Festival
Community Participation
 $                  5,653
Triangle Productions!
 $                  4,418
VOZ Worker’s Rights
Education Project
Community Participation
 $                  4,500
Water in the Desert
 $                  4,489
Well Arts Institute
Community Participation
 $                  1,299

Cambia Health Solutions contributes $50,000 to Work for Art

PORTLAND, ORE. — Work for Art, an annual campaign to raise money for arts and culture organizations in the Portland tri-county area, has received a $50,000 grant from Cambia Health Solutions. This is the largest corporate contribution in Work for Art’s eight-year history.
Angela Hult, the director of corporate philanthropy for Cambia Health Solutions, announced the contribution as a way to support the intersection between arts and health, including the documented effects that art and arts-related services have on wellness, therapy, grief and bereavement, cognitive function, and pain management.  

“Arts and culture play an important role in sustaining healthy individuals, families and communities,” said Hult. “Local arts organizations are doing exceptional work in this area, particularly through art therapy programs that help alleviate grief and bereavement. That is why Cambia Health Solutions is pleased to support Work for Art through employee giving and this corporate gift.” 


A full 100% of all donations to Work for Art, including the Cambia contribution, will be distributed to more than 100 local arts and culture organizations, including many who are actively involved in health and wellness programs. For example:

  • The Children’s Healing Art Project (CHAP) brings the healing power of art to children in crisis through a mobile team of teaching artists working in a partnership with hospitals, community organizations and schools. Nearly half of the nation’s health care centers provide arts programming for patients, families, and even staff. 78% of the directors of these centers report that arts programs provide healing benefits to patients: shorter hospital stays, better pain management, and reduced need for medication.  
  • Some say laughter is the best medicine – and the Stand Up for Mental Health Program in Clackamas County helps participants write and share their story of what it is like to live with a mental health challenge – using humor as a communication tool. For those with mental health challenges, these classes provide opportunities to gain confidence, speak in front of groups, and take risks – which in turn help them to lead more independent, productive lives. 
  • Oregon Repertory Singers share the power and inspiration of music through outreach to retirement homes in Multnomah and Washington Counties. Studies show that music can help boost mood, reduce stress and depression, and help with treatment for chronic health issues for seniors, including Alzheimer’s disease.

 “The arts add measurable value to our communities in so many ways, and this partnership with Cambia Health Solutions helps us draw special attention to important health and wellness benefits that some people might not be aware of,” said Eloise Damrosch, executive director of the Regional Arts & Culture Council. “We are tremendously grateful for the support, and we look forward to sharing Cambia’s generosity with arts organizations that are doing important work in this field.”
The 2013-14 Work for Art campaign began on July 1, 2013, and dozens of workplace giving campaigns have already taken place over the last several months – including a campaign at Cambia (although those figures are not yet available). This grant from Cambia Health Solutions will be applied to Work for Art’s matching challenge fund, and will be used to help encourage and match contributions from other donors at other companies over the next six months. With this gift, Work for Art is on track to raise a total of $775,000 by June 30, 2014.
For more information on Work for Art, including a complete list of participating companies and funded organizations, visit workforart.org.
Cambia Health Solutions is a nonprofit total health solutions company based in the Pacific Northwest/Intermountain region, serving consumers and communities for nearly 100 years.  Cambia companies provide a wide range of products and services, including healthcare information technology and software development, retail healthcare, health insurance plans that carry the Blue Cross and Blue Shield brand, life insurance, pharmacy benefit management, consumer engagement and wellness. For more information, please visit cambiahealthsolutions.com. 
Work for Art distributes 100% of all donations to more than 100 arts and culture organizations based in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties through a competitive grant application process. Now in its eighth year, the program has raised more than $4.7 million for services that arts and culture groups provide, including community outreach, arts education programs, and hundreds of performances and events. Donations are matched dollar-for-dollar by a Matching Challenge Fund, made possible by public and private partners, including Burgerville, Sunshine Dairy Foods, The Portland Timbers, The City of Portland, Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties, and now, Cambia Health Solutions. Donors who pledge $60 or more receive an Arts Card, which provides 2-for-1 tickets to performances for a full year. Read more at workforart.org.
The Regional Arts & Culture Council is the local arts agency for Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties. In addition to administering Work for Art and other advocacy programs, RACC provides grants for artists, schools and nonprofit organizations; presents workshops and other forms of technical assistance; provides printed and web-based resources for artists; and integrates art into public spaces. Read more at racc.org.

“all the art that fits” returns to the Portland Building Installation Space, November 20, 2013 – January 3, 2014

PORTLAND, ORE. — On Wednesday, November 20th RACC will be opening the 17th annual City of Portland and Multnomah County employee art exhibit, all the art that fits. The “salon style” exhibit takes place in the Portland Building Installation Space and is a yearly favorite for both the artists and regular visitors. All types of 2-dimensional artworks are represented in the unique show, from quirky to thoughtful, from beautiful to amusingly odd.

