Unveiling and Dedication of “Noble Architect” on NE Alberta Street

WHO: Noble Architect by artists Ruth Frances Greenberg and David Laubenthal

WHAT: Sculpture Unveiling

WHEN: Friday, December 14, 2012 at 3:30pm

WHERE: Corner of NE Alberta Street at 18th

NOTES: Artists Ruth Frances Greenberg and David Laubenthal conceived of the sculpture to “mirror the ebullient, raw and wonderful vigor of nature as well as our relationship to it.” Many different species of animals inhabited and thrived in this area before it was settled as the Portland we know. One of the abundant animals was the beaver. Its pose is dignified and vaguely humanized, standing on its stump, at just over six feet tall. This artwork was selected by a local panel of artists and citizens, and will become part of the City of Portland’s Public Art Collection, administered by the Regional Arts & Culture Council.

Refreshments to follow at Alberta Main Street, just next door.

LINKS: The Unveiling


“all the art that fits” returns to the Portland Building Installation Space

It is that time of year again; the annual City and County employee exhibition in the lobby of the Portland Building opens on Tuesday, December 4th and runs through the holiday season. This “salon style” exhibition, open to all current City or County employees, is a yearly favorite and is anxiously awaited by regular visitors to the Portland Building. All types of creative work are represented in the unique show, from quirky to thoughtful, from elegant and beautiful to amusingly odd. The exhibition will run through January 8, 2013. 

Only original artwork created by current employees of the City or County is eligible. The exhibition is non-juried—all the artwork submitted will be installed, hung wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling. For those eligible and interested in participating, submissions must be dropped off Tuesday, December 4th, between 8:00 and 10:00 am, to the Portland Building lobby located at 1120 SW 5th Ave. between SW Main and SW Madison.

For further information please see the exhibition guidelines on the RACC website below.

Viewing Hours & Location: The exhibition is free and open to the public 7 am to 6 pm, Monday – Friday. The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland.

Linda Hutchins presents “Apart, Along, Together” at the Portland Building Installation Space, 10/22-11/16

Project Background: Using silverpoint to document gesture and movement, artist Linda Hutchins will bring a performance created specifically for the Installation Space to the Portland Building the week of October 22nd. Silverpoint is an old master drawing technique in which actual silver is drawn on a prepared surface much as we apply graphite to paper today. Linda Hutchins uses silver to create wall drawings that echo and record her drawing gestures. For this performance she will wear silver thimbles on all her fingers, and will strike and stroke the walls with both hands at once. In repeated short bursts, her hands will draw apart, along and together, gestures she likens to three choices about how to act in the world. Each gesture can be read by the mark it leaves behind and the completed wall drawings will remain on view after the performance. This unique performance/ installation has been created with the lobby of the Portland Building in mind, a place where people of all ages and backgrounds go about their daily lives apart, along, and together with each other.

Drawing performances will occur between noon and 1:00 pm Monday, October 22nd through Wednesday, October 24th. The completed set of drawings will be on view through November 16th.

About the Artist: Linda Hutchins lives and works in Portland, Oregon, where she earned her BFA in Drawing from Pacific Northwest College of Art. Before attending art school, she received a BSE in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan and wrote operating system software for Intel Corporation. Hutchins was recently awarded Career Opportunity Grants from both the Oregon Arts Commission and The Ford Family Foundation, and has received two fellowships from the Oregon Arts Commission and grants from the Regional Arts & Culture Council. She was awarded the Jurors’ Prize for her wall drawing in the Tacoma Art Museum’s 2009 Northwest Biennial, and her work has been exhibited internationally.

Viewing Hours & Location: 7 am to 6 pm, Monday – Friday. The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland.  For more information on the Portland Building Installation Space series including images, proposals and statements for all the installations since 1994, go to www.racc.org/installationspace.

“Project Everyone” comes to the Portland Building Installation Space through October 12, 2012

Project Background: Project Everyone is an ongoing video series with the lofty goal of interviewing every person on earth. Creators Stephen Kurowski & Marina Tait bring their open interview station to the Portland Building lobby where they will conduct ten minute interview sessions with volunteer participants. Each interviewee is prompted by the same set of eight questions which range from mundane to esoteric. The edited video, reduced to less than five minutes, is then played back when the recording sessions are done. The Project Everyone interviews, which champion the significance of the everyday, have proven to be oddly addictive. Without a hint of Hollywood or Reality TV, the earnestness of the average person proves both captivating and refreshing.

