RACC Blog

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.

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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.”

 

MEDIA CONTACT

Kristen Calhoun, Director of Public Art

kcalhoun@racc.org

Mack McFarland, Public Art Project Manager

mmcfarland@racc.org

Wendy Given, Port of Portland, Art Program Manager

Wendy.Given@portofportland.com


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

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

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

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

 

About Behavioral Health Resource Center

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

Art Opportunity

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

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

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

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

Eligibility & Review Criteria

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Apply

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

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

Application Requirements

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

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

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

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

Information Sessions for Artists

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

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

We’re Here to Help!

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

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

Important Dates

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

Definitions of some terms mentioned in this call

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

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

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

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


Request for Qualifications | Suspended Artworks at PDX Terminal

Aerial view of the Portland International Airport (PDX) showing planes and terminals with the Columbia River and Mt. Hood in the background at sunset

Portland International Airport (PDX)

PDX Terminal Redevelopment Public Art RFQ

Suspended Artworks

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) and the Port of Portland (Port) in Portland, Oregon, are inviting artists to submit their qualifications for the design and installation of a permanent public art display that will be a part of the Portland International Airport’s (PDX) terminal redevelopment project.

The Port of Portland has contracted with the Portland area’s Regional Arts & Culture Council to manage the selection process for this public art opportunity.

INTRODUCTION

PDX has been recognized as the best airport in the United States eight times in the last decade. The airport consistently ranks high when it comes to customer service, based on its facilities, accessibility, and security. PDX is renowned for its local restaurants, beverages, and retail offerings, as well as short films at no cost, rotating art exhibits, and permeant artworks throughout the airport.

PDX seeks to commission distinctive, site specific, original public artwork for the $2B terminal redevelopment project. This unique artwork location has been identified for this Request for Qualification (RFQ) within the newly designed terminal. All public artwork locations in the new facility are identified on the attached Exhibit_A. Separate RFQ documents will be released over the next year for the remaining art installations in the terminal redevelopment project.

A Selection Committee of community representatives, arts and culture professionals, and Port staff has been assembled to recommend artists or artist teams. Each piece of work shall reflect the essence of the region and create a memorable experience that passengers have come to expect from PDX.

This Request for Qualifications (RFQ) will determine artist(s) eligibility to propose artwork for the specific location described in this document.

The due date to apply for this opportunity is  Tuesday, December 6, 2022 at 11:59pm PST.

The full request for qualifications can be downloaded here. All the exhibits can be downloaded here.

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.

Interpretation services available, email info@racc.org

Servicio de interpretación disponible
Предоставляются услуги переводчика
Có dịch vụ thông dịch
通訳サービスあり

PDX AIRPORT OVERVIEW

PDX serves as the unofficial welcome mat to the Northwest with nearly 20 million travelers a year passing through. Once the TCORE project is complete, in 2025, the facility will be capable of serving 35 million passengers. In addition to passengers, PDX supports a workforce of over 10,000 employees.

PDX served 14,107,240 million travelers during Fiscal Year 2022, which is 29% down from FY19’s passenger count of 19,941,424, due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of July 2022, PDX has recovered from the impacts of the pandemic by 71%, out-performing Port financial analysts’ recovery forecast by 16.4%. Airline staffing shortages are currently suppressing a full recovery, which is expected by early 2024.

PDX operates primarily as an Origination and Destination (O&D) airport. Only 8% of passengers are connecting to other cities. The other 92% of travelers start or end their journey at PDX, and for all those passengers, the airport will be their first or last impression of the region.

With this in mind, the PDX art program seeks to create an environment that embodies the unique character of the Pacific Northwest. PDX is largely a leisure airport, with a smaller percentage of business travelers. This means that most airport users are either nearby residents or are deliberately choosing to visit our region for vacation, so both groups are particularly interested in a localized experience.

Twelve domestic carriers and six international carriers operate at the airport. The airport currently serves 53 domestic markets and, as of November 2022, will offer nonstop flights to 10 international destinations in Japan, Netherlands, Germany, UK, Iceland, Mexico and Canada, some of which are seasonal. Most international flights operate out of Concourse D. Combined, Alaska Air Group (which includes Horizon Air) is the largest passenger carrier at the airport and Southwest, Delta and United are the next three largest, respectively.