RACC invites visitors to vote for their favorite artwork as part of the People’s Choice Award. This year’s winner will receive two Main Stage ticket vouchers for the Portland Center Stage, generously donated for this event. The exhibition will run through Friday, January 3rd, and the People’s Choice Award winner will be announced on January 6th.

Only original artwork created by current employees of the City or County is eligible. All the artwork submitted will be installed wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling. For those eligible and interested in participating, submissions must be dropped off Wednesday, November 20th, between 8:00 and 10:00 am, to the Portland Building lobby located at 1120 SW 5th Ave. between SW Main and SW Madison. For further information please see the guidelines.

Viewing Hours & Location: The exhibition is free and open to the public 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday. The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland.

For more information on the Portland Building Installation Space series, including images, proposals and statements for all the installations since 1994, go to www.racc.org/installationspace.

RACC Opportunity: 17th annual ALL THE ART THAT FITS exhibition (Portland & Multnomah employees only)

The Regional Arts & Culture Council invites all City of Portland and Multnomah County employees to submit their artwork for the 17th annual ALL THE ART THAT FITS exhibition in the Portland Building lobby Installation Space. The exhibition runs from November 20th, 2013–January 3rd, 2014. Only original artwork created by current employees is eligible.

Artwork is limited to a size of 36” x 36” x 4” or less and will be installed floor to ceiling in the exhibition space.Submissions must be dropped off Wednesday, November 20th, between 8:00 and 10:00 am at the Portland Building lobby located at 1120 SW 5th Ave. between SW Main and SW Madison. For further information see the Submission Guidelines.


Artists in residence at Portland Archives will discuss their project on October 24

PORTLAND, ORE. — The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) has commissioned local artists Kaia Sand and Garrick Imatani for an artists-in-residence project with the City of Portland Archives & Records Center (PARC). In celebration of National Archives Month, the artists will discuss their work in progress on October 24th at 6:30pm, followed by a short reception.

Admission is free but seating is limited, and RSVPs are encouraged; please RSVP Ahmed Yusuf ayusuf@racc.orgwith “Archives Talk” in the subject line.

WHO: Kaia Sand and Garrick Imatani
WHAT: A discussion with artists-in-residence at the Portland Archives
WHEN: Thursday, October 24th at 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: City of Portland Archives & Records Center (PARC), 1800 SW 6th Avenue, 5th floor

In exploring materials at PARC, the artists have titled their work The Watcher Files Project. For the past several months, they have been focusing on the surveillance files the Portland Police Bureau gathered on activist groups in the 1960s, ’70s, and early ’80s. Much of their work centers around unheard voices and visual gaps in the official record, asking the questions “How would people who were surveilled talk back?” and “How do we find form for this?” This residency is a Percent for Art project funded through the building of PARC, administered by RACC.

The artists have collaborated with Sasha Burchuk to launch a website with progress reports based on their art, poetry and research. Each report includes a document or photograph from the files. The artists are also creating a limited edition loose-leaf notebook publication that will be built and delivered to subscribers in four installments. The first issue will include a sculpted binder designed by Garrick, poetry by Kaia, and various material works in collaboration with Katherine Ball, Jules Boykoff, Inge Bruggeman, and Lloyd Marbet. The publication can be purchased online.

The artists are providing some of the materials free of charge in electronic (PDF) format. Subscribe to the artists’ website to receive materials and occasional updates via email.

Ariana Jacob’s “As you make your bed, so must you lie in it?” at the Portland Building Installation Space

PORTLAND, ORE – Beginning October 21st in the lobby of the Portland Building artist Ariana Jacob will present a new participatory installation to instigate conversations about what it means to be part of the United States. By presenting the U.S. Constitution as the bed we made for ourselves as a country, the artist will invite people to consider what lying on that foundation means in both poetic and practical terms—for themselves as individuals, and for the collective entity that is our country. Jacob will keep regular hours, inviting people to join her in bed to talk casually about who they are in relation to America’s foundational document and the realities and dreams those words evoke. As the installation progresses, the text of the Constitution will be collaboratively commented upon and edited on the walls of the exhibition through discussions between the artist and participants. Jacob, a veteran of conversation-based art, welcomes people to join her in contemplating American identity, addressing this document that legally and symbolically binds us together as a people.

“Our Constitution was created by individuals out of their ideals for how to best organize people to live together in a society, but it was created in a time that was very different than our present. This project explores both the possibility of renewing and making responsive this foundational document and the experience of having to live with it no matter what, whether we consciously consider it or not.”

Participate in the Installation: Meet the artist on-site Mondays from 11:30am-2:30pm, Thursdays from 2-5pm, or by appointment (contact publicwondering@gmail.com).   

About the Artist: After working as an assistant for noted artist and innovator Mierle Laderman Ukeles in New York, Portland artist Ariana Jacob received her MFA in Social Practice Art from Portland State University in 2010. She has exhibited and completed a number of projects on both coasts including her recently completed residencies for Artspace in New Haven, CT and Intersections/BCCTV here in Portland. She is a Regional Arts & Culture Council Project Grant recipient and has been both a planning committee member and panelist for the Open Engagement Conference at PSU.

