Portland Building Installation Space: Artist Alex Luboff’s pipeline installation: November 14 – December 9

Beginning November 14th artist Alex Luboff will offer visitors to the Portland Building a timely reminder of how the development of extractive energy infrastructure is confronting communities in Oregon and across the continent. His series of hand-crafted wooden pipelines, unavoidable as they cleave and intersect the exhibition space, can be seen as craft objects, or as a design composition, but the impression of the imposing physical presence that pipelines represent in our landscape is unavoidable.

Luboff’s project examines the physical, metaphorical, and systemic obstructions dealt to nature and society by the continued expansion of extractive energy infrastructure through the metaphor of “pipeline.” Projects ranging from the Keystone XL pipeline, the proposed LNG terminal in Coos Bay, and the current face-off over construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline are just a few of the growing number of energy infrastructure projects with the potential to significantly alter our surroundings and force communities into confrontation with government, industry, and their fellow citizens. As Luboff puts it “As a systemic obstruction these infrastructure projects reinforce a value system that may not prioritize a sustainable vision for humanity and the planet.”

The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland. The exhibition is free and open to the public from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday. For more information on the Portland Building Installation Space series, including images, proposals, and statements for all projects dating back to 1994, visit http://racc.org/installationspace

Light a Fire Award: George Thorn

Eloise’s Blog:

The Regional Arts & Culture Council heartily congratulates George Thorn for receiving a Light a Fire Lifetime Achievement Award from Portland Monthly. George has been the quiet force of wisdom and advice for countless arts organizations in our community for many years. Happily for us after working all around the country with his partner in Arts Action Research he settled here. He is essentially a part of the RACC family shepherding our Cultural Leadership Program, which helps many arts organizations large and small every year with all kinds of arts management challenges. I compare his work to that of a therapist, listening to leaders articulate the problems they have identified and then talking through how best to address and resolve them. And these invaluable services come at no charge to the arts non-profits.

George also teaches the Art of Leadership, a program RACC inherited when Business for Culture and the Arts closed last summer. This series of classes trains business and other professionals in all aspects of serving on non-profit boards with a focus on arts & culture organizations.

When people ask how Portland has developed such a vibrant arts community part of the answer is certainly George Thorn. We are so lucky that he landed in our midst. Congratulations George!

Read: How George Thorn Guides Portland Arts Organizations to Sustainability

Coming to the Portland Building Installation Space: Our annual Día de los Muertos installation, October 19 to November 4

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Unidos Latinos Americanos (ULA) will present a Día de los Muertos installation in the exhibition space adjacent to the Portland Building lobby starting October 19th.

Día De Los Muertos is a national holiday in Mexico and is now celebrated widely throughout Latin America, the U.S., and beyond. In keeping with the holiday’s tradition of remembering and celebrating the lives of loved ones who have passed on, ULA will build their Día De Los Muertos ofrenda (altar) in the center of the space and surround it with a  cascade of vibrant handmade paper flowers. The ofrenda will also include photos, objects, and food & drink favored by loved ones. Visitors will be invited to participate in the celebration by submitting images of their loved ones to be added to the display.

Unidos Latinos Americanos is an affinity group of City employees committed to developing a Latino professional network, to promoting professional advancement, and to strengthening community inclusiveness though public outreach. The exhibition opens on October 19th and runs through mid-day of November 4th.

The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland. The exhibition is free and open to the public from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday. For more information on the Portland Building Installation Space, including images, proposals, and statements for all projects dating back to 1994, visit http://racc.org/installationspace

Night Lights to appear over NW Glisan Street on First Thursdays

Local artists will project large-scale media works outdoors each month through April

PORTLAND, ORE – Night Lights, a monthly public art event, begins its second year of urban intervention on Thursday, October 6. Every First Thursday through April 2017, local artists and art students will claim public space at NW Park Avenue at Glisan Street, broadcasting their digital media work on the north wall of the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) offices after dark.

Night Lights is a unique collaboration between RACC’s public art program and Portland Community Media (PCM). Now in its second season, participating artists were selected through an open call and a community panel process, and will receive a stipend for their participation. Presentations will include large-format projections, and, in some cases, live performance.

The full Night Lights schedule appears below, showcasing a different artist or university each month. The first installment, on October 6, features artist Renee Sills who will orchestrate a video dance party, in which attendees will learn dance moves from instructional YouTube videos. In January, members of the public are invited to BYOB (Bring Your Own Beamer), that is, to bring their own projector and media project to share.

