Call for Artists: Parklane Park Sculptural Artworks

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), in partnership with Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R), invites artists/artist teams to submit a Request for Qualifications application form (RFQ) for a series of sculptural artworks to be installed in the newly expanded and redesigned Parklane Park in the Centennial Neighborhood at 15635 SE Millmain Drive, Portland, Oregon 97233

RFQs are due by 11:59 pm, Pacific Time, April 20th, 2023

The full Request for Qualifications form can be downloaded here. Further information about the project can be accessed here.

The History and Background of Parklane Park

The site of Parklane Park was originally home to the Multnomah, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Tualatin, Kalapuya, Molalla, Chinook, and many other tribes who made their homes along the Columbia River and its tributaries.

More recently it was used as an airfield, and then as a gravel quarry which was later filled with remnant debris in the 1990s. When the surrounding subdivisions were built in the 1970s, the triangular 5-acre parcel that is now Parklane Park became a Multnomah County park. Local residents planted many of the trees and installed red-and-white striped playground equipment, which gave the park its nickname, “Candy Cane Park.”

In 1993, the park was transferred to Portland Parks & Recreation. In 2001, the City purchased an additional 20 acres to the north, the site of the former gravel quarry. The Parklane Park Master Plan was completed in 2009 and created a guide for the construction and expansion. In 2016, a Portland Loo® was installed near the playground with 2014 Parks Replacement Bond funds.

When fully developed, Parklane Park will serve 2,237 households, 407 of which do not currently have ready access to any park or natural areas. There is a significant lack of parks and open spaces and a shortage of recreation facilities in the neighborhood. Parklane will provide a valuable recreational space for the community.

Former Portland Parks & Recreation Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Commissioner Carmen Rubio both approved additional System Development Charge (SDC) funds to fully fund Parklane Parks development in light of cost increases amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These additional funds allowed for the completion of nearly all elements identified in the 2009 Master Plan, with the exception of the aquatic center.

The City of Portland’s Office of Community and Civic Life describes the Centennial Neighborhood as “a relatively large neighborhood with a diverse population.” This diverse community of Portlanders includes Black/African American, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin speakers), European, Indigenous, Latinx, Middle Eastern, Arabic, Pacific Islander, Vietnamese, Slavic, and other communities.

Building on the work of the 2009 Master Plan, PP&R formed a Project Advisory Committee and held several community engagement sessions during the development of the design for the expanded park. You can find documentation here on the Parklane Park Project webpage.

Art Opportunity

RACC and PP&R are seeking an artist/artist team to create a series of sculptural artworks to be installed along the park’s central looping walking path. This lit concrete path is nearly a half a mile long and is a fundamental aspect of the park’s design. The path will be the primary walkway for visitors to access the park’s many amenities, including the grass soccer field, basketball courts, event pavilion, and various playgrounds. All six of the park’s pathed entries lead directly to this looping pathway. An architectural focal point of the park’s design is a large pavilion serving as both a multi-purpose covered community gathering space and a half-court basketball. Two smaller picnic shelters of similar design flank the pavilion. This area of the site boasts views of Mt. Hood on a clear day.

This is an opportunity for the artist(s) to create a set of works that viewers would experience while walking in the park, at all times of day and in all seasons. The goal for this artwork is to reflect the past, present, and future communities who have, are, or will enjoy the green spaces and amenities of Parklane Park. These artworks should aid in the creation of a sense of belonging for the park’s users. Through the use of color, image, form, pattern, and / or texture, the artwork will be able to create a sense of relationship, reliability, and contemplation for park users. This set of sculptures will be experienced individually and collectively — sited many feet apart from one another, but also appearing as a group from a distance. These works will become part of the character of Parklane Park.


This opportunity is open to artists/artist teams based in the United States. If applying as a team, at least one member must meet the residence eligibility requirement. PP&R and RACC are committed to reflecting the cultural richness of our city by promoting opportunities for historically underrepresented artists. Artists/artist teams that are not currently represented in the public art collections in Portland with a permanent artwork are strongly encouraged to apply. 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.