Viewing Hours & Location:  The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland and is open 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday.  For more information on the Portland Building Installation Space series, including images, proposals and statements for all the installations since 1994, go to www.racc.org/installationspace.

RACC adds 17 new works to The Visual Chronicle of Portland

PORTLAND, ORE – The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) is pleased to announce the addition of 17 new works to The Visual Chronicle of Portland collection. The new additions, all works-on-paper, represent 14 different Oregon artists and cover a wide variety of media—collage, watercolor, powdered pigment and wax, ink, graphite, charcoal, silkscreen and color photography.

Background: The Chronicle functions as a visual archive of prints, photographs, paintings and drawings that present artists’ views of Portland’s social and urban landscapes. The intent of the collection is to capture and preserve the zeitgeist, or spirit of the times, as our city evolves and changes. The City of Portland funds new additions to the Chronicle once a year in the amount of $10,000, which must cover both the purchase of new artwork and archival matting and framing. By tradition the Chronicle is restricted to works-on-paper of limited size to keep the cost of individual pieces modest and allow new purchases to represent multiple artists.

Since its beginning in 1985, this collection has grown to 320 pieces by 193 different artists and has established itself as an important archive of life in greater Portland. RACC oversees the day-to-day management of the Chronicle for the City and insures that the collection remains available to the public by hanging the works in publically accessible spaces in City and County buildings on a rotating basis. The collection strives to reflect a diversity of populations, artistic disciplines and points of view.

The new additions listed below were selected by a panel of an independent artists and curators who reviewed submissions by over 100 artists. As in the past, the final selections were made based on how well the work matched the purpose and spirit of the Chronicle. This year however, in an effort to better represent the uniquely textured quality of greater Portland, the selection panel encouraged submissions that focused on communities and landscapes that exist beyond downtown and outside of the mainstream.

On Display at RACC in November: Once these new works are matted and framed they will be displayed as a group in the RACC office before they are dispersed to City and County buildings. The RACC office is located at 411 NW Park Avenue, suite 101—visitors are welcome. Details of the entire collection can also be browsed online by going to www.racc.org/visualchronicle.  

Checklist – 2013 purchase for the Visual Chronicle of Portland:

Andrew Auble, Relationships, 2013, Collage, 18” x 28”
Andrew Auble, Kenton Club Choir, 2011, Collage, 14” x 21”

Shelley Chamberlin, Long Distance Communication, 2010, Acrylic and hand-stitching on paper, 21” x 29”

David Chelsea, Nine Minty Green Houses, 2013, Watercolor, 9.7” x 14.2”

Molly Cliff Hilts, Chinese Village, SE 82nd North, 2013, Powdered pigment, graphite, wax, lithographic ink,  28” x 21”

Sarah Ferguson,Tideman Johnson Overlook, 2010, Watercolor on paper, 11” x 14”

Joel Wellington Fisher, Oregon Lottery (Daniel Baldwin Crossing His Fingers) 2012, Archival inkjet print, Edition 1/5, 24” x 24”

Bruce Forster, Rodbusters at Portland Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge 2012, Photograph, 14” x 21”

Brian Foulkes, 2 Rides in Portland (Pink Bike), 2010, Ink jet print, 11” x 30”

George Kelly, TV Antenna, 2011, Color C-print, Edition of 5, Image 13” x 13”, sheet 16” x 20”
George Kelly, Wheel Barrow and Walker, 2011, Color C-print, Edition of 5, Image 13” x 13”, sheet 16” x 20”

Matthew Miller, Child Watching Community Bike Hub Construction: Design Build 2012 (2012), Color photograph, 14” x 21”

Roger Peet, Elementary, 2012, 4 Color silkscreen print, hand-cut from Rubylith, 20” x 16,” Edition 31/50

Veasna Sa, Visited My Friend, 2013, Magazines, newspapers, paper, glue on a paper, 22”x 28″

David Shratter, Duke’s Landing, SE Belmont, 2011, Pen and ink on rice paper, 5” x 7”

Samantha Wall, Gia, 2013, (From the portraits of multiracial women in U.S. cities series—Portland), Graphite and charcoal on paper, 22” x 30”
Samantha Wall, Nadia, 2013, (From the portraits of multiracial women in U.S. cities series—Portland), Graphite and ink on paper, 22” x 30”

RACC workshop will help artists understand Portland’s mural application process

PORTLAND, ORE – On October 12, the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) and the City of Portland will help artists and community members learn how to organize and navigate two different paths for creating murals in the City of Portland. The free workshop will be led by Peggy Kendellen, manager of RACC’s Public Art Murals Program, Jean Hester from the City’s Bureau of Development Services, and local artists Addie Boswell, Gage Hamilton, and Antwoine Thomas. 

There are two options for painting a mural on a wall in Portland: the City has an Original Art Mural Permit Program, which costs only $50, and RACC’s Public Art Murals Program, which is free, and approved projects may receive up to $10,000 in matching funds. The RACC process requires building owners to provide easements that allow the mural to be added to the city’s public art collection. The workshop is designed to help artists, property owners, business owners and community members understand the two options available for creating murals.