PDX currently contains four concourses with 50 gates and ground loading positions. When the terminal redevelopment project is complete, there will be 59 gates and the concourse connector will make its return in 2024, allowing passengers to navigate the entire terminal behind security.

PORT OF PORTLAND PUBLIC ART PROGRAM

PDX provides multiple venues for artists and community arts organizations seeking exposure for their works and collections. The program includes permanent art, rotating exhibits, a temporary installation program and a microcinema that showcases short films by Oregon filmmakers. More information on the art program can be found here.

PORT OF PORTLAND ART PROGRAM GOALS

Artists should also keep in mind the general goals of the Port of Portland’s entire art program, including that of commissioned permanent artworks.

  • Represent artists of diverse races, genders, geographic origins, ethnicities, and ways of being with the purpose of advancing fair and equitable inclusion
  • Incorporate a variety of artistic mediums/materials and aesthetics
  • Reflect the region’s creative and cultural wealth
  • Respond to the airport environment in consideration of designated architectural factors and features supporting the general character of the Port and PDX as described above
  • Made of durable materials and easily maintained

PDX TERMINAL REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT

The redevelopment of the main terminal doubles the footprint of the terminal and invites passengers and employees to celebrate the beauty of the Pacific Northwest with a design evoking a walk in the forest; with vast windows and skylights providing daylight, interior landscaping of living plants, and a monumentally scaled wood roof produced from locally sourced timber.

Overall, the project will grow, modernize, and beautify PDX, preparing it to meet the demands of a new generation of travelers. The upgrades include a 150-footwide

building expansion that houses two brand new security checkpoints with increased capacity. The main entrance and ticket lobby will be fully redesigned to replace the 1950’s original, integrating today’s travel technologies. The concourse connector, which lets visitors move between the two sides of the airport without passing through security twice, will return. We’re also adding two new airline lounges, along with stunning artwork, lush greenery, and an impressive wood lattice roof.

The ticket lobby will be a bright and airy space with ample space for passengers to check in at their ticket counters while admiring the new pieces of artwork.

Artist Rendering of the new PDX Ticket Lobby with a lattice work ceiling and skylights

The pre-security concessions will surround a large community gathering space with stadium-style seating, which all departing travelers will pass through. The gathering space will regularly host special events, celebrations, and entertainment.

Artist Rendering of the new PDX Market Hall, pre security, showing people staggered around amphitheater style seating on either side of a performance area with someone playing grand piano in the center

Not to be outdone, the grand halls immediately after each security checkpoint will be reconstructed with 30-foot ceilings, expansive window views, tons of natural light, greenery at every eye-level, and a lineup of concessions designed to look like a city streetscape, complete with pergola-style canopies and sidewalk seating. To get a more concrete idea of what the new main terminal will look like, visit pdxnext.com, where you’ll see renderings and construction photos.

SOCIAL EQUITY POLICY

The Port of Portland’s Social Equity Policy promotes social equity, using a racial equity focus, with the purpose of advancing fair and equitable inclusion and creating the conditions in which all people can participate, prosper, and achieve equitable outcomes with respect to the Port’s employment, business, and services.

Cultural and racial equity will be considered throughout the process of selecting artists or artist teams, in terms of the demographics of the artists selected, the cultural communities served, and the diverse perspectives represented through the artwork. The Port encourages partnerships among artist/artist teams that reflect our region’s cultural heterogeneity.

ART SITES

The terminal redevelopment project is comprised of 9 separate opportunities for artwork, each with different budgets dependent on the project’s size, location and anticipated material and fabrication needs. Additional locations are listed in EXHIBIT B. The Selection Committee intends on selecting a different artist or artist team for each RFQ.

