RACC Blog

Request for Qualifications: Albina Library Sculpture Series

Rendering of the art site, exterior southeast view, facing NE Russell Street

Rendering of the art site, exterior southeast view, facing NE Russell Street 

If you would prefer these materials in another language please contact the RACC project team for translation services.

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

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Important Dates

  • November 20, 2023 – RFQ launch
  • December 4, 2023 at 6:00pm PDT – Zoom Info Session, watch the recording here
  • January 15, 2024 – Applications due Monday, January 15, 2024 at 11:59pm PDT
  • December 2023-February 2024 – Panel review and artist selection including interviews
  • Spring 2024 – Community Engagement and Participatory Design
  • Summer/Fall 2024 – Fabrication
  • Spring 2025 – Artwork complete and installed

In partnership with Multnomah County Library (MCL), the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) invites artists/artist teams living in Oregon and Washington to submit qualifications for a series of site-specific exterior artworks located along the new south side entry path and within the new interior courtyard at the soon-to-be renovated Albina Library. One artist/artist team will be selected to create a sequence of mid-scale 3-dimensional sculptural works which will greet library patrons, staff, and visitors as they approach and enter the new building. As part of the Library Capital Building Projects, MCL is renovating and expanding Albina Library which will include a 30,000 sq.ft. addition to the existing Carnegie structure. New features such as large community and meeting rooms, expanded study areas and a dedicated teen space will fill this highly anticipated community hub. Other upgrades include updated technology and internet as well as a new outdoor courtyard which will allow community members to relax and connect. Albina Library, along with the communities it serves, specifically Portland’s African American, Black and Indigenous communities, has a long history of displacement. Returning the library to its historic location on Knott Street is part of the MCL’s larger effort to provide relevant services to people who are experiencing disenfranchisement. The newly renovated and expanded library is in the Boise-Eliot neighborhood and sits just off of the west side of NE Martin Luther King Boulevard between NE Knott Street and NE Russell Street in inner northeast Portland in Oregon. Nearby are other beloved community landmarks including the Matt Dishman Community Center and Wonder Ballroom. The budget available for the commission comes from Multnomah County’s Percent for Art Program and is $125,000, all inclusive. Submissions are due by Monday, January 15, 2024 at 11:59pm PDT.

Art Opportunity

We are seeking an artist or artist team to create a series of site-specific exterior sculptural artworks for Albina Library. The sequence of mid-size sculptures will lead people along the new south side entry pathway, beginning at the newly developed library parking lot and initially ending at the main library entrance. The sculptures installed along the exterior of the building, of which we anticipate a minimum of three, will be prominently located. Greeting patrons and staff, the artworks will create a sense of arrival well before entering through the building doors. In addition, these sculptural works will be visible to pedestrian traffic along NE Russell Street contributing to the renewed streetscape of this revitalized and beloved community resource.

There is potential for the sculpture series to extend and/or culminate in the building’s newly constructed courtyard, an outdoor community space which is easily accessible from inside the library. We anticipate one additional artwork from the series being installed within the courtyard. Patrons, staff, guests and visitors will meander through the central body of the library to reach the courtyard via the main entrance, located on the south side of the site. The courtyard is positioned on the central east side of the library, acting as a connection point between several publicly accessible amenities. The relationship and creative dialogue between these spaces and the artwork should be considered. It is intended for this intimate outdoor oasis to be a place of calm, reflection and respite for patrons and staff alike.

The series of original sculptural artworks will be integrated with the landscape design of both the entry path and outdoor courtyard, evoking themes of growth, diversity and community. Due to the notable installation sites for the sequence of sculptures, views of the artworks from all angles should be considered. Similarly, pedestrian traffic from the parking lot and along the street will benefit from close interaction with the sculptures located on the exterior and interior of the building. We expect aspects of the exterior artwork to translate to scale so that the sculptures can also be enjoyed from a distance as people travel by car and public transportation along NE Russell Street.

Exact locations for the free-standing artworks are to be determined in conjunction with RACC and the project team depending on the final size, scale and material of the sculptures. In collaboration, the building project/construction team, selected artist(s) and RACC will work to provide foundations and a stub out for power for each sculpture, which can be used for lighting the artworks, if necessary and required. All other materials and construction are the responsibility of the artist with RACC’s support. The artist(s) will be responsible for delivering a series of completed artworks installed on site as a final deliverable. The artist(s) and RACC will coordinate installation with the project team, construction contractor and any third party vendors, where necessary.