Participants will hear from artists Antwoine Thomas and Addie Boswell who (along with almost 100 community volunteers) created the community mural on SE 162nd & Stark. Also presenting will be Gage Hamilton, who, along with Hellion Gallery, organized the recent Forest For the Trees project using the City’s process to obtain permits for ten murals by 16 local and international artists.

The workshop is free but space is limited and RSVPs are required. To sign up, contact us at info@racc.org or call 503-823-5865.

Public Murals Application Workshop
Date: Saturday, October 12, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon
Place: Miracle Theater, 425 SE 6th Avenue in Portland

New public art for the Portland Streetcar will be dedicated on September 30th

PORTLAND, ORE. — Portland’s newest public artwork, Jorge Pardo’s “Streetcar Stop for Portland,” will be dedicated on Monday, September 30 at 11:00 a.m. The sculpture is located on North Broadway at the triangle of Wheeler Avenue and Weidler Street. The artist will be present and available for interviews, and Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick will officiate.

RACC will also host a conversation with the artist later in the evening on September 30th at 6:00 p.m. at the Left Bank Annex, 101 N. Weidler. Both events are free and open to the public.

Fabricated of steel, wood and fiberglass, the new shelter measures 35’ long by 18’ wide by 16’ tall. The multi-faceted structure includes over 300 individual panels in vibrant shades of orange, yellow, red and grey.

Jorge Pardo was born in Havana, Cuba, and emigrated to the United States in 1969. He studied at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena from 1984-1988 and has exhibited globally since his first solo show in Los Angeles in 1988. In 2010 he was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (see http://www.macfound.org/fellows/38/). Pardo lives and works between Merida, Mexico, Los Angeles and Long Island; currently his studio is in the Yucatan. This is his first municipal project in the United States.

Streetcar Stop for Portland was funded by a 2%-for-art set-aside for the Portland Streetcar east side expansion project. The shelter is a complement to another large scale project commissioned for the Portland Streetcar expansion, Lead Pencil Studio’s Inversion: Plus Minus which is a series of three sculptures located at SE Grand Avenue at Hawthorne and at Belmont. RACC manages all aspects of public art projects for the City of Portland and Multnomah County, including artist selection, design approval, fabrication, installation and maintenance.

Paula Rebsom and Grant Hottle present “Forecast” at the Portland Building Installation Space, 9/16-10/11

Project Background: Forecast, which marks the first in a series of collaborations between installation artist Paula Rebsom and painter Grant Hottle, opens in the lobby of the Portland Building September 16th and runs through October 11th. These two artists work in very different ways but share a common interest in shifting perspectives, imagined realities and broken landscapes. Their joint project draws on the strengths of both by combining painted 2-D work with sculptural elements to build a thought provoking installation.

As the viewer approaches the piece they are confronted by a massive rectangular object (a painting?), nearly too large for the space. Inside the industrial blacks of the plastic-like surface, subtle blues and purples provide a visceral and atmospheric quality. The odd protrusions in the canvas become difficult to ignore. A view from the stairs offers a peek behind the painting, imposing a whole new set of questions rather than answers. Forecast is meant to be seen from two viewpoints—the lobby, where one sees the front of the industrial black painting, and the stairs, where the white light and poles causing the disruption in the canvas become visible. The physical tension in Forecast mirrors the conceptual tension between opposing forces—light and dark, hidden and revealed, intentional and accidental.

“We are two artists that improvehearingnaturally.com work in very different ways but share a common interest in shifting perspectives, imagined realities, and broken landscapes. We became interested in collaboration as a way to think about our work outside the context we have built for it over the years…It is in this space that we find the greatest potential for our ongoing collaborative endeavor. We are fashioning a new visual language based off of a simple foundation, adding complexity as we learn how the work speaks to others.”

About the Artists: Portland artists Grant Hottle and Paula Rebsom both received MFAs from the University of Oregon in Eugene, in 2007 and 2006 respectively. Individually they have shown widely on the West Coast and elsewhere in the U.S. Grant Hottle currently teaches at Clark College in Vancouver, WA, and at Lewis and Clark College in Portland. Paula Rebsom just completed a month long residency the Djerassi Resident Artist Program in Woodside, California and currently teaches at Marylhurst University south of Portland. 

Viewing Hours & Location: 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday. The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland. For more information on the Portland Building Installation Space series, including images, proposals and statements for all the installations since 1994, go to www.racc.org/installationspace.

Regional Arts & Culture Council awards $1.7 million to 48 local arts organizations

PORTLAND, ORE. – The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) has awarded a total of $1,745,354 in grants to 48 local arts organizations. Awarded annually, these grants provide general operating support to 501(c)(3) arts organizations that deliver year-round programs and have at least $80,000 in annual revenues.

“RACC is honored to invest public and private dollars in these outstanding organizations,” said executive director Eloise Damrosch. “They make significant and varied contributions to the cultural and economic vitality of the region, including Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties.”

Grant recipients are selected in a rigorous application review process that includes a panel of community volunteers and RACC staff. Applicants are evaluated on artistic excellence and fiscal responsibility, and must demonstrate broad community support including a stable base of audiences and donors. The $1.7 million total is a slight increase over last year because of an increase in contributions through RACC’s workplace giving program, Work for Art.