Project Everyone
Interview Schedule at the Portland Building
1120 SW 5th Avenue:
Mondays: noon to 2pm
Wednesdays: 1pm to 3pm
Fridays: noon to 2pm

Drop-ins are welcome and other times are available by special arrangement. All those who might be interested are encouraged to drop by any time to watch and learn more about the project and the interview questions. Past interviews can be viewed online at http://projecteveryone.wordpress.com.

About the Artists: Marina Tait is a filmmaker and editor who thrives on artistic collaboration. She has contributed to numerous film and video projects over the past 15 years in Portland and Los Angeles. She enjoys listening to other people’s stories. Stephen Kurowski is a multidisciplinary artist whose previous works include short fiction, screen plays, children’s stories, painting, sculpture, photography, and most predominantly motion picture production and post-production. The pair has collaborated on a number of projects ranging from documentaries, to personal family histories, to underground short films.

Viewing Hours & Location: 7 am to 6 pm, Monday – Friday. The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland.

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

See previous interviews from Project Everyone

Carolyn from Project Everyone on Vimeo.

“Selected works from the Visual Chronicle of Portland” on view at Powell’s

Starting this week, the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) is presenting Selections of the Visual Chronicle of Portland at the Basil Hallward Gallery at Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W. Burnside in Portland. This exhibition, featuring 25 works from the collection, has been curated by Marci Macfarlane. An opening reception is scheduled for Thursday, September 6 from 6:00 – 8:30pm in the Gallery. The show runs to October 1.

About the collection: The Visual Chronicle of Portland is a City-owned collection of works on paper— prints, photographs, paintings and drawings—that focuses on artists’ views of the Portland’s social and urban landscapes. The intent of the collection is to capture the zeitgeist, or spirit of the times, as our city evolves and changes. It is both an eclectic view of life in Portland as well as a record of artists working in the city. Currently there are 280 works by more than 160 artists in the collection.

Viewing Hours: On view during regular business hours, 9am-11pm, seven days a week at Basil Hallward Gallery, Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, Portland, Oregon 97209.

For more information, including links to images, visit www.racc.org/public-art/visual-chronicle.

Bold new public art projects now underway on Portland’s east side

Artists have begun creating three new large-scale public artworks in Portland, funded through the 2% for art ordinance as part of the Eastside Portland Streetcar expansion. Artist Jorge Pardo is creating a sculptural shelter at Broadway and Weidler, and Lead Pencil Studiois creating a pair of sculptures on Grand Avenue near the on-ramps for the Hawthorne and Morrison Bridges.

An eccentrically-shaped art shelter (at right), created by Jorge Pardo, will feature a “rain on the outside, sunshine on the inside” experience for waiting streetcar passengers. Fabricated of steel, wood and fiberglass, the new shelter measures 35’ long by 18’ wide by 16’ tall. The multi-faceted structure will include over 300 individual panels in shades of gray on the exterior, with warm hues of orange and red on the inside. Ultimately, it will shelter passengers north of the Rose Quarter in a highly visible and fantastically colorful way. Los Angeles based Pardo was the recipient of a 2010 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship; this is his first municipal project in the United States.

Inversion: Plus Minus (below) is a set of towering site-specific sculptures created by artists/architects Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo of Lead Pencil Studio. Using weathered steel angle iron, the artists are presenting “ghosts” of former buildings at two similar sites along SE Grand Avenue. One site, at Hawthorne Boulevard, will feature a matrix of metal that almost appears as a solid building. The second, at Belmont Street, will render an enclosure around the perimeter of a “building,” emphasizing the negative space of the subject. In the artists’ words, “The sculptures reference the outer shells of ordinary industrial buildings found in the Central Eastside Industrial Area like those that once existed on the project sites.”


Construction on Inversion Plus Minus continues as weather permits, and the sculptures are scheduled to be completed by summer.