The design team has stewarded an extensive series of engagement sessions with the local community over the last year or so and it is expected for the selected artist(s) to build upon that foundation. There is a deep desire for the diverse range of populations whom the library serves to be reflected and represented within the artwork. The sculpture series may represent multiple stories or weave together threads of a single narrative. The intention is to ignite imaginations and encourage contemplation. Both art installation sites include outdoor seating, meaning guests may wish to linger in these spaces. As the exterior sculptures will be the first pieces of public art visible as people arrive at the library, it is vital for these artworks to generate a sense of place, welcome and belonging that the surrounding communities, neighbors, MCL staff and visitors can feel aligned with and proud of.

MCL and RACC believe this project could be a professional development opportunity for an artist or artist team who are eager to expand their portfolio and practice, specifically in terms of fabrication and use/range of mediums, due to the support and technical assistance available from RACC and other project partners. Established artists, artists with experience working in sculpture at smaller scales and/or those who are exploring this medium are encouraged to apply.

Information Session

  • Monday December 4, 2023 at 6.00pm PDT on Zoom with Sophie from RACC joined by members of the Albina Library project team. Watch the recording here

We strongly encourage you to attend the info session, especially if you are a first-time applicant. The project team will share information about this opportunity and outline how to submit application materials. If you have questions about the Zoom
info session or need any accommodations in order to attend, please email project manager, Sophie, at shook@racc.org.

Artwork Goals and Qualities

The goal is for the many works of art at the library to be representative of, and informed by, the myriad of communities that live, work and play in Eliot/Boise, and other surrounding neighborhoods of north and northeast Portland, in particular under-represented and marginalized communities. Communities served by Albina Library should be reflected in the new works of art through innovative and original visioning, artistic expression and creative storytelling. There is a deep desire for the Sculpture Series to instill a sense of place and belonging, creating a warm, inviting and welcoming environment where imagination, interests and engagement can be inspired.

Through conversations during the community engagement process, led by LEVER Architecture and Noll & Tam Architects in collaboration with MCL, one important aspiration that was shared for the artwork at Albina Library was that it have a tangible sense of permanence. Given the history of displacement for Black and Indigenous community members in the neighborhood, and beyond, it was suggested that the selected artist(s) consider, in their creative process, the diverse local histories and experiences of those marginalized communities, acknowledging their richness and multiplicity. The community is desiring spaces which reflect their spirit and stories, where their cultures, values and histories can be expressed and celebrated.

In discussion with the community and MCL team members, we are anticipating artwork that invokes a sense of whimsy, wonder, magic and joy. Artwork that can honor the past while also creating space to explore greater possibilities for the future. It is also important to consider the longevity of the sculptures. How the artwork will evolve over time as the neighborhood shifts, ensuring that the artwork and community grow alongside one another, maintaining a bond, deepening their connection and continuing to be in dialogue together. Further collective visioning, through engagement with the community, will likely inspire even more creative suggestions. The Sculpture Series should take these design directives into consideration, complementing the overall building architecture, exterior and interior design palette and aligning with the overall goals to represent and reflect the local community in the space.

Literal interpretations or representations of these concepts, goals and qualities in the artwork is not expected. These ideas are shared as considerations, not limitations, and to offer context of the community feedback received so far.

Budget

The selected artist/artist team will receive $125,000 for this opportunity to create a series of mid-size, 3-dimensional, site-specific, exterior sculptural artworks. This fee is inclusive of all project expenses including artist fees, design development, materials, fabrication, installation, community engagement and communication/coordination with the design team, construction team and third-party contractors who may help to fabricate and install the artwork.

Community Engagement

Community engagement is a central component within all of the RACC and MCL Library Capital Building Projects, guided by these aligned project principles. As such, we are seeking an artist/artist team who welcomes and reflects the diverse communities that are served by Albina Library within their process and work. Genuine understanding and demonstration of community engagement practices in existing artistic practice, past work and/or other key areas of experience where skillsets may be transferable, such as teaching, mentorship, community organizing, care work and other non-typical/non-traditional examples of embedding community into process and practice, are highly desirable.

The broader community that will be served by the library have been invited to participate in the design process so far by contributing their experiences and ideas through open houses, tabling events, virtual meetings, leave-behind boards, and community conversations. An array of design priorities emerged during these engagements with community members and key stakeholders which should be considered by the artist(s) and more details can be found in the supplemental materials. Beyond that, feedback and other results from the community engagement process so far, including demographics, can be shared with the selected artist/artist team to ensure authentic understanding and representation of the local communities.