Organizations receiving RACC general operating support in 2013-14 are:
Artist Repertory Theatre, $57,576
Bag & Baggage Productions, $11,600
Blue Sky Gallery, $13,890
Bodyvox, $25,546
Broadway Rose Theatre Company, $36,740
Cappella Romana, Inc., $13,350
Chamber Music Northwest, $53,450
Children’s Healing Art Project, $12,760
Do Jump! Extremely Physical Theatre, $30,396
Ethos Music Center, $17,700
Friends of Chamber Music, $21,796
Hollywood Theatre/Film Action Oregon, $17,970
Imago Theatre, $30,406
Independent Publishing Resource Center, $12,136
Lakewood Center for the Arts, $37,320
Literary Arts, Inc., $45,726
Live Wire!, $12,710
Metropolitan Youth Symphony, $30,986
Miracle Theatre Group, $30,646
Northwest Children’s Theatre, $28,390
Northwest Dance Project, $16,000
NW Documentary Arts & Media, $12,136
Oregon Ballet Theatre, $85,900
Oregon Children’s Theatre, $60,936
Oregon Repertory Singers, $26,630
Oregon Symphony Association, $144,516
PHAME Academy, $12,136
Playwrite, Inc., $17,386
Portland Art Museum, $194,396
Portland Baroque Orchestra, $25,500
Portland Center Stage, $91,216
Portland Chamber Orchestra, $15,710
Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra, $14,090
Portland Gay Men’s Chorus, $16,790
Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, $29,656
Portland Opera, $140,716
Portland Piano International, $15,630
Portland Taiko, $37,420
Portland Youth Philharmonic, $31,706
Profile Theatre Project, $23,360
Tears of Joy Theatre, $31,966
The Portland Ballet, $19,166
Third Angle New Music Ensemble, $11,500
Third Rail Repertory Theatre, $13,400
White Bird, $52,116
Wordstock, Inc., $15,436
Write Around Portland, $20,796
Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington, $28,050

RACC receives funding from a variety of public and private partners to serve artists, arts organizations, schools and residents throughout tri-county region. The City of Portland provides the majority of support at nearly $1.1 million, with additional funding from Work for Art donations as well as Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington Counties.

These 48 organizations have combined purchasing and payroll power of $86.7 million and an extended economic impact of $151 million annually, including all of the audience-related spending that occurs before and after an arts event. Their total combined attendance last year was 2.9 million, including 679,000 K-12 students.

Organizations interested in participating in the 2015 grant application process can visit www.racc.org/grants for information including guidelines, application deadlines, and additional contact information.

A note on the City of Portland’s Arts Education & Access Fund
The City has not yet distributed to RACC any proceeds from the new Arts Education & Access Fund, so these grant awards do not include any “arts tax” money. RACC funding from all sources currently represents 2% of the grantees’ annual revenues, including an average of 1.3% funding from the City of Portland general fund. RACC expects to receive its first proceeds from the Arts Education & Access Fund next spring, and at that time can begin working toward the goal of providing qualified arts organizations with 5% public support. Funded organizations will still rely on ticket sales, contributions, and other income to make up the other 95% of their budgets.

About RACC
RACC provides grants for artists, nonprofit organizations and schools; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts through workplace giving; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and oversees a program to integrate arts and culture into the standard curriculum in public schools throughout the region through “The Right Brain Initiative.” For more information visit us online at www.racc.org.

The Right Brain Initiative slated to serve 14,000 children this school year

In honor of National Arts in Education Week, The Right Brain Initiative has announced that six new public school partners are joining the program for the 2013-14 school year. Between September and June, the integrated arts program will bring music, dance, theatre, visual and media arts to 14,000 K-8 students in 49 schools and six school districts throughout the Portland metro area. This total is up from nearly 11,500 students served last year.

Significantly this year, the Gresham-Barlow School District becomes the first district to involve Right Brain with every elementary school in its district. The Right Brain Initiative entered classrooms in 2009, with a vision of bringing the arts to every K-8 classroom in the region. Gresham-Barlow’s commitment to the program is a powerful landmark in pursuit of Right Brain’s goal of arts education equity.

Right Brain welcomes the following new schools to its list of partners in 2013-14:

Deep Creek Elementary (Gresham-Barlow School District)
Hall Elementary (Gresham-Barlow School District)
West Gresham Elementary (Gresham-Barlow School District)
Bilquist Elementary (North Clackamas Schools)
Duncan Elementary (North Clackamas Schools)
Boise-Eliot K-8 School (Portland Public Schools)

Districts invest $15 per child at each partner school with the program. Every district dollar is leveraged more than four times by other funding sources. Public funding partners include the City of Portland, the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Private funders include The Collins Foundation, The James E & Marion F. Miller Foundation, the PGE Foundation, Bank of America, and many other businesses, foundations and individuals listed at TheRightBrainInitiative.org/funding. Right Brain’s ultimate target is to serve approximately 110,000 K-8 students in 240 schools and 25 districts.