 

Suspended Art | Concourse Connector

Budget:  Not to Exceed $900,000

This is an opportunity for two large scale, signature artworks to be suspended from the ceiling in an area between both entries of the concourse connector passageway and situated around and above the concession’s pavilions. The concourse connector is a wide corridor that connects the north gates, Concourses D and E, to the south gates, Concourses B and C.  The two artworks are intended to visually complement each other. The artworks will be accessible to ticketed customers, PDX employees and vendor employees. Each zone measures approximately 100 feet long, 10 feet wide, and 9 feet from the top of the celling to the lowest point allowable. The artwork must be at least 15 feet from the ground plane. Each area is engineered for a distributed weight load across the designated area for approximant 4,300 lbs. total. Specifications and detail drawings will be provided during the interview phase.

The primary goals of this opportunity are for the art to:

  • Evoke delight and intrigue
  • Create beacons of texture, color, or pattern
  • Be impactful, iconic and provide wayfinding cues for travelers

The commission will be awarded to one artist or artist team with a budget not to exceed $900,000, inclusive of all artist design fees and associated travel costs, insurance, fabrication, transportation and installations of artwork on site. Eligibility: Open to artists living in the United States and internationally. Applicants must have successfully completed at least one art commission (public or private) within the past five years. RACC staff, Artist Selection Panelists, and Port of Portland employees or their immediate families are not eligible to apply.

APPLYING FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY

In response to the RFQ, applicants will be asked to submit the following items through RACC Opportunity Portal  Incomplete applications cannot be considered. It is the responsibility of the applicant to complete and submit materials by the application due date: 11:59pm (PST), December 6th 2022

 

Applications must include the following:

  1. Statement of interest. In 2000 or less characters and spaces, explain why this project is of interest to you. Describe how your previous work addressed site and similar goals stated for this project. Address how you and your artistic practice connect to or align with the Port’s Social Equity Policy detailed above. Include descriptions of how you worked with design and construction teams, and other comments that might help to differentiate you as a candidate for this project. Do not submit a proposal for the commission at this time.
  2. 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 both individual applicants and teams (2 per team). For team applications, include a 2-page résumé for each team member that are combined into one PDF.
  3. Up to 10 images of past work including details. These images are the primary way the quality of your work is judged. Provide the following information for each visual: title, year produced, dimensions, budget, medium, and a brief description. Do not embed label information into the jpeg image. Up to 2 videos may be included.

 

EVALUATION CRITERIA 

Selection Phase
During this phase, qualified applicants will be ranked by the Selection Committee on a 100-point system based on the following points distribution:

  • Artistic vibrancy of submitted past work
 30 points
  • Statement of interest to include:
    • Artist’s interest in project
10 points
    • Connection/Alignment to Port’s Social Equity Policy
10 points
  • Ability to create impactful artwork for PDX Airport
20 points
  • Potential to work successfully as part of  design and construction teams
10 points
  • Meets the goals of Port of Portland’s art program
20 points

 

Proposal/Interview Phase
During this phase, applicants will be ranked by the Selection Committee on a 100-point system based on the following points distribution:

  • Demonstrated artistic vibrancy and feasibility of the proposed concept
40 points
  • Mastery of materials and fabrication through own skills or subcontracted fabricators
20 points
  • Potential to collaborate successfully with the project design and construction teams
20 points
  • Ease of maintenance, durability, and sustainability of materials
20 points

 

Artistic vibrancy is defined as an artistic practice that:

  • Demonstrates integrity of process.
  • Embodies excellence of craft and skills.
  • 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.

SELECTION COMMITTEE/PROCESS

The RACC and the Port reserve the right to make changes to the RFQ.  Changes will be made by written addendum which will be issued to all prospective Providers on the RACC’s list of RFQ holders. A Provider may amend or withdraw its proposal any time prior to the time and date established for proposal submission. Refer to Exhibit C for specific disclosures and protest rules associated with this RFQ.

Proposal/Interview Phase

From these applicants, selected by the subcommittee, the Selection Committee will choose up to 5 finalists to prepare a more in-depth art proposal. Finalists will receive more site-specific information and supplemental documents to aid in the proposal process at that point.