While there is no requirement for the artist/artist team to conduct community engagement sessions as part of this commission, if the artist(s) has a current practice around this work and would like to embed that into their process for the project it can be supported and would be encouraged. For example, prior to finalizing a design, the selected artist/artist team could plan and facilitate engagement sessions to meet with community stakeholders to gather further information and insight into the library, community and area. During that time, the artist(s) could welcome and encourage community participation within the design phase, seeking feedback, input and inspiration from key stakeholders to ensure the final artwork meets the intended goals as outlined above, specifically community representation. RACC and the project team is able to work with neighboring community partners to provide venues to host such community engagement events. Interpretation, translation and other access services can be made available, if needed, and coordinated through MCL and/or RACC, if enough time is
given in advance.

The artist(s) should expect that working or in-progress design materials and narratives may be requested for wider community communication updates and will be coordinated in conjunction with the project team.

About the Library Capital Building Project

As part of the Library Capital Building Projects, MCL is expanding Albina Library to provide additional space and an enjoyable experience for all through upgrades to the existing building. Located between NE Rodney Avenue and NE Martin
Luther King Boulevard on NE Knott Street in the Boise-Eliot neighborhood of north/northeast Portland, Oregon, the existing 3,500 square foot historic Carnegie library will be updated and expanded to 30,000 square feet. The revised site will include
an outdoor courtyard and new main entrance, on the south side of the building facing NE Russell Street, which creates the opportunity for a series of site-specific sculptural artworks. Click here to learn more and view the Albina Library fly-through.

The renovation and expansion of Albina Library is part of the first phase of the Library Capital Building Projects and will be one of the first to reopen, currently scheduled for Spring 2025.

Eligibility

This opportunity is open to artists/artist teams based in Oregon and Washington. If applying as a team, at least one member must meet the residence eligibility requirement. Those with significant current or past connections, or those with interest and ability to create meaningful connections, to Albina Library, the Boise-Eliot neighborhood and other surrounding neighborhoods and communities served by the library in north/northeast are preferred. Applicants who have an interest in and/or experience with community engagement processes, including social practice, which inform their approach and art practice are strongly encouraged to apply. Significant consideration will be given to artists who have experience working intergenerationally and with residents from historically marginalized and displaced communities to develop their artwork, in particular Black and Indigenous communities. Artists who have demonstrable lived experience and alignment with communities of color as well as immigrant and refugee communities will be prioritized.

MCL and RACC are committed to reflecting the cultural richness of our city by promoting opportunities for emerging and historically underrepresented artists. Artists/artist teams representing communities of color 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 County’s public art collection.

The selected artist/artist team must be able to create, complete and deliver their artwork by Spring 2025.

Selection Process

At this time, the selection process will be entirely virtual. A selection panel composed of Multnomah County Library representatives, local artists, community members and north/northeast County residents, Library Building Project team members and Albina Library design team members will review artists’ submissions and choose more than one finalist to invite to interview for the commission. 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 determine best alignment and artist selection 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. The selected artist(s) will then be issued a Design Phase contract during which they may meet with the community and will create a proposal that includes a design for the Sculpture Series, a budget and a timeline. Following approval of the final design by the artist selection panel, the artist(s) will then enter into a Fabrication Contract with RACC.

Criteria for selecting semifinalists for interviews are (1) quality of past work as demonstrated in submitted images; (2) ability and interest in creating site-specific artwork; (3) how past artwork has fit one or more of the general goals described above, specifically community engagement and designing with stakeholder communities, through demonstrated processes and/or final design; (4) existing, interest in and/or ability to create connections to Albina Library, Boise-Eliot, other surrounding neighborhoods and communities served by the library.

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.

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 https://racc.org/apply. If you are applying as a team,
please assign one person to apply and be the point of contact on behalf of the team.
Submissions due Monday, January 15, 2024 at 11.59pm PDT.

Application Materials

  • Artist bio/resume: Upload a PDF, no more than two pages, that outlines your creative activities, artistic accomplishments and experience with community engagement. If applying as a team, submit one PDF that includes a bio/resume for all team members.
  • Statement of interest:Applicants are invited to submit their responses to the prompts below either in a written statement* or in an audio or video statement**. Please outline the following:
    • Your interest in this project
      • Why this project, its focus, and themes are of interest to you
      • Why you would be a good match for the project
      • How do you foresee your work connecting to the mission and values of the project
    • Describe your capacity and/or experience to complete the scope of work
    • Explain why you value community engagement in your artistic process and share past examples of successfully incorporating community visions, values and voices into a project
      • What isyour approach to community engagement
      • How has community engagement impacted your process
      • How has community engagement informed your art-making practice and the end results of your work
    • 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 quality of your work 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. Conceptual information is desirable but not required.