The selected artist/artist team will receive $140,000 for this opportunity to create a series of sculptural artworks. This budget is inclusive of all project expenses including artist fees, design development, any permits and engineering required, materials, fabrication, installation, and third-party contractors who may help to fabricate and/or install the artwork. In addition, RACC will coordinate with the artist/artist team, PP&R Community Engagement, project design team, and construction team.

The artist(s) will be responsible for delivering a completed artwork for installation. RACC will coordinate installation with the artist(s), the construction contractor, and any third party vendors, if necessary.


Information sessions:
1. Instagram Live session on April 7, 2023 2:00pm (PDT)

2. Zoom on April 11, 2023 3:30pm (PDT) with Mack McFarland from RACC and Sandra Burtzos from Portland Parks & Recreation

RFQ Due:                           April 20th, 2023, 11:59 pm Pacific Time

Finalists Notified                  May 17, 2023

Proposal Interviews             June 2023

Preliminary Drawings          July 1, 2023

Final Drawings                     Oct 1, 2023

Fabrication                           Oct 2023 – July 2024

Installation                            Aug-Sept 2024

Final Completion                 Oct 1, 2024

Selection Process

 A Selection Panel composed of Portland Parks and Recreation representatives, local artists, community members, and the Parklane Park design team members will review artists’ materials in the Selection Phase and choose no more than 3 finalists for the Proposal Interview Phase. One finalist will be selected for the commission.

Criteria for selecting artists for the Proposal Interview Phase will be

  • Artistic vibrancy of submitted past work
  • Potential of the artist(s) to meet general goals described above
  • Artist’s interest in project and its goals
  • Potential to work successfully with the design and construction teams

Artistic vibrancy is defined as an artistic practice that

  • Demonstrates integrity of process
  • Embodies excellence of craft and skill
  • Demonstrates imagination, distinctiveness, and originality
  • Contributes to artistic practice
  • Engages with the diversity and complexity of contemporary life
  • Is relevant in a local, national, and global context

During the Selection Phase, no more than 3 finalists will be selected for the Proposal Interview phase.  Each finalist/team will be paid a $4,000 honorarium to develop a proposal and will be reimbursed for travel expenses.  Finalists will present their proposals in an interview format with the entire Selection Panel.

Proposal Interview

Criteria for selecting the final artist(s):

  • Demonstrated artistic vibrancy
  • Feasibility of the proposed concept
  • Demonstrated competency of materials and fabrication through own skills or subcontracted fabricators
  • Potential to work successfully with the project design team
  • Ease of maintenance and durability of materials
  • Not currently represented in the public art collections in Portland with a permanent artwork

Overall, the purpose of the interview is to allow the artist(s) and panel to meet each other and engage in a mutually beneficial and informative conversation. It’s an opportunity for the artist(s) to better understand the context of the project and the intentions the selection panel has for the final art piece. Both parties are given the chance to ask questions and participate in determining the best alignment for the project. After the interviews are completed, the Selection Panel will choose a final artist/artist team to award the public art opportunity to.

Please note the Selection Panel reserves the right to select an artist who does not directly apply to this call, if appropriate. Likewise, the panel maintains the option to make no selection from submitted applications and to reopen the selection process or propose other methods of selection if no applicant is accepted.

Application Materials

In response to the RFQ, applicants will be asked to submit the following items through the RACC Opportunity Portal. It is the responsibility of the applicant to complete and submit materials by the closing date: 11:59pm, Pacific Time, April 20th, 2023.

Applications must include the following:

Artist bio/résumé. Two-page résumé uploaded as a PDF that outlines professional accomplishment and includes two professional references (name, affiliated organization, email address, and phone number). For team applications, include a 2-page résumé for each team member that is combined into one PDF.

Statement of interest. In 3,000 characters or less, provide a statement that outlines the following:

  • Your interest in this project
  • Why this project, its focus, location, and goals are of interest to you
  • Why you’d be a good match for the project
  • Your capacity and/or experience to create these artworks
  • If you are applying as a team, describe your individual roles on the team and how you anticipate working together

Up to 8 past work samples. These work samples are the primary way the  artistic vibrancy and quality of your work and practice  will be judged. Provide up to two images, no larger than 5MB each, for each work sample. For each image, please provide title, artist name, media, dimensions, year completed, budget, and location if applicable. Conceptual information is desirable but not required.