A three-day site visit will be required of all interview finalists. Each finalist will be paid a $3,500 honorarium plus travel expenses. On Day One, artists will visit the site and meet with the design team to learn about the construction project and materials used in the new terminal. Day Two is reserved for the artists to reflect on what was learned and the development of a short presentation for the interview that provides initial thoughts, questions and direction for the artwork based on what was learned the previous day. Interviews will be conducted on Day Three. Project specific proposals will not be required at the interview stage

Following the presentations/interviews, the Art Committee will select a single artist/team  who will enter into a Design Phase Contract with the Regional Arts & Culture Council and begin collaborating as needed with the design team of ZGF and the Port of Portland. Following approval of the final design by the Art Committee, the artist/team will then enter into a Fabrication Contract with the Port of Portland, a sample contract is attached as Exhibit D.

 

WORKING PROJECT TIMELINE (BOTH SITES)

Information session:
Instagram Live on: Tuesday, November 8, 2022 2:30pm

Zoom on: Tuesday, November 15, 2022 3:00pm

Application due date: 11:59pm (PST), December 6th 2022

Artist selection for interview: January 2023

Artist (s) site visits, interviews: February 2023

Design Development: Winter 2023

Fabrication: Spring/ Summer 2023

Installation Completion: Spring 2024

*Dates provided are estimates based upon current knowledge of preliminary project schedules and are only intended to assist artists in determining their own availability to participate. Above dates in no way represent final approved schedules and are subject to change through future iterations of design and construction phases.

All questions relating to this RFQ must be posed through RACC’s online portal. Questions received fewer than five (5) business days prior to the deadline for receipt of submissions may not be considered.


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. 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.


Request for Qualifications | Art Glass Walls at PDX Terminal

Aerial view of the Portland International Airport (PDX) showing planes and terminals with the Columbia River and Mt. Hood in the background at sunset

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) and the Port of Portland (Port) in Portland, Oregon, are inviting artists to submit their qualifications for the design and installation of a permanent public art display that will be a part of the Portland International Airport’s (PDX) terminal redevelopment project.

The Port of Portland has contracted with the Portland area’s Regional Arts & Culture Council to manage the selection process for this public art opportunity.

INTRODUCTION

PDX has been recognized as the best airport in the United States eight times in the last decade. The airport consistently ranks high when it comes to customer service, based on its facilities, accessibility, and security. PDX is renowned for its local restaurants, beverages, and retail offerings, as well as short films at no cost, rotating art exhibits, and permeant artworks throughout the airport.

PDX seeks to commission distinctive, site specific, original public artwork for the $2B terminal redevelopment project. This unique artwork location has been identified for this Request for Qualification (RFQ) within the newly designed terminal. All public artwork locations in the new facility are identified on the attached Exhibit_A. Separate RFQ documents will be released over the next year for the remaining art installations in the terminal redevelopment project.

A Selection Committee of community representatives, arts and culture professionals, and Port staff has been assembled to recommend artists or artist teams. Each piece of work shall reflect the essence of the region and create a memorable experience that passengers have come to expect from PDX.

This Request for Qualifications (RFQ) will determine artist(s) eligibility to propose artwork for the specific location described in this document.

The due date to apply for this opportunity is  Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at 11:59pm PST.

The full request for qualifications can be downloaded here. All the exhibits can be downloaded here.

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.

Interpretation services available, email info@racc.org

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PDX AIRPORT OVERVIEW

PDX serves as the unofficial welcome mat to the Northwest with nearly 20 million travelers a year passing through. Once the TCORE project is complete, in 2025, the facility will be capable of serving 35 million passengers. In addition to passengers, PDX supports a workforce of over 10,000 employees.

PDX served 14,107,240 million travelers during Fiscal Year 2022, which is 29% down from FY19’s passenger count of 19,941,424, due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of July 2022, PDX has recovered from the impacts of the pandemic by 71%, out-performing Port financial analysts’ recovery forecast by 16.4%. Airline staffing shortages are currently suppressing a full recovery, which is expected by early 2024.

PDX operates primarily as an Origination and Destination (O&D) airport. Only 8% of passengers are connecting to other cities. The other 92% of travelers start or end their journey at PDX, and for all those passengers, the airport will be their first or last impression of the region.