*Written statement: 3000 characters or less
**Audio or video statement: Upload an audio/voice or video recording no longer than 2 minutes

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.

Questions

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 Sophie at shook@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 enquiries received towards the end of that period may not be responded to. We appreciate your understanding and consideration of our capacity.

Supplemental Materials

Albina Library RFQ Supplemental Materials


Krystal Perez’s Vibrant Caribbean Dreams Heat Up NE Portland in Fresh Paint Collaboration

Image Caption: Sueños Tropicales (2023) by Krystal Pérez. Photograph by the artist.

The mural is 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

PORTLAND, ORE. – October 17, 2023 A new mural by artist Krystal Pérez brings vibrant Caribbean imagery to a busy NE Portland thoroughfare. The mural, titled Sueños Tropicales, is the latest installment of Fresh Paint, an innovative public arts initiative from partners the Regional Arts & Culture Council and Open Signal. The public is invited to view it through April at Open Signal’s wall on NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, between Graham and Knott Streets.

Sueños Tropicales pays tribute to Perez’s ancestors as well as the flora and fauna of Cuba and Miami. The artwork, portrayed in vivid sunset hues, sets a dreamy scene where plants, wildlife, and culturally-significant objects create a connection between the past and the present. It celebrates the uniqueness of the Caribbean experience within Latine culture while inviting the viewer to explore and appreciate their own roots.

Krystal Pérez is a first-generation Cuban-American artist from Miami currently based in Portland. Her work celebrates Cuban heritage by emphasizing everyday experiences — cuisine, family life — as well as her memories of growing up in South Florida. This mural builds on her multimedia experience and unique approaches to color in a new exploration of scale and technique.

Sueños Tropicales is the twelfth installment in the Fresh Paint mural series, following previous works by artists including Rob Lewis, Zeinab Saab, Jose Valentine Ruiz, and others. Since 2017, this collaboration from the Regional Arts & Culture Council and Open Signal has supported emerging artists of color by offering a unique opportunity to showcase their talent in the public realm. Participating artists gain valuable professional experience and develop new skills for their artistic practice, leading to further public commissions.

“Each new Fresh Paint mural shows us that a personal work of art can speak to people across experiences and add to the character and feeling of a neighborhood,” said Daniela Serna, Open Signal’s Communications Manager and Fresh Paint facilitator. “By centering artists and investing in their stories, we hope to nurture a thriving and inclusive future for all Portlanders.”

See more from the artist at quasikrystal.art.

###

Contact

Daniela Serna, Communications Manager
Open Signal
daniela [at] opensignalpdx.org
(503) 288 – 1515 x931

Meech Boakye, Communications Lead
Regional Arts & Culture Council
mboakye [at] racc.org

About Open Signal

Open Signal is an equity-driven media arts center located in Northeast Portland, Oregon. The largest community media space in the Pacific Northwest, we offer production studios and equipment, workshops, artist fellowships, a cable and online broadcast platform, and a professional media production team. We focus on telling stories underrepresented in the mainstream media.

Learn more at opensignalpdx.org.

About the Regional Arts & Culture Council

An independent nonprofit organization, we support greater Portland’s creative economy by providing equitable funding and services to artists and art organizations; managing and growing our diverse, nationally acclaimed public art program; and developing long-lasting public and private partnerships.

For more information visit racc.org.

 


Request for Qualifications – PDX Terminal Redevelopment Public Art Project – International Arrivals

International Arrivals Art Wall

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.


Working Project Timeline

  • October 12, 4:00 pm (PST) – Information session on Zoom
  • November 13, 11:59pm (PST) – Application due date (Due Date Extended!) 
  • January 2024 – Artist selection for interview
  • January – February 2024 – Artist(s) site visits, interviews
  • Winter 2024 – Design Development
  • Spring 2024 – Spring 2025 – Fabrication
  • Summer 2025 – Installation Completion

*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.


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, security, and is renowned for its local restaurants, beverages, and retail offerings, as well as short films at no cost, rotating art exhibits, and permanent 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.

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 COVID-19 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 for 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 Program

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.
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.
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.

One 2D Artwork | International Arrivals

Budget: Not to Exceed $300,000

This is an opportunity for an artist or artist team to create a large scale, signature artwork that will be located on the deplaning level at the North end of baggage claim. This artwork will greet International arrival passengers as they enter the pre-security Terminal area. The wall will also be visibly prominent from the waiting lounge in this area.