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. Please note that after you click “Submit,” your application is final and no further edits can be made.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us throughout the process.

Information sessions:

Instagram Live session on April 7, 2023 2:00pm (PDT)

Zoom on April 11, 2023 3:30pm (PDT) with Mack McFarland from RACC and Sandra Burtzos from Portland Parks & Recreation

RFQs are due 11:59pm, Pacific Time, April 20th, 2023


We are here to support and assist you! If you have questions about the overall opportunity or the RACC application portal; would like to set up a time for a phone/video call; or have any other needs for assistance, please email project manager, Mack McFarland at mmcfarland@racc.org.

If you would like to be considered for this opportunity and don’t have a computer or online access, please feel free to contact RACC for support. Also, if you prefer these materials in another language you can contact the RACC project team for translation services.

We strongly encourage you to submit your application with enough time for any questions to be answered prior to when submissions are due as inquiries received towards the end of that period may not be responded to. We appreciate your understanding and consideration of our capacity.

Interpretation services are available: please email info@racc.org.

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SAVE the Dates! Our Space of Possibilities- Saturday’s in June


This June 2023, East Portland is set to show its vibrancy with creativity and culture! Funded by a generous Our Town grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts, this creative placemaking grant was matched locally by RACC, Portland

Bureau of Transportation (BPOT), and TriMet with aims to invigorate the sense of community along the East Portland Cultural Corridor (spanning Southeast Division Street from SE 82nd Avenue to SE 175th Avenue).

At the heart of the East Portland Cultural Corridor project is “Our Space of Possibilities,” a dynamic art initiative housed in a TriMet bus. This mobile cultural and social space, conceived by artist-in-residence Patricia Vázquez Gómez, will be sited at four locations along SE Division St between June 3rd and June 24th. The project will showcase exhibitions, performances, workshops, and video screenings primarily produced by local East Portland organizations and residents.

Patricia Vázquez Gómez is a multidisciplinary artist exploring the intersection of aesthetics, ethics, and politics; the social functions of art and the expansion of community-based art practices, with her methodologies deeply informed by her experiences in immigrant rights and social justice movements in the US and Mexico.

The East Portland Cultural Corridor project leverages TriMet’s Division Transit Project, as a geographic backbone and future travel option for many East Portland residents. This project aims to connect people, culture, and transportation, promoting a strong sense of community and cultural identity in East Portland.

Please look for more updates on RACC’s social media, future eblasts, and blog posts.

Please contact info@racc.org for more information.








RACC Celebrates the First Six Artists Selected for the Multnomah County Library Capital Bond Projects

RACC is excited to announce the first six artists who have been selected as part of the on-going Multnomah County Library (MCL) Capital Bond Projects. Passed by voters in 2020, the bond includes renovations and expansions to seven local libraries, upgrades at eleven more libraries within the MCL network, the development of a new destination library in East County, the creation of a materials-handling facility, and high-speed internet system-wide.

The new MCL Operations Center launched the first phase of the bond projects in summer 2022. The expansions and renovations to Holgate and Midland libraries are also underway and will be some of the first locations to reopen to the public in spring/summer 2024, with Albina and North Portland libraries closely following. All bond projects are anticipated to be completed by winter 2025-2026.

RACC, in partnership with MCL, is overseeing the public art opportunities in these new and refreshed community spaces. The artist selection process is being conducted in a phased approach to align with the MCL project sequence. The artists selected so far will be creating large-scale permanent artworks at the first three building projects in the sequence: the Operations Center, Holgate Library, and Midland Library.

Community engagement is a core value within the bond projects, and artists with demonstrated experience and express interest in embedding community into their practice and work have been prioritized. Most artists selected for these projects are expected to create and host community engagement opportunities as part of their design phase in order to involve the community in the creation process. Some of these arts-focused events have already taken place and more are on the way, so stay tuned for further details on how to participate in the coming months.

For now, RACC would like to honor the artists who have been selected so far and who are working behind the scenes on these initial projects. RACC is proud to announce that all of those selected are local to Portland, BIPOC/BIPGM, and identify as women, transgender, non-binary and/or gender non-conforming. Please join us in congratulating these very talented and deserving artists, and follow and support them when and where you can!