With this in mind, the PDX art program seeks to create an environment that embodies the unique character of the Pacific Northwest. PDX is largely a leisure airport, with a smaller percentage of business travelers. This means that most airport users are either nearby residents or are deliberately choosing to visit our region for vacation, so both groups are particularly interested in a localized experience.

Twelve domestic carriers and six international carriers operate at the airport. The airport currently serves 53 domestic markets and, as of November 2022, will offer nonstop flights to 10 international destinations in Japan, Netherlands, Germany, UK, Iceland, Mexico and Canada, some of which are seasonal. Most international flights operate out of Concourse D. Combined, Alaska Air Group (which includes Horizon Air) is the largest passenger carrier at the airport and Southwest, Delta and United are the next three largest, respectively.

PDX currently contains four concourses with 50 gates and ground loading positions. When the terminal redevelopment project is complete, there will be 59 gates and the concourse connector will make its return in 2024, allowing passengers to navigate the entire terminal behind security.

PORT OF PORTLAND PUBLIC ART PROGRAM

PDX provides multiple venues for artists and community arts organizations seeking exposure for their works and collections. The program includes permanent art, rotating exhibits, a temporary installation program and a microcinema that showcases short films by Oregon filmmakers. More information on the art program can be found herePeople moving around inside a terminal at the Portland International Airport PDX. View of chairs, marble floors, ceiling artwork windows and stores

PORT OF PORTLAND ART PROGRAM GOALS

Artists should also keep in mind the general goals of the Port of Portland’s entire art program, including that of commissioned permanent artworks.

  • Represent artists of diverse races, genders, geographic origins, ethnicities, and ways of being with the purpose of advancing fair and equitable inclusion
  • Incorporate a variety of artistic mediums/materials and aesthetics
  • Reflect the region’s creative and cultural wealth
  • Respond to the airport environment in consideration of designated architectural factors and features supporting the general character of the Port and PDX as described above
  • Made of durable materials and easily maintained

PDX TERMINAL REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT

The redevelopment of the main terminal doubles the footprint of the terminal and invites passengers and employees to celebrate the beauty of the Pacific Northwest with a design evoking a walk in the forest; with vast windows and skylights providing daylight, interior landscaping of living plants, and a monumentally scaled wood roof produced from locally sourced timber.

Overall, the project will grow, modernize, and beautify PDX, preparing it to meet the demands of a new generation of travelers. The upgrades include a 150-footwide

building expansion that houses two brand new security checkpoints with increased capacity. The main entrance and ticket lobby will be fully redesigned to replace the 1950’s original, integrating today’s travel technologies. The concourse connector, which lets visitors move between the two sides of the airport without passing through security twice, will return. We’re also adding two new airline lounges, along with stunning artwork, lush greenery, and an impressive wood lattice roof.

The ticket lobby will be a bright and airy space with ample space for passengers to check in at their ticket counters while admiring the new pieces of artwork.

Artist Rendering of the new PDX Ticket Lobby with a lattice work ceiling and skylights

The pre-security concessions will surround a large community gathering space with stadium-style seating, which all departing travelers will pass through. The gathering space will regularly host special events, celebrations, and entertainment.

Artist Rendering of the new PDX Market Hall, pre security, showing people staggered around amphitheater style seating on either side of a performance area with someone playing grand piano in the center

Not to be outdone, the grand halls immediately after each security checkpoint will be reconstructed with 30-foot ceilings, expansive window views, tons of natural light, greenery at every eye-level, and a lineup of concessions designed to look like a city streetscape, complete with pergola-style canopies and sidewalk seating. To get a more concrete idea of what the new main terminal will look like, visit pdxnext.com, where you’ll see renderings and construction photos.

SOCIAL EQUITY POLICY

The Port of Portland’s Social Equity Policy promotes social equity, using a racial equity focus, with the purpose of advancing fair and equitable inclusion and creating the conditions in which all people can participate, prosper, and achieve equitable outcomes with respect to the Port’s employment, business, and services.