Read more about Right Brain’s successes in its 2013 Progress Report, released this week. In the 2012-13 school year, 1,127 school staff collaborated with Right Brain teaching artists to design 206 classroom experiences that integrated math with movement, social studies with film, and much more. Download the full report.

About The Right Brain Initiative
The Right Brain Initiative is a sustainable partnership of public schools, local government, foundations, businesses and the cultural community that launched its programming in Portland area classrooms in January 2009. The program’s vision is to transform learning for all children in the Portland tri-county area through the arts, creativity, innovation and whole-brain thinking. The Right Brain Initiative is a project of the Regional Arts & Culture Council. Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington serves as Implementation Partner. Read more online at TheRightBrainInitiative.org.

About the Regional Arts & Culture Council
RACC is a nonprofit arts services organization serving the Portland metropolitan area, including Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties. In addition to serving as the managing partner for The Right Brain Initiative, RACC provides grants for artists, arts organizations, schools and other community-based arts projects; conducts workplace giving for arts and culture (“Work for Art”) and other advocacy efforts; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance; shares printed and web-based resources for artists; and integrates artwork into public places. Read more online at racc.org.

Work for Art’s 2012-13 campaign raises $761,359 for a seven-year total of $4,686,681

The Regional Arts & Culture Council announced on Thursday evening that the seventh annual Work for Art campaign raised $761,359, bringing its seven-year total to $4,686,681 raised for local arts organizations. More than 1,900 donors participated in the campaign that began on July 1, 2012 and ended on June 30, 2013, mostly through payroll deduction and other gifts in the workplace.

The campaign results were delivered by Jeff Harvey, president and CEO of Burgerville, at a special reception Thursday evening in the KeyBank Club at Jeld-Wen Field. Harvey was the honorary chair of the 2012-13 campaign, and will lead the 2013-14 campaign as well, with co-chair Mike Golub, COO of the Portland Timbers.

“It is a great thing to celebrate arts and culture in our communities,” said Harvey in thanking all those who participated in the campaign. “In today’s business world… there’s no such thing as too much creativity or too much innovation. Investing in a vital arts community is the same as committing to deep and long-term investment in the vitality and innovation of business.”

More than 75 participating companies were acknowledged on Thursday evening, including the top ten Work for Art campaigns in 2012-13:

1. Portland General Electric
2. NW Natural
3. Burgerville
4. The Standard
6. State of Oregon
7. City of Portland
8. Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects
9. Multnomah County
10. Stoel Rives

Portland General Electric was the top campaign for the second year in a row, increasing their campaign by 6% for a total of $83,530; President and CEO Jim Piro accepted the company’s award and said that PGE employees were enjoying more arts activities thanks to the Arts Card, a benefit of giving to Work for Art. Jack Graves, Chief Cultural Officer at Burgerville, accepted the “top participation” award for the sustainable restaurant chain, which had the most employee donors (410) of any company. Portland Center Stage was acknowledged for raising the most money among nonprofit organizations ($2,442); the award was accepted by development director Charlie Frasier.

The results reported on Thursday night are down 7.7% from the 2011-12 campaign total (and all-time high) of $824,648. A variety of factors contributed to the downturn, including general anxieties about the economy last fall, and typical fierce competition for contributions during a presidential election cycle. Work for Art leaders remain confident that the campaign will rebound in 2013-14; already several new companies have signed up to participate this year, including Cambia Health Solutions, Gerding Edlen, and Tri-Met. Other company leaders who would like to learn about conducting an employee giving campaign for the arts and culture sector are invited to contact Kathryn Jackson, Work for Art Manager at 503-823-5424 or kjackson@racc.org.

Work for Art is a program of The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), which distributes 100% of all proceeds to more than 100 arts and culture organizations based in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties through a competitive grant application process. Although Work for Art is primarily a workplace giving program, anyone can participate by making a donation online at workforart.org. The strength of the campaign has been in its ability to accumulate a high volume of smaller gifts; most donations are $150 or less, and $60 is the amount most commonly donated. Donors who pledge $60 or more receive an Arts Card. Most donations are matched dollar-for-dollar by a matching challenge fund that includes contributions from The City of Portland, Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties, the Firstenburg Family Foundation, Sunshine Dairy Foods, and other private donors.

The 2013-14 campaign is now underway; the goal is to raise $775,000 by June 30, 2014.

Michael Sell presents “Untitled Photoswatch 2” at the Portland Building Installation Space August 12 – September 6

Project Background: Photographer Michael Sell’s current work explores the point at which fine art intersects with décor, and investigates how one supports or subverts the other:

“I have recently begun a body of work that samples colors from famous photographs and collapses the visual elements and meaning of each photo into a single swatch of color. These color swatches can then be used as the basis for custom paint colors, allowing viewers (or “users”) to incorporate famous photographs into their home décor without addressing the photograph’s subject, concept, or emotional content.”