Please contact Public Art Project Manager, Sophie, at shook@racc.org if you have any questions. For information on future calls to artists please follow us on Instagram.

Midland Library Exterior Canopy: Paola De La Cruz and Lillyanne Pham. Photo Credit: Keanu Narciso.







Operations Center Exterior Entrance: Tenya Rogriguez. Photo Credit: Tenya Rodriguez.










Holgate Library Exterior Site Enclosure: Crystal Meneses. Photo Credit: Alberta Akins.


Holgate Library Interior/Exterior Wall: Salomée Souag. Photo Credit: Haley Busch.

Midland Library Gathering Circle: Kanani Miyamoto. Photo Credit: Kayla Wiley.


RACC shares update on the Thompson Elk restoration plan from the Portland Parks Foundation

Released to media on 10/3/22 from the Portland Parks Foundation

CONTACT: Randy Gragg,

503-799-2655; rgragg@portlandpf.org

Thompson Elk Fountain Restoration Feasibility Study Update

Portland Parks Foundation’s team completes study and preliminary cost estimate

The Portland Parks Foundation has completed its feasibility study and preliminary cost estimates for the restoration and reinstallation of the Thompson Elk Fountain. PPF and its consultants, Architectural Resources Group (ARG) and the landscape/urban design firm MIG have submitted its restoration plan to the Portland’s Office of Management and Finance (OMF). In turn, OMF has submitted it to the Bureau of Development Services for an anticipated November “Design Advice Request” with the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission. That hearing, in which the team will get feedback from the Landmarks Commissioners, is open to the public for listening and testimony. For updates on the hearing, go to portland.gov/bds/landmarks.

“We are honored to present to the city this restoration design, which restores and returns the elk and fountain to their original location,” said Randy Gragg, executive director of PPF. “We’ve also developed potential street improvements to make the fountain a safer, universally accessible, and more welcoming place to visit.”

The study determined that 18 of the fountain’s 50 pieces will have to be remade. They include some of the most complex. All four of the fountain’s five-foot-long troughs and some of the most intricately carved ornaments will have to be refabricated. “But the good news,” according to ARG project lead Maya Foty, “stone from the original stone quarry is still available.”

The study also incorporates seismic stabilization and a recirculating pump for the fountain. The team developed preferred street upgrades that would create better access and a “viewing area” for the statue and fountain. Building on PBOT’s recently implemented separation of bikes and motorists around the fountain area on Southwest Main Street, ARG and MIG’s design provides two wheelchair accessible access points to a viewing area protected from passing traffic by elegant granite domed bollards.

“The design provides a refuge for people and it better protects the fountain from vehicles,” said Rachel Edmonds of MIG, “and also creates a sense of place around the fountain using historically compatible materials.” Based on 30-percent schematic design, the cost for the fountain restoration, new pump mechanism and reinstallation is estimated to be $1.2- $1.3 million. The street improvements would add approximately $670,000.

“We anxiously await what the city’s insurance settlement will yield and what the City Council determines the city can afford,” said Gragg. “We at PPF believe there is wide community support to pitch in if the final gap is not too large.”

PPF continues to accept contributions to restore the Thompson Elk Fountain. Donate here.

The Thompson Elk Fountain was badly damaged during the civil unrest of summer, 2020 that followed the murder of George Floyd. The city quickly moved the elk and the fountain pieces into storage. PPF’s study was overseen by a seven-member Project Advisory Committee of preservation and street design experts and informed by a technical advisory committee of city bureau representatives with oversight of the parks, street, and infrastructure, along with the Regional Arts & Culture Council who oversees the bronze elk.

Besides looking comprehensively at the restoration and streetscape, PPF hired two historians, Keith Eggener, a professor at the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture and Milo Reed, a freelance historian who works with Oregon Black Pioneers and Vanport Mosaic and currently chairs the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries. They researched both the history of the elk fountain’s making and the social history of the fountain and its surrounding parks since its installation in 1900.

Former Mayor David P. Thompson commissioned the sculpture to honor the Humane Society which he cofounded. In the decades since, the historians found, the elk has stood at the center of protests over such perennial issues as free speech, workers’ rights, deportation of immigrants, and police shootings.