Cultural and racial equity will be considered throughout the process of selecting artists or artist teams, in terms of the demographics of the artists selected, the cultural communities served, and the diverse perspectives represented through the artwork. The Port encourages partnerships among artist/artist teams that reflect our region’s cultural heterogeneity.

ART SITES

The terminal redevelopment project is comprised of 9 separate opportunities for artwork, each with different budgets dependent on the project’s size, location and anticipated material and fabrication needs. Additional locations are listed in EXHIBIT B. The Selection Committee intends on selecting a different artist or artist team for each RFQ.

Artist Rendering of the ticket area with rectangles indicating area for proposed artwork between the pinstripe glass on the left and environmental graphic wall on the right on the lower level. Trailing plants can be seen on the tier above and the lattice ceiling also visible.

i. Art area is the pink dotted line

Art Glass Walls | Between Concourse Connector and Security Queuing Area

Budget:  Not to Exceed $940,000

This is an opportunity for an artist-designed glass wall located on the enplaning/ boarding gates level between the concourse connector and the queuing area for both North and South TSA security check points. There are two glass walls available for art that are visible from both the concourse connector passageway and from the security queuing area. The concourse connector passageway is a wide corridor that connects the north gates, Concourses D and E, to the south gates, Concourses B and C.

These glass art walls will provide visual experience in the security checkpoint queuing area that can sometimes be stress inducing. The artworks’ design should counter the stress rather than provoke it. Each of the walls are 56 feet long and 10’-8” feet high, 560 square feet. This artwork should hold intrigue from both a distance and close-up while maintaining various levels of translucency and transparency to take advantage of natural light and views of the outside. The selected artist or artist team will be given parameters for this transparency.  It will be viewed from both sides of the glass, from the concourse connector passageway and both pre and post security areas. Specifications and detail drawings will be provided during the interview phase.

The primary goals of this opportunity are for the art to:

  • Evoke delight and intrigue
  • Be impactful, iconic and provide wayfinding cues for travelers
  • Conjure a harmonious and calm mood to counter the stress of the area

Map of PDX Concourse 2 showing art opportunity areas 2 and 2 b with a legend indicating which areas are for art opportunities and which are overhead art opportunities along with the icons for landscape trees

Artist rendering of the proposed PDX ticket area showing only physical structures and a red rectangle marking the location of an art opportunity

Artist rendering of the proposed PDX ticket area showing both physical structures (including the famous carpet) and people with a red rectangle marking the location of an art opportunity near the amphitheater seating and performance area

The commission will be awarded to one artist or artist team with a budget not to exceed $940,000, inclusive of all artist design fees and associated travel costs, insurance, fabrication, and transportation. This assumes General Contractor installing artwork on site.   Eligibility: Open to artists living in the North America. No previous glass experience is required.  The Port and RACC view this project as a possible development opportunity for an artist or artist team to take their work to a new level of fabrication with technical assistance from RACC & others. RACC and the fabricators will be on hand to assist on the translation from design to glass wall. RACC staff, Artist Selection Panelists, and Port of Portland employees or their immediate families are not eligible to apply.

APPLYING FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY

In response to the RFQ, applicants will be asked to submit the following items through the RACC Opportunity Portal. Incomplete applications cannot be considered. It is the responsibility of the applicant to complete and submit materials by the
closing date: 11:59pm, Pacific Time, November 16th, 2022

Applications must include the following:

  1. Statement of interest. In 2000 or less characters and spaces, explain why this project is of interest to you. Describe how your previous work addressed site and similar goals stated for this project. Address how you and your artistic practice connect to or align with the Port’s Social Equity Policy detailed above. Include descriptions of how you worked with design and construction teams, and other comments that might help to differentiate you as a candidate for this project. Do not submit a proposal for the commission at this time.
  2. 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 both individual applicants and teams (2 per team). For team applications, include a 2-page résumé for each team member that are combined into one PDF.
  3. Up to 10 images of past work including details. These images are the primary way the quality of your work is judged. Provide the following information for each visual: title, year produced, dimensions, budget, medium, and a brief description. Do not embed label information into the jpeg image. Up to 2 videos may be included.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