Lead Pencil Studio, based in Seattle, has strong Oregon connections. The artists have taken up local residence and rented a fabrication shop for the duration of this project. Han is a graduate of David Douglas High School, and both Han and Mihalyo are alumni of the University of Oregon School of Architecture & Allied Arts. The artists received the 2007-08 Rome Prize for Architecture from the American Academy in Rome.

These public artworks, managed by RACC and selected by a panel of local artists and community members, will be completed by the end of the calendar year. To arrange a site visit and/or interview with the artists, contact Kristin Calhoun at 503-823-5401 or kcalhoun@racc.org.


The Oregonian article (12/12/12) Southeast Portland bridge sculptures are designed to evoke central eastside industrial district’s past
The Oregonian article (11/30/12) Solving the mystery of the Hawthorne Bridge ‘thingy’
Jorge Pardo 
Lead Pencil Studio National Endowment for the Arts article 

Pardo Art Shelter concept

Historic monuments scheduled for maintenance

Funding from the Oregon Cultural Trust will help RACC restore three significant sculptures in Portland’s public art collection

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) has received a $5,000 Cultural Development Grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust to support general restoration of three key historic monuments in the City of Portland’s public art collection: George Washington (located at NE Sandy & Alameda), Sacajawea and Jean-Baptiste (Washington Park) and Portlandia (Portland Building).

The grant will help underwrite primary conservation treatments for George Washington and Sacajawea and Jean-Baptiste, including:

  • removal of built-up oxidation on their bronze surfaces;
  • hot-wax treatment to control future oxidation;
  • cleaning of monuments bases and pedestals.
  • Portlandia—the second largest hammered copper sculpture in the U.S. behind only the Statue of Liberty—will receive a complete condition assessment along with an inspection of its internal steel frame and mounts to assess the accumulation of guano and other grime due to bird infestation.

This project is supported in part by a grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust: Oregonians sustaining, developing and participating in our arts, heritage and humanities. Keith Lachowicz, RACC’s public art collections manager, thanked the Trust for their support. “Caring for these large scale works requires a significant investment each year, and maintenance funds were never set aside for older monuments that were grandfathered into the collection,” he said. “This year’s conservation grant from the Trust will help ensure that more expensive treatments are not required in the future.”

RACC will work with Robert Krueger, Object Conservator & Proprietor of Cascadia Art Conservation Center, to perform the restorations. The total cost of the maintenance work is expected to be $12,337, and the restorations will be completed by April of 2013.


The George Washington Monument in NE Portland. A grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust will help RACC restore areas where the elements worn away the statue’s protective wax coating.

Oxidation of Sacajawea’s bronze surface is beginning to take hold on the hand and face.

Oxidation of Sacajawea’s bronze surface is beginning to take hold on the hand and face.

The last large scale cleaning of Portlandia was completed in 2006

The last large scale cleaning of Portlandia was completed in 2006

Portland will add six new public art murals to its collection this summer

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

Rosewood-Cafe-Muralwide(400)_1Rosewood Initiative – Antwoine Thomas, Artist 

16150 SE Stark St (south wall of Union 76 Gas Station); RACC Funding: $3,000; 14’H x 46’L

Photo: Courtesy of RACC

In developing this fantastical design for a mural in the Rosewood Neighborhood, Antwoine Thomas, with the assistance and support of Addie Boswell, began collaborating months ago with local residents through The Rosewood Initiative community meetings and activities like Youth Night to create a design that represents the positive change occurring in the neighborhood. Throughout the energetic mural one can identify recognizable elements from Rosewood including roses, community gardens, diversity, and local businesses. There are also elements that link the neighborhood to the greater Portland metro area, honoring some of the neighborhoods from which many residents have relocated. While the mural contains these true elements, the design is also highly detailed and fantastical, meant to entice the senses and invite the eye to linger and keep discovering.

A celebration is scheduled for Saturday, August 11th, 1:00-4:00PM.



Photo: Courtesy of RACC

Keller Auditorium – Una Kim and Students from Portland State University
222 SW Clay; RACC Funding: $3200; 18’H x 108’L

Over the last few weeks, Korean-American artist, Una Kim, has been feverishly working on a mural on the east wall of the Keller Auditorium with the assistance of students from Portland State University who enrolled in a class to specifically work on this project. The mural is located on the bottom half of the east facing wall of the Keller Auditorium along SW 2nd Street between SW Clay and SW Columbia. The design is influenced and inspired by such works as Degas’ ballerinas, Mary Cassatt’s At the Opera, and Dufy’s The Yellow Violin. Also included are a modern dancer, two musicians in an orchestra, and a jazz musician along with an acrobat to represent the large scope of the theater.