“For 120 years, people have gathered at the fountain to enjoy it as a thing of beauty and a symbol of nature, but also to give voice to their convictions,” noted Gragg. “Our goal is to renew it, reinstall it, and make it a safer, more inviting public space.”

PPF will release the full feasibility study and the findings of its historians in advance of the Design Advice Request hearing.


RACC announces public art collaboration with Port of Portland at the Portland International Airport

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  November 14 2022

Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) announces the launch of new

public art projects in collaboration with the

Port of Portland (Port) at the Portland International Airport (PDX)

Portland, OR –

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) is pleased to announce a unique collaboration with the Port of Portland (Port) to install original public artworks for the $2B terminal redevelopment project at Portland International Airport (PDX).  RACC is in the process of inviting artists to submit their qualifications for the design and installation of permanent public art displays that will be a part of this redevelopment. RACC’s values of equity, access, and inclusion are embedded in this process through intentional outreach and engagement with communities that have been historically marginalized. This project will involve requests for proposals (RFQ) for artists in the upcoming months, with completion of the entire project slated for five years from now. Check out PDXNext.com for updates, resources, and images

“The Port of Portland is thrilled to officially launch two open calls for the first permanent public works of art to adorn PDX’s new main terminal,” says Wendy Given, Port of Portland Art Program Manager. “Our Art Program’s mission is to provide equitable access to art and to commission and exhibit captivating work that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve. We believe everyone’s voice and history should be celebrated. So, together with RACC, we intentionally created opportunities for historically marginalized artists to apply, and we have developed a selection process that ensures equitable outcomes. We’re making a commitment to bring diverse voices and perspectives to life — all while enriching the experience of everyone who travels through PDX.”

Mack McFarland, RACC’s Public Art Project Manager, wholeheartedly agrees with Wendy Given, adding, It’s really an honor to play a role in this massive project. The partnership between the Port and RACC has already resulted in several stunning artworks and unique ways to engage the artists within the architecture of PDX. The vison ZGF Architects is implementing for Terminal Core (TCORE) is presenting artists with a wonderful site for projects, while the forethought and care of the Art Selection Committee provides integrity and distinctiveness to the process. There are opportunities within the TCORE art plan for seasoned public artists as well as artists who may be new to creating artwork for such a public setting.”

The second RFQ launches within the next two weeks, with five more to be announced in 2023. The first RFQ, for Art Glass Walls located between the concourse connector and the security queuing area, closes on November 16, 2022.  More information can be found here. The proposed art exhibits are available for download here.

The Regional Arts & Culture Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides grants for artists and nonprofit organizations in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; and provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance. RACC advocates for equity, inclusion and access, working to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity and the arts. For more information visit racc.org

With its three airports, four marine terminals, five business parks, and hundreds of employees, the Port of Portland connects people and businesses in the region to powerful opportunities. Using its resources, expertise, and influence, the Port is striving to pull down barriers and unlock new opportunities for those who have been left out of the region’s economic growth, including people of color, low-income workers, and people with disabilities. The Port is leading major initiatives to drive positive change in the region, including: expanding and modernizing PDX; investing in Oregon’s mass timber industry and mass timber housing; and providing more options for small businesses to get their goods to markets around the world. For more information, visit PortofPortland.com.”



Kristen Calhoun, Director of Public Art


Mack McFarland, Public Art Project Manager


Wendy Given, Port of Portland, Art Program Manager


RACC unveils Going Public! A Mural Skill Building Intensive


We are pleased to announce in partnership with the City of Hillsboro, Miller Paint, and TriMet a collaborative opportunity supporting public art in our community. This project is also supported with funds from the City of Portland. Envisioned over the last two years, this program has come to fruition with guidance by administrators Salvador Mayoral IV, the Public Art Manager at the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) and program consultant Ella Marra-Ketelaar as well as RACC’s Public Art Murals Committee.