This artwork will welcome passengers to Portland and be their first impression of PDX Airport and the City of Portland. This transition space will be a key gathering point for international passengers to meet family, friends, and colleagues. The wall for the artwork is 42 feet long and 8 feet tall. The artwork will be situated at the exit of an 18 foot wide corridor.

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

  • To be made of very durable materials work with an impactful international focus.
  • Build a connection between PDX airport and the World
  • Be impactful, iconic and provide wayfinding cues for travelers

The commission will be awarded to one artists or artist team, with a budget not to exceed $300,000, 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. 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), November 13 (Due Date Extended!) 

Applications must include the following:

  • 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 your experiences, artistic practice, or values 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

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

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

From these applicants, selected by the subcommittee, the Selection Committee will choose up to 4 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.
During the selection phase, no more than 4 finalists will be selected for the interview phase. Finalists are expected to attend a site visit and orientation session with ZGF and the Port of Portland. Each finalist/team will be paid a $5,000 honorarium to develop a proposal and will be reimbursed for travel expenses. Finalists will present their proposals in an interview format six to eight weeks from the site visit with the entire Art Committee. The proposal shall include: art concept, description of materials, manner of execution/installation, and proposed budget and timeline. At the interview visual representation of proposal and material samples should be provided.

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.

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.


Supporting RACC & Contacting Portland City Council

The recent announcement by City of Portland Commissioner Dan Ryan to discontinue its 28-year contract with the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) has ignited a passionate response within the creative community. RACC, a 501(c)(3) organization, has been a steadfast advocate for artists and creatives in the tri-county region, ensuring equitable access to funding, resources, and opportunities. This decision raises questions about the future of art and culture in our beloved city, and it’s essential that we rally together to ensure our artistic community remains vibrant and flourishing.

As we grapple with this decision, it’s important to remember that our collective voice can drive change. We have the power to advocate for artistic equity and ensure that RACC’s vital contributions continue to enrich the lives of countless individuals in our city. To that end, RACC has provided tools and templates for written and oral testimony that you can use to voice your support and concerns to City of Portland Commissioners.

Taking Action: Making Your Voice Heard
By utilizing the tools and templates provided by RACC, you can draft emails or letters to City of Portland Commissioners, expressing your views and urging them to reconsider the decision. Download the templates at the right, personalize them with your thoughts and experiences, and send them to the provided email or physical addresses. https://www.portland.gov/council-clerk/engage-council 

Email Council Members
Mayor Ted Wheeler: mayorwheeler@portlandoregon.gov
Commissioner Carmen Rubio Carmen.Rubio@portlandoregon.gov
Commissioner Dan Ryan Dan.Ryan@portlandoregon.gov
Commissioner Rene Gonzalez gonzalezoffice@portlandoregon.gov
Commissioner Mingus Mapps Mingus.Mapps@portlandoregon.gov

Submit Written Testimony
Written testimony may be submitted for specific agenda items by visiting the Council agenda or by mail to: Council Clerk, 1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 130, Portland, OR 97204. Written testimony is not read out loud into the record during the meeting.

councilclerk@portlandoregon.gov
Please submit written testimony by visiting the Council Agenda (testimony is not accepted by email).  Please call 503-823-4082
Reference: Engage with Council Page

Together, let’s paint a future where art knows no boundaries, where diverse voices are celebrated, and where creativity flourishes in every corner of our city. Through our collective efforts, we can ensure that RACC’s legacy endures, enriching our lives and those of future generations through the power of art and culture.

Here are other ways how you can make your voice heard and stand up for RACC’s important work:

Donate to Support RACC

Your financial support can make a tangible difference in sustaining RACC’s programs and initiatives. As a 501(c)(3) organization, RACC leverages public and private funding to champion artists and creatives. Your contribution ensures that their crucial work continues to flourish. Form can be found here.

Participate in City Council Meetings

City Council meetings offer a platform to share your thoughts and experiences. By providing written or oral testimony, you can influence the decision-making process and highlight the importance of RACC’s role in fostering artistic diversity and inclusion. RACC’s Advocacy Hub provides templates and tools to help you prepare effective testimony.

Arts Oversight Committee- Arts Education & Access Income Tax Fund

These meetings are open to the public and convene virtually. The committee is comprised of a group of Portland volunteers who are passionate about arts and culture in our community and work to ensure the AEAF monies are spent according to the ballot measure passed by the residents in the City of Portland in 2012. For more information go here.