According to Kim, the mural serves three main goals: (1) as a Korean-American female artist, she wishes to be a role model to all students including those with different backgrounds; (2) the mural is a teaching tool on the creative process of designing and painting murals in the public sector while collaborating with other artists in the public sector; (3) providing a gift to the public. In Kim’s words, “It is clear to me that murals can inspire and uplift.”

A celebration is scheduled for Friday, August 17th, 6:00 – 8:00 PM (on SW 2nd)



Photo: Courtesy of SpaceCraft Mission to the Arts

Albina Maintenance Yard Building – Spacecraft Mission to the Arts
3150 N. Mississippi Ave.; RACC Funding: $10,000; 14’H x 177’L

Over the last several months, a mural has begun to take shape along the west side of the City’s Albina Yard Maintenance Building. Throughout the design development, community engagement has been the driving force—the Boise Neighborhood Association, community members, and the maintenance workers have all contributed their voices as to how they want themselves and their neighborhood depicted. More than a way to deter graffiti, it is a powerful, collaborative, self-reflective vision of the neighborhood created by those who live in it. The mural embraces a theme of “perpetual collaboration” through time. Community practices and industries that affected the local Portland-Albina neighborhood can be found among the local mountains, bridges, gardens, parks, icons of communities, and city workers behind the scenes that keep the city functioning. Included are symbols of the neighborhoods’ transitions of communities from the Native American, Volga German, Finn, Chinese, and African American communities. You can follow the project on https://www.facebook.com/spacecraft.missiontoarts.


Photo: Courtesy of RACC

The People’s History of Hawthorne – Artist, Chris Haberman
Fraternal Order of Eagles, SE 50th & Hawthorne; RACC Funding $2,400; 10’H x 150’L

Work continues on this ambitious mural that extends along the north and west walls of the building that serves as the Portland headquarters for the Fraternal Order of Eagles. The mural’s theme, “The History of Hawthorne” – or the “people’s history” — celebrates this SE neighborhood, located between an extinct volcano (Mt. Tabor) and the 100 year old Hawthorne Bridge, both components of his design. Scattered throughout the mural are notable historical figures (such as Dr. Hawthorne), the asylum, pioneers, the street car line and the always changing figures that have been part of Hawthorne for 100 years. It is Haberman’s first mural grant and he is “very proud to have such a piece of art in public view and to have so much support for my crazy looking art in the city.” A celebration was held on July 1st. The west wall will be completed late summer/early fall.


Photo: Courtesy of artist (proposed mural)

Alberta Street Crossing – Loey Hargrove, Artist
4824 and 4905 NE 42nd Avenue; RACC Funding: $3,000; 11’H x 77’W and 13’H x 50’W

Finishing touches are underway on a pair of twin murals at NE 42nd & Alberta. Members of 42MSC began working on the project at the Alberta Court Crossing — one on the north-facing wall of the Morel Ink Building and another on the south-facing wall of Doggy Business. The murals aspire to invoke community through a “Tree of Life’ theme symbolizing process, change, the continuity and connectivity of life. Words submitted by members of the surrounding neighborhoods are being added to the mural and are intended to reinforce the symbiotic relationship between the commercial district and area residents.


Photo: Courtesy of artist (proposed mural)

Lutz Building – Mike Lawrence, Artist
4625-4639 SE Woodstock Blvd; RACC Funding: $6,000; 15’H x 60’L

This proposed mural is situated centrally in the Woodstock Neighborhood and is highly visible from the street. The mural aims to highlight the best of the neighborhood and instill a sense of community pride. Local artist Mike Lawrence designed a mural for the building’s west wall that celebrates commerce, education and the outdoors. The Lutz tavern wall that will host the mural is divided into three sections, as is the mural. A strong central figure grounds each section. Each figure is adorned with symbols of Greek Gods that represent the theme of each section. The project is still fundraising and hopes to begin the project next Spring.

For more information and a copy of the mural program guidelines, visit www.racc.org/public-art.