Selection Phase 1
During this phase, qualified applicants will be ranked by the Selection Committee on a 100-point system based on the following points distribution:

  • Artistic vibrancy of submitted past work
30 points
  • Statement of interest to include:

Artist’s interest in project

Connection/Alignment to Port’s Social Equity Policy

 

10 points

10 points

  • Ability to create impactful artwork for PDX Airport
20 points
  • Potential to work successfully as part of design and construction teams
10 points
  • Meets the goals of Port of Portland’s art program
20 points

Proposal/Interview – Phase 2
During this phase, applicants will be ranked by the Selection Committee on a 100-point system based on the following points distribution:

Demonstrated artistic vibrancy and feasibility of the proposed concept 40 points
Demonstrated knowledge & skills on working with transparency and scale relationships 20 points
Potential to collaborate successfully with the project design and construction teams 20 points
Ease of maintenance, durability, and sustainability of materials 20 points

Artistic vibrancy is defined as an artistic practice that:

  • Demonstrates integrity of process.
  • Embodies excellence of craft and skills.
  • 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.

SELECTION COMMITTEE/PROCESS

Members of the Art Committee include artists, arts professionals, the project architect, a Port Commissioner, Port staff and community members. Non-voting advisors to the panel include additional Port staff.

Evaluation of the applicants will be in accordance with the Evaluation Criteria listed above. The issuance of this RFQ, and the receipt of applicants does not obligate that Port to award a contract. The Port may cancel this RFQ or reject any or all proposals in accordance with ORS 279B.100.

All questions relating to this RFQ must be posed through RACC’s online portal. Questions received fewer than five (5) business days prior to the deadline for receipt of submissions may not be considered.

The RACC and the Port reserve the right to make changes to the RFQ.  Changes will be made by written addendum which will be issued to all prospective Providers on the RACC’s list of RFQ holders. A Provider may amend or withdraw its proposal any time prior to the time and date established for proposal submission. Refer to EXHIBIT C for specific disclosures and protest rules associated with this RFQ.

Selection Phase 1

Prior to the selection phase, a subcommittee comprised of Selection Committee members will review all applicants and narrow the initial pool of RFQ applicants to no more than 50 artists/artist teams per site.

Proposal/Interview Phase 2

From these applicants, selected by the subcommittee, the Selection Committee will choose up to 5 finalists to prepare a more in-depth art proposal. Finalists will receive more site-specific information and supplemental documents to aid in the proposal process at that point.

A three-day site visit will be required of all interview finalists. Each finalist will be paid a $3,500 honorarium plus travel expenses. On Day One, artists will visit the site and meet with the design team to learn about the construction project and materials used in the new terminal. Day Two is reserved for the artists to reflect on what was learned and the development of a short presentation for the interview that provides initial thoughts, questions and direction for the artwork based on what was learned the previous day. Interviews will be conducted on Day Three. Project specific proposals will not be required at the interview stage.

Following the presentations/interviews, the Art Committee will select a single artist/team  who will enter into a Design Phase Contract with the Regional Arts & Culture Council and begin collaborating as needed with the design team of ZGF and the Port of Portland. Following approval of the final design by the Art Committee, the artist/team will then enter into a Fabrication Contract with the Port of Portland, a sample contract is attached as EXHIBIT D.

WORKING PROJECT TIMELINE

Info Sessions

Instagram Live on Wednesday, October 26, 2022 12:30-1pm PDT

Zoom on Wednesday, November 2, 2022 2:30- 3:30pm PDT

 

Application due date: 11:59pm (PST), November 16th, 2022

Artist selection for interview: January 2023

Artist (s) site visits, interviews: February 2023

Design Development: Winter/2023

Fabrication: Spring 2023

Installation Completion: Spring 2024

*Dates provided are estimates based upon current knowledge of preliminary project schedules and are only intended to assist artists in determining their own availability to participate. Above dates in no way represent final approved schedules and are subject to change through future iterations of design and construction phases.

All questions relating to this RFQ must be posed through RACC’s online portal. Questions received fewer than five (5) business days prior to the deadline for receipt of submissions may not be considered.


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.