Engage in Open Dialogue

Communication is key during this pivotal time. Please join us for our Community Engagement Series, happening now at various community spaces around the region. If you have questions, concerns, or insights regarding the situation, don’t hesitate to reach out to RACC at advocacy@racc.org. Your feedback and engagement are vital in shaping the direction of their advocacy efforts.

Apply for the Arts3C Grant

If you’re an artist or creative looking to contribute to the cultural landscape, consider applying for the Arts3C Grant. This grant program, now open for Fall 2023 applications, offers invaluable opportunities to bring your artistic visions to life and contribute to Portland’s thriving arts scene.

Shaping a Brighter Future for the Arts
As we stand united in support of RACC, we’re not only advocating for an organization; we’re advocating for the very heart and soul of our creative community. RACC’s dedication to equitable access, representation, and artistic enrichment has transformed countless lives and empowered artists to express themselves authentically.

 


OPB’s Think Out Loud captures RACC response to City Defunding Announcement

By Josué Rivas

Uniting in Support of RACC: Advocating for Artistic Equity in Portland

The recent announcement by City of Portland Commissioner Dan Ryan to discontinue its 28-year contract with the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) has sparked concern and uncertainty within the creative community. RACC, a 501(c)(3) organization, has been a steadfast advocate for artists and creatives in the tri-county region, ensuring equitable access to funding and resources. RACC’s leadership recently had the opportunity to discuss this development on today’s edition (7/27/23) of Think Out Loud, shedding light on the crucial role they play in promoting artistic diversity and inclusion in Portland and tri-county region.

Carol Tatch, RACC Co-Executive Director, and Debby Garman, RACC Board Interim Chair and Treasurer spoke with Dave Miller regarding the recent announcement. Thank you for your support for RACC! Listen to the full recording here.

How you can support RACC:

As we face this challenging moment, there are numerous ways we can stand in solidarity with RACC and support their mission. Donating to RACC is an impactful way to contribute to their efforts in advocating for artistic equity. Your support will help sustain their vital programs and initiatives, ensuring artists and creatives have the resources they need to thrive.

  • Support RACC! We are a 501(c)(3) committed to ensuring equitable access to funding and advocacy for artists and creatives in the tri-county region. Donate here.
  • Testify at City Council meetings (tools and templates for written and oral testimony and letters to City of Portland Commissioners is available on our Advocacy Hub.
  • Let us know how you feel! Please send any inquiries to advocacy@racc.org.
  • Apply for a Grant! The Arts3C Grant application process for Fall 2023 has opened!

Committed to serving our Arts and Culture Community!

RACC remains committed to serving our Arts and Culture Community!

On Friday, the late afternoon of July 21st, RACC leadership received news regarding the pending cessation of our contract with the City of Portland as of June 30, 2024. We were not surprised, yet disappointed that this news was shared without discussion given our 28-year long partnership with the City of Portland. Since Friday, there have been a number of articles that point to a city and RACC collaboration; however, RACC is not aware of any type of plan.

To our Portland community, we are looking forward to continuing our work with you. RACC is a nonprofit with a mission to ensure that there is access to arts and culture in every community. You are allies for our work and you have a voice and a say in how your tax dollars are spent. RACC continues to be a great investment as our processes are transparent for the allocation of grant and award dollars, they are informed by community at every opportunity, and we live in the practice of centering equity in our decision making. Help us tell our story to Portland City Council by telling your story.

To the wider community we serve across all three counties, and for creatives across the nation who have been impacted by our programs that include an internationally lauded Public Art program and an equity-centered Grants program, know that the RACC Team and board of directors is here to support you. For our local, state, and national partners, we will continue to engage with you, ensuring the mission and vision of RACC, and our community, continue to be paramount in our work. As people, we connect through our cultures and the art that is expressed from that space. As community, we share understanding and thoughtful engagement. These points of connection help us through each day and ensure that we are aware of each other—doing right by each other. RACC will continue to do right by you. It is our promise. Join with us to tell your RACC story at advocacy@racc.org. We will provide other ways to support RACC in the coming days.

RACC has represented community since its founding in 1995 and the creation of an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) that named RACC as the local arts agency for Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington Counties, Metro, and the City of Portland. RACC, as a non-profit, is able to leverage local and national government funding, as well as private funding, to ensure that our community is has dollars invested in its creative people and arts/culture-serving organizations. We know that the creative sector is an economic driver for any community, and we look forward to reporting the results of the latest Arts and Economic Prosperity (AEP6) survey in the next few months for ours. Past Portland civic leaders understood the importance of a collaborative, independent partner in the arts advancing equitable initiatives to support community. They expressly worked to ensure that RACC continued to meet the needs of community and continued to serve as a counterpoint to inequitable funding practices and inadequate community engagement. Thank you for supporting artists and creatives to spark change and healing in our communities.