In June of 2022, a cohort of emerging muralists of color were selected and paired with established muralists, all from the Portland metro area.  The program’s aim is to support these emerging muralists throughout the mural creative process by providing mentorship, mural-making workshops, and the opportunity to create and paint a design all the while being monetarily compensated for their energy, time, and labor to undergo this process. One of the program’s key goals is to  foster relationships with their fellow muralist participants through the attendance of the workshops, meeting regularly with their mentors, thus creating a network of support and access. This was instrumental in preparing the cohort of emerging muralists to paint their own mural designs on the many donated spaces from the Going Public! partners.

“We’re thrilled to be part of RACC’s Going Public! mentorship program,” TriMet’s Public Art Administrator Michelle Traver said. “TriMet is also committed to nurturing emerging artists and we are pleased to host artist Rebecca Rodela’s first mural, Lotería en Portlandia, at the Gateway Transit Center, where it can be experienced by our riders and the general public alike.”

We are excited to partner with RACC to bring more colorful murals to our neighborhoods,” said Puji Sherer, Miller Paint’s Vice President of Marketing, Color & Brand. “Our Hollywood store in Northeast Portland is one of the mural sites for the project which is in the heart of this community.”

 All but one mural will be completed by the end of November 2022. Follow the mural making process by visiting the social media accounts of RACC, our partners, and the artists.

“Community building and skill sharing are at the forefront of Going Public!” said program consultant Ella Marra-Ketelaar. “It has been incredibly important to feature established artists (mentors and workshop presenters) that are willing to share their years of collective knowledge with the next generation of muralists. The program’s role is to create a platform, their knowledge, and collaboration is what makes it possible”. 

The workshop presenters include, Sarah Farahat, Bernadette Little, Adam Ciresi, Molly Mendoza, Ursula Barton, Daren Todd, Kyra Watkins and William Hernandez.

The mentors include, Kyra Watkins, William Hernandez, Alex Chiu, and Patricia Vásquez Gómez.

All images by Leo Townsell, July 2022 at one of the workshops in Zidell Yards.

The cohort of muralists include, Abdiel Flores Ubaldo, Saphya Lones, Nabíl De la Rosa, Rebecca Rodela, and Tim Tran.

Carol Tatch, RACC’s Chief of External Operations, stresses the importance of leading with RACC values of access, inclusivity, and equity. “It’s not just that you get to wake up and it’s there, but you actually get to see the process. It is definitely important to the economic prosperity of any region to have public art — art that is accessible. That just brings rewards for everyone in the community.”

For more information please contact Salvador Mayoral, the Public Art Project Manager.

RACC launches new Fresh Paint Mural in partnership with Open Signal

Artist Jerome Sloan Comes Full Circle with New Mural, Growth
Now on view at Open Signal on NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd as part of Fresh Paint, a partnership with the Regional Arts & Culture Council

Jerome Sloan spent his youth in Portland’s Irvington neighborhood, starting his creative journey as a spray painter in the 1980s. Now he brings his work back home with a new mural Growth, part of Fresh Paint, a temporary mural program from Open Signal and the Regional Arts & Culture Council. Growth will be on view from October to March on Open Signal’s wall on NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd between Graham and Knott Streets.

Sloan’s work documents the struggle to become a better person, drawing from his experiences during a long period of incarceration. At 19 years old, he was sentenced to life without parole. He spent the next 28 years within the prison system developing and leading cognitive programming to help ex-gang members change their lives, and teaching art classes to help others find meaning in creativity. In early 2022, his sentence was commuted by Governor Kate Brown for the impact he had on the young men he worked with.

He now brings his message to the area in which he grew up. “A great piece of art should compel you to take some sort of action or change the way you think,” says the artist. “I send my art out with the hope that it plays a part in changing people or moves them in a positive direction. It is my job to be an example that is positive.”

In this piece, two hands, with vines wrapped around them, reach up towards the sun — representing the need to grow to survive, and the act of reaching towards something bigger and more productive than oneself. The letters spell “growth” in an alphabet of his own creation, and in a graffiti style that he developed when he was young in this very area. The work reflects Sloan’s approach, taking a realistic image and pushing it into the abstract. “Through Fresh Paint we’ve been able to bring great local artists like Jerome into our community,” notes Open Signal’s Community Media Advocacy Manager KatMeow García. “This program is a true collaboration — what started as a conversation between the Regional Arts & Council and Open Signal now encompasses staff, artists, mentors and anyone who’s been impacted by the art. The mural may be temporary, but the connections keep going.”