Beginning August 12th Sell will make his “photoswatch” work site-specific by creating a large-scale swatch grid on the main wall of the Installation Space. Each individual color panel will reference its specific source material—in this case an actual work of art currently hanging somewhere in the Portland Building. The color panels, or swatches, will be labeled with the title and location of the source artwork, for example: Purple Fields, 9th floor, reception. As the viewer approaches the installation the multiple swatches will resemble the grid of color one sees in the paint aisle of a hardware store. On the floor in front of the grid a set of small sample size canisters of paint—all mixed to match their particular swatch color—will be offered to visitors to take home and use as they see fit.

Sell’s reduction of the artwork displayed in the Portland Building into single swatches of color calls attention to the compartmentalization of art as it is typically presented in office spaces and highlights the modest range of creative expression we’re exposed to in these settings. Allowing viewers to take home that same bit of color further underscores the idea of artwork commodification and begs the question of whether the art in commercial settings is simply décor or something more; likewise the take-away souvenir—is it just a small can of paint, or does its provenance make it something more?

About the Artist: Born in Detroit, Michigan, Michael Sell now lives in La Grande, Oregon where he is Assistant Professor of Art and Media Arts Communication at Eastern Oregon University. His media-centric imagery has been exhibited throughout Michigan and Oregon, and in select shows in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. He has presented his work at multiple Society for Photographic Education conferences and at the 2013 Far West Popular Culture and American Culture Association conference.

Viewing Hours & Location: 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday. The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland.
For more information on the Portland Building Installation Space series, including images, proposals and statements for all the installations since 1994, go to www.racc.org/installationspace.

Portland public art project wins national award

The Public Art Network of the Americans for the Arts (AFTA) has named a local project, “Dekumstruction,” to its 2012 Year in Review, which highlights the 50 most outstanding public art projects in the United States last year.

The PAN Year in Review is the only national program recognizing projects of excellence in public art. From over 350 applications, three national public art professionals selected 50 outstanding projects that were completed in 2012. The panelists were Justine Topfer, curator, Out of the Box Projects, San Francisco, CA; Norie Sato, artist, Seattle, WA; and John Carson, artist and head of the School of Art, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.

Dekumstruction is a sculptural artwork integrated with a custom bike rack designed by the artists Buster Simpson and Peg Butler located at the intersection of NE Dekum & Durham, adjacent to the Breakside Brewery. Twenty halved oil barrel planters stenciled with the names of depleted oil fields and painted with an iridescent sheen allude to the culture of big oil. The planters are planted with native species and receive water run-off from the adjacent private property. All of the water then flows through a downspout onto an upended oil barrel that quite literally “beats” the drum on rainy days. The installation celebrates the displacement (deconstruction) of two former car parking spaces with a multifunctional sculpture that accommodates ten bicycles while conveying shifting attitudes about consumption, energy, and stormwater management.

This collaboration was initiated by the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services as a part of their Sustainable Stormwater “green street” program to address stormwater management issues in Portland. They in turn brought in the Transportation Options folks from the Bureau of Transportation to help with bike parking to give the project an aesthetic and augmented conceptual twist, and then turned to the Regional Arts & Culture Council, which hired artists Buster Simpson and Peg Butler. Simpson and Butler helped choose the site, worked the adjacent building owner and the stormwater engineers, designed the prototype for the bike rack and then artwork and its relationship to the adjacent building, and oversaw the fabrication and installation of the above ground work. The overall project budget was nearly $60,000. Funding came from a grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency with additional funds from all of the other partners.

Student show celebrates national arts education partnership

Who: The Right Brain Initiative and King PK-8 School
What: Student art show
Where: Community Room at North Portland Library, 512 N Killingsworth
When: Reception Tuesday, July 23, 5-7 p.m. Show on view through Aug. 31, 2013

Starting Tuesday, July 23, the North Portland Library will feature stunning black-and-white images of local 1st and 2nd graders and their neighbors. All work was produced this spring by students at Northeast Portland’s King PK-8 School during an arts education program facilitated by The Right Brain Initiative.

This display celebrates the partnership between Right Brain, a Portland non-profit arts-in-schools program, and King, one of eight public schools in the nation selected for the Turnaround Arts initiative. Turnaround Arts is a new public-private partnership of the President’s Committee for the Arts and the Humanities, chaired by Michelle Obama. It is determined to boost achievement at some of the lowest performing schools in the country by providing students with full access to high-quality arts experiences.

Right Brain partnered with King this year to provide an essential part of the school’s new arts offerings. Right Brain provided artist residencies to all classrooms and professional development for King staff, which gave teachers tools to naturally integrate the arts into their daily teaching.

“It was an obvious choice to link King School with Right Brain’s dynamic arts programming,” said Katy Mayo-Hudson, the Portland-based Implementation Coordinator for Turnaround Arts. “Right Brain and Turnaround Arts share a commitment to integrated arts education and a belief that creative experiences are non-negotiable for every child. This is a natural and symbiotic partnership.”

The work on view at the North Portland Library was created by 1st and 2nd graders. Partnering with King staff, Right Brain teaching artist and Portland Creative Laureate Julie Keefe integrated the students’ International Baccalaureate curriculum about neighborhoods into a photography project that investigated identity and community. Students interviewed each other and adults from the neighborhood, using portraits and writing to explore how individuals fit within their greater ecosystem.