Multnomah County Library and Regional Arts & Culture Council announce community artists as part of wide-reaching public art commissions

Immediate Release

May 22, 2023

Artists bring community-centered approach to their artwork across libraries

PORTLAND, Ore. —Multnomah County Library (MCL) and Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) are teaming up to bring artwork to libraries throughout Multnomah County. This effort is part of the voter-approved 2020 Library building bond which will build, rebuild or expand nine library buildings while providing smaller upgrades to 11 libraries as part of the Refresh projects. Since the bond passed, Multnomah County Library has been hard at work on major updates, with the Operations Center and Holgate and Midland libraries leading the way as some of the first projects.

Public art for the community

As part of these updates, local artists are creating unique installations at each of these sites that represent the community’s history, culture and diversity.

“At the center of these new libraries is the belief that beauty and transformative spaces should be accessible for everyone,” said Vailey Oehlke, Director of Libraries. “Working with the Regional Arts and Culture Council offers an opportunity to bring the library, community and artists together in a vibrant way to ensure these new library spaces are not just functional for everyone, but also beautiful and inspiring.”

This artwork is developed in coordination with the Regional Arts & Culture Council through the Multnomah County Percent for Art Program, allotting 2% of the construction budget for all county-funded improvement projects toward the investment in public art. Artists are awarded projects as part of a robust public process, which includes selection panels led by local residents, business owners, artists, library staff and project partners.

The first library buildings to plan for public art include the Operations Center. As the heart of the library, it’s where every item placed on hold is sorted in addition to being the first stop for new books and materials. Plus, items for outreach to schools, shelters and more will be centered here. On July 6, 2022, the library broke ground on the Operations Center on the site of a former Safeway grocery store (221 NE 122nd Ave, Portland, OR 97230). This 73,000 square foot building is scheduled to open in late 2023.

Holgate Library will be a brand new two-story building, triple the size of the current space for a total of 21,000 square feet. It will be one of the largest libraries in Multnomah County. To begin on this new building, Holgate Library closed to begin construction on December 5, 2022 and will reopen in 2024.

Midland Library will undergo important renovations and an expansion to add 6,000 square feet of space, or an increase of about 25 percent. To complete these exciting upgrades, Midland Library closed to begin construction on December 23, 2022 and will reopen in 2024.

Thanks to feedback from members of the community, exciting new features at Holgate and Midland will include:

  • Outdoor spaces for community connection.
  • Large play and learning spaces for children.
  • Teen rooms with space for technology, homework and creative expression.
  • Art that represents diverse cultures.

Community artists representing community vision

Community engagement is a core value for the building projects. Selection panels prioritized artists with demonstrated experience and expressed interest in embedding community into their practice and work. Most artists selected for these projects are expected to create and host community engagement opportunities as part of their design phase. Some of these arts-focused events have already taken place and more are on their way in the coming months.

“We are immensely grateful for our continued partnerships with other community-centered, value-aligned organizations such as Multnomah County Library. RACC and MCL are prioritizing equity, accessibility, community, and innovation within our approaches to these significant projects. The expansive nature of libraries and the creativity with which MCL is approaching the library building improvements align well for the inclusion of public art. Providing opportunities for artistic growth is integral to our mission, as is the development, strengthening, and expansion of our arts and culture ecosystem. We are committed to centering the creativity and prosperity of artists and communities who, historically, have not been represented in the cultural fabric of this region. We are thrilled with the artists who have been selected by the community panels and extend our gratitude to all those working to bring these artworks into being,” said Carol Tatch, Co-Executive Director & Chief of External Operations, Regional Arts & Culture Council.

 

Meet the artists

Operations Center: Exterior entrance

A new, large-scale, 2-dimensional permanent exterior artwork at the Operations Center entrance will be created by artist Tenya Rodriguez (they/them). The site-specific original artwork will greet staff and visitors alike with vibrant colors and energy as they enter the new building, which is considered the heart of the library system. The artwork will also be visible to vehicular and pedestrian traffic along NE 122nd Avenue, capturing the attention of those who pass by. Tenya is a queer, Latinx, self-taught artist whose practice centers on mark-making and layering as a way to communicate through experimental expressionism. Instagram: @tenyarodriguez