Mural being completed with artist holding paint and a ladder and paint equipment on the sidewalk

Completed mural with two people standing in front of it with their arms up

Photos by Sabrina Spurlock,  Oct 2022

Fresh Paint is a partnership between the Regional Arts & Culture Council and Open Signal that began in 2017. The program supports emerging artists of color with their first publicly funded commission; the artists expand their creative skill sets and build paths to other public art opportunities. Sloan is the thirteenth muralist to take part in this program; previous muralists have included Molly Mendoza; the artist team of Bizar Gomez, Maria Rodriguez, and Anke Gladnick; and Zeinab Saab.

See more from the artist at jeromesloanart.com.

The Installation Space’s Inaugural Exhibit: KSMoCA’s Present Days

The Installation Space’s inaugural art exhibition in the newly renovated Portland Building includes a selection of ephemera from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School Museum of Art (KSMoCA), an art museum within an elementary school in Northeast Portland. This display includes a selection of previous artworks and comments by Lomarion, a fifth-grader at the school on the Student Curatorial Committee, and a selection of new pieces from the KSMoCA Mentorship Program.

Mentors and mentees participating in this exhibit include: Claire Melli & Tasha, Leo Crum & Emily, Laura Glazer & Reed, Gillian Rappaport with 5th-grade students, Mo Geiger & Becca Kauffman with the 5th-grade Safety Patrol, Lyberty Udochu, Omar Arras, and Sean Bascom with JAGz (Justin, Amir, Gabriel, Melia, & Chris). Present Days was coordinated by Diana Marcela Cuartas and Lillyanne Phạm, current MFA students in Portland State University’s Art + Social Practice program.

On view: July 1, 2022 – November 11, 2022

at the Portland Building — Installation Space, 2nd Floor
(1120 SW 5th Avenue Portland, Oregon 97204)


Photo by Gilian Rappaport and Bex Copper. Currently on view within the exhibition.

A Message from KSMoCA:

KSMoCA: Present Days Featuring Lomarion’s Favorite Works from 2015-2022 / Mentorship Program Spring 2022 

Welcome to an exhibit/extension of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School Museum of Contemporary Art (KSMoCA), Present Days! We, the Student Curatorial Committee, restarted in January 2022 with a new crew and students after a year of hibernation during COVID-19.

Coming back to in-person life, we have spent the last few months getting to know the school staff and building relationships with its community, creating pathways for families to engage with KSMoCA, and taking part in the mentorship program with fifth-grader Lomarion.

Our names are Diana Marcela Cuartas and Lillyanne Phạm. We are current MFA students in Portland State University’s Art + Social Practice program. We were allowed to update a previous exhibit started at this space in 2019 by Roz Crews and six fifth-graders, now middle schoolers. What you see here reflects the current days of KSMoCA. After an intense time shift, we are back and filled with creatively generative mentorship relationships and critical topics relevant to our everyday lives.

Lomarian, Curator and 5th grader, Student Curatorial Committee.

Interview with fifth-grader Lomarion

Lillyanne: What is KSMoCA?

Lomarion: KSMoCA is an art place where people go to create art. My favorite part about KSMoCA is the different types of stuff that we can do. The room is like a jungle with a lot of cords. And my good awesome friend Lilly. We hangout Wednesdays and Thursdays. We are hosting a basketball game on June 4th too!

Lillyanne: Yes! A basketball game as a collaborative art project for PSU’s annual Art + Social Practice conference, Assembly 2022.

Diana: The jungle is the museum. Do you like having a museum at the school?

Lomarion: I like having a museum because it has a lot of different types of animals like lions because I’m always lyin’. It makes me want to go to an art museum and help with the art.

Diana: Why does art need museums?

Lomarion: Art needs museums so people across the whole world can see every piece of art created by a famous person or a person with creativity.

Lillyanne: Do you like museums better in schools or downtown?

Lomarion: Yes! I haven’t been to the one downtown. It’s about to be math time for me.

Lillyanne: Let’s get you back to class.