The program was a perfect match for King School, a community in transition. In recent years, King has struggled with low test scores and student enrollment which dropped from 458 in 2006 to 288. Under the guidance of Kim Patterson, the school’s energetic new principal, King leaders have made the arts an essential part of student learning and community development. Right Brain’s programming has seamlessly supported King’s achievement goals.

The opening reception on July 23 will feature video documentation from King’s first year working with Right Brain. King students and staff, Right Brain leaders and other community partners will be in attendance to celebrate a productive and creative year.


The Right Brain Initiative is a sustainable partnership of public schools, local government, foundations, businesses and the cultural community, which launched its effort to bring the arts to every child in the Portland area in January 2009. The program’s vision is to transform learning for all children through the arts, creativity, innovation and whole-brain thinking. The Right Brain Initiative is a project of the Regional Arts & Culture Council, with Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington serving as Implementation Partner. Read more online at www.TheRightBrainInitiative.org.

The Regional Arts & Culture Council is the local arts agency for Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties, providing grants for artists, schools and nonprofit organizations; conducting workplace giving for arts and culture (“Work for Art”) and other advocacy efforts; presenting workshops and other forms of technical assistance; providing printed and web-based resources for artists; and integrating art into public spaces. Online at www.racc.org.

Two new public art murals underway and one mural restored

Two large scale mural projects are underway in Portland this summer – all recipients of grant funding from the Regional Arts & Culture Council. RACC’s public art mural program, financed by the City of Portland, provides funding for community murals that reflect diversity in style and media and encourages artists from diverse backgrounds and range of experience to apply. Murals approved through this program become part of the City’s public art collection. The new murals include:

North Tabor Neighborhood, Penumbra Kelly Building
StarCraft: Mission to Arts, artists
4747 East Burnside; RACC Funding: $8,925; 10’H x 133’L

Photo: Courtesy of SpaceCraft: Mission to Art

Photo: Courtesy of SpaceCraft: Mission to Art

Fresh off of completing a large scale mural for the Albina Maintenance Yard wall on N. Mississippi, three artists from SpaceCraft: Mission to Arts – Jakub Jerzy Kucharczyk, Matthew Allen Wooldridge, Maxwell Humphres – have begun another mural with community participation for the south and west facing walls of the Penumbra Kelly parking structure. The building houses the Portland Police Bureau’s Property Crimes Task Force, and personnel from the Office of Neighborhood Involvement Crime Prevention & Graffiti Abatement Programs and Water Bureau Rangers. The mural wraps around onto the west wall and extends to the end of the city’s property along that wall.

The artists worked extensively with the North Tabor neighborhood and the Police Bureau to identify highlights from the neighborhood’s past, present and possible future. You’ll find residents of various cultures socializing, walking dogs, and enjoying the annual soapbox-derby down Mt. Tabor. Old and new modes of transportation – including jet-pack powered pets merge into landscape scenes and images of firefighters, police, transit drivers and postal workers. Through these scenes flows a ribbon of fabric coming from women sewing in the historic Shogren House. Over the next few weekends, the artists welcome neighbors from the North Tabor neighborhood to assist with painting. For more information, go to www.northtabor.org/mural. A celebration will be scheduled for some time in September.

Vespa Portland Mural
Larry Kangas, artist
2318 NW Vaughn; RACC Funding: $7300; 14’H x 65’L

Photo: Richard Roderick

Photo: Richard Roderick

The 12’ x 65’ mural on the east wall of Vespa Portland will feature, at first glance, a vibrant street scene in an Italian village that includes a produce stand, bakery shop, coffee shop, and sidewalk cafe. Upon closer inspection, you’ll find well-known landmarks from this Northwest Portland neighborhood. Kangas designed the mural in collaboration with Paul and Maggy Henry, owners of Vespa Portland, with the purpose of creating a neighborhood mural that is colorful and fun and whose details can be discovered over time.

Kangas writes “The project is seeking donations or sponsors to cover costs. Larger sponsors will be recognized in some way on the wall.”

Kangas has completed numerous public and private commissions in the Northwest. His 200-ft.long mural for Parkrose High School in Northeast Portland, features the history of the horse in different cultures and was completed in 2007 with the assistance of students from Parkrose.

Mural Restoration Project

In addition to these new murals being added to the city’s landscape, for nearly a year the Beaumont Wilshire Neighborhood Association has been working on gathering the resources and person-power to restore a 2008 mural by

 located in the Wilshire Park Pavilion (NE 33rd Avenue and Skidmore Street). After numerous tagging and graffiti incidents and removals, the mural was in much need of a facelift. This past Sunday and Monday, a crew consisting of the artist and her sister, neighbors and Portland Parks and Recreation staff spent hours applying a fresh coat of paint. Subsequently, Graffiti Removal Services applied an anti-graffiti coating to protect the mural for years to come. This successful project was made possible through the diligence and commitment of a group of neighbors and city employees committed to making this a successful collaborative project.