Midland Library: Exterior canopy

As part of the overall building renovation, Midland Library will acquire a new entry canopy, framing the redesigned entrance and exterior public plaza. The underside of the canopy, spanning the width of the building, will feature artwork by local artists Lillyanne Pham (LP) and Paola De La Cruz (she/her). Lillyanne is a second-generation Vietnamese artist and cultural organizer who creates through a systemic consciousness framework and lens, specifically place-based justice and racial equity. Paola, originally from the Dominican Republic, interweaves digital and analog media, patterns, stitching and shape-based illustrations to evoke intimacy while challenging the themes of cultural identity, coming of age and interpersonal growth. Together, Lillyanne and Paola conceive and actualize socially engaged projects which blend one another’s strengths, passions and creativity. Instagram: @happynappystudio / @lillyannepham / @paola.lillyanne

Midland Library: Gathering Circle

Kanani Miyamoto (she/her) has been selected to create an original 2-dimensional wall-mounted artwork which will frame Midland Library’s interior Gathering Circle, a communal seating area that encourages and fosters connection. The artwork will be located directly across from the new main entry doors and will be one of the first things visible as people arrive at the library. Kanani is a practicing artist, curator, adjunct instructor and teacher whose work focuses on sharing and celebrating her unique mixed heritage in the hopes of representing her community and the beauty of intersectional identities. Through Kanani’s community-centered work she brings awareness to the damaging effects of capitalism and settler colonialism on Pacific Island people and land. Instagram: @mamakanani

Holgate Library: Interior/exterior wall

The Interior/Exterior Wall public art project at Holgate Library is multi-dimensional in name and practice. Salomée Souag’s (she/her) artwork will be etched onto exterior panels of the building’s façade creating a permanent sculptural drawing on the outside. Elements of these exterior panels will be replicated inside along the full length of the ground floor lobby wall as part of a large-scale, site-specific, 2-dimensional digital mural. Salomée is a muralist, designer and creative from Switzerland who holds her Peruvian and Algerian ancestors closer to her heart, her community and her work. In her consistent and continuous evolution and artistic practice, she creates revolutionary work to give power to the people, youth and artists. Salomée’s bold and powerful work encourages everyone to break down boundaries and borders and to imagine expression. Instagram: @c.hroma

Holgate Library: Exterior site enclosure

Arts activist Crystal Meneses (she/her) will be creating a 2-dimensional wall-mounted artwork for Holgate Library’s Exterior Site Enclosure. The artwork will wrap the enclosure, creatively anchoring the north entry outdoor patio. Located between the new library and the new parking lot, the artwork will be highly visible from SE 79th Avenue as people arrive at the library. In addition, the artwork will act as the backdrop to ground floor flex spaces that will be used by library staff and patrons for classes and events. Crystal creates from a communal perspective, centering connection and relationship and ensuring inclusion. Her mission is to inspire arts activism in the community while supporting others in discovering their passions and talents. Crystal’s expansive approach and ability to cultivate community is, in itself, a work of art. At the heart of everything Crystal generates is the desire to elevate collective healing, particularly amongst marginalized communities. Instagram: @crystalakinsmeneses

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Regional Arts & Culture Council – Our Continued Commitment to Community

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 25, 2023

PORTLAND, OREGON: On Monday, May 22, 2023 RACC received an email from the City Arts Program Manager announcing the development of the City of Portland’s own arts and culture program to be completed by June 2024. RACC entered into its partnership with the City of Portland in 1995 via a region-wide intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas County, and Metro and the City of Portland). Though we were not made aware of these specific changes ahead of time, RACC has seen a growing divestment in equity-driven arts and culture engagement by the City of Portland since the fall of 2020.  

At this time, RACC does not have any more information than what has been released. It is our request and expectation that as the region’s contracted arts and culture agency, we will be invited into these conversations around the arts and cultural ecosystem in our community. We have a  deep experience working with, and for, the residents of Portland as well as City employees and elected officials.  

The City-led effort to assess the current state of the needs of our region for arts and culture continues with  community engagement sessions for the Our Creative Future cultural planning process is ongoing. The external partners for this process are the Cultural Planning Group from San Diego and the Metropolitan Group from Portland. This analysis and report is expected to be completed by the end of the year. RACC is the arts and culture advocate and funder that was created by the community for the community. RACC has been an integral part of ensuring access for those in the creative field since our inception and for the past 50 years. As a BIPOC-led organization we will continue to  adhere to our core values of equity, access, and inclusion. 

We want our community to know that we are committed to ensuring a thriving region for engagement and celebration of cultural diversity and artistic expression. Thank you for your commitment to RACC and your support for our mission and vision. 

 

Media Contact:

Communications Team, Regional Arts & Culture Council, comms@racc.org