Lomarion’s Favorite Works from 2015-2022

We, Lomarion and Lillyanne, started our student-mentor relationship in the spring of 2022. We talked about life near and in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School and the contemporary art museum, KSMoCA. Lomarion shared his experience both as a student and as the school’s neighbor; he also has an older sister who attended the school. Unofficially, he is known as the school’s mayor, as health/PE teacher Mr. Monty said. Lomarion’s expertise led him to curate this show. He gave his advice on the best works to pay attention to at the school along with his favorite works from peer submissions. He said curating is “picking things you like and sharing it with people.” He suggests that being a curator takes “50% smarts, 50% imagination, great thinking, good ideas (good as in nice), being prepared, having a cute face but a cuter voice.”


About KSMoCA 

KSMoCA, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School Museum of Contemporary Art, is a contemporary art museum inside an elementary school. The project reimagines how museums, public schools, and universities shape people, culture, and perspectives by creating radical intersections and sharing resources across organizations. Internationally renowned artists collaborate with students and school staff on site-specific projects, exhibitions, and workshops, cultivating space for art to educate within and beyond the classroom through mutual exchange. Students learn through experience about museum practice and careers in the arts by participating as curators, preparators, artists, gallerists, writers, and docents.

KSMoCA’s program includes rotating exhibitions with visiting artists, a classroom adoption program with local arts institutions, a 1-on-1 mentorship program with local artists, a public artist lecture series, site-specific commissions, community and neighborhood events, and more. The public is welcome to experience the museum by appointment and during selected open hours.

For more information, visit our website: www.ksmoca.com.

Also check out @ksmoca on Instagram for the latest updates.

About Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School is a pre-K – 5th grade public school located in the King neighborhood of NE Portland, OR. In 2018, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of our legacy and our name change, a student-led initiative directed by middle school students who worked with district administration to change the school’s name just days after the death of Dr. King. At Dr. MLK Jr. Elementary School, we believe in the unlimited potential of everyone in our diverse community. We believe that a caring, well-balanced student will be motivated to become a global citizen who is inspired to take action.

The Mentorship Program

The KSMoCA Artist Mentorship Program pairs working artists and arts professionals in the Portland area with K – 5th grade students at Dr. MLK Jr. Elementary School in a long-term mentorship. Volunteer mentors spend 40 minutes with their mentee each week in student-directed, flexible time designed to foster the development of each student’s individual creative practice and encourage mutual exchange.

Students at Dr. MLK Jr. Elementary School hold a diverse set of intersectional identities. It is important to us that the KSMoCA Artist Mentorship Program supports and reflects our students’ experiences, and that we cultivate an environment of culturally responsive learning.

Since 2019, the KSMoCA Mentorship Program has been paused due to COVID-19 safety procedures. To continue relationship-building, Lisa Jarrett and Michael Bernard Stevenson Jr. taught three PSU courses entitled KSMoCA Museum and Community for art and non-art majors alike during 2021 and 2022. PSU students worked at Dr. MLK Jr. Elementary School to collaborate with Dr. MLK Jr. students and develop mentor/mentee relationships.

Mentors and mentees participating in this exhibit: Claire Melli & Tasha, Leo Crum & Emily, Laura Glazer & Reed, Sean Bascom & Gabriel, Gillian Rappaport with 5th grade students, Mo Geiger & Becca Kauffman with the 5th grade Safety Patrol, and Lyberty Udochu, Omar Arras, & Sean Bascom with JAGz (Justin, Amir, Gabriel, Melia, & Chris).


About Installation Space

The Installation Space is an art gallery with an almost 30-year legacy located on the second floor of the Portland Building. The gallery is managed by the Regional Arts & Culture Council and its mission is to present conceptually rigorous, site-specific and experimental media installations.

The Portland Building houses numerous municipal offices including Parks & Recreation, Transportation, and the Water Bureau. The building is a controversial anomaly of postmodern architecture, designed by Michael Graves in 1982.

The Installation Space gallery program began in 1994 and was on hold for years due to the building’s extensive, multi-year renovation and pandemic closures. This exhibition marks the relaunch of the art program. Stay tuned to learn more about exhibition opportunities and future programming.

Questions? Contact Morgan Ritter, RACC Public Art Exhibitions & Collections Specialist, at mritter@racc.org.