As part of this year’s series, Kalimah Abioto was selected as an artist-in-residence. Abioto will work on-site at Portland Community Media for three months, using PCM’s state-of-the-art media equipment and production studios to develop a new work to premier at Night Lights on March 2, 2017.

Night Lights schedule


Regional Arts & Culture Council, exterior north wall
411 NW Park Avenue @ Glisan Street, Portland
First Thursdays, October 2016 – April 2017
Dusk – 9:00pm

Thursday, October 6, 2106
Renee Sills

Thursday, November 3, 2016
Arianna Gazca

Thursday, December 1, 2016
Portland Community College

Thursday, January 5, 2017
BYOB (Bring Your Own Beamer)

Thursday, February 2, 2017
Laura Heit

Thursday, March 2, 2017
Kalimah Abioto (Artist in residence)

Thursday, April 6, 2017
Portland State University

Learn more about Night Lights at nightlightspdx.tumblr.com


The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) provides grants for artists, nonprofit organizations and schools in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts through Work for Art; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and oversees a program to integrate arts and culture into the standard curriculum in public schools through The Right Brain Initiative. RACC values a diversity of artistic and cultural experiences and is working to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity and the arts. For more information visit racc.org.

For over 35 years, Portland Community Media (PCM) has empowered our community to make effective use of media for civic participation, creative expression and cultural exchange. Through media production resources, education programs, community development initiatives and a robust distribution platform, PCM helps artists, nonprofits, community groups and government agencies explore the frontier where story and technology meet. Learn more about pcmtv.org.

Coming to the Portland Building Installation Space: “The Bridge, 1910,” an installation by Benz and Chang, September 19 – October 14.

The artists known as Benz and Chang will present a site-specific installation in the Portland Building lobby starting September 19th. The project, titled The Bridge, 1910, is a visual homage to the work crews that built the Hawthorne Bridge, Portland’s oldest existing river crossing.

Inspired by a historical photo Benz discovered in the City of Portland Archives, the installation recreates a bridge work crew scene through a series of four large paper screens hung in the exhibition space. Each individual screen contains a hand-cut silhouette which offers a layer of visual information. Viewed together, the silhouettes complete and frame the scene into a recognizable archetypal representation of the building of a bridge. By adjusting position in front of or alongside the silhouettes, viewers can alter their angle of view and manipulate the degree of abstraction or representation they take in.

The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland. The exhibition is free and open to the public from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday. For more information on the Portland Building Installation Space series, including images, proposals, and statements for all projects dating back to 1994, visit http://racc.org/installationspace.

Coming to the Portland Building Installation Space: Bukola Koiki’s “JJC (Journey Just Come)”

Bukola Koiki’s JJC (Journey Just Come) will be at the Portland Building Installation Space from August 15 through September 9, 2016.

This  installation is aimed at exploring the immigrant experience through the specific linguistic phenomena of the patois, slang and vernacular that is inherent in navigating the spaces between and within disparate cultures. The artist explains, “As a Nigerian-American immigrant myself, I am particularly interested in pidgin, which is a grammatically simplified means of communication that develops between two or more groups that do not have a language in common…In Nigeria, a country of over 500 known languages, communication can be truly daunting at times.”

To explore this idea of communication and miscommunication, the artist will fill the Installation Space with a profusion of  brightly colored flags that will showcase Pidgin English sayings extracted from the local language in Lagos, Nigeria.

Viewing Hours & Location: The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland and is open 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday. JJC (Journey Just Come) opens August 15 and runs through September 9, 2016.

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

Fond Farewells

Eloise Blog: 

RACC staff and board are sad to say goodbye to three immensely talented staffers who have recently left for other opportunities. Each has made significant contributions to their respective positions and to the organization’s cultural fabric. We also are saying farewell to two wonderful Board members who have termed out after 6 full years of serving on RACC’s Board of Directors.

Andre Middleton was hired in the fall of 2014  as our Community Service Coordinator to support RACC’s outreach and technical services. He designed and managed the annual series of professional development workshops, which provide artists with valuable tools to improve their business skills. Andre also was in charge of ArtSpark networking events, which bring artists and arts enthusiasts together at venues around the city to meet each other and learn about activities and opportunities across Portland’s vital arts community. Andre’s commitment to furthering RACC’s equity and inclusion efforts together with his infectious love for his work and all that RACC does made him a delightful addition to our team.

Rebecca Burrell came to RACC in 2009 to be Outreach Specialist for the Right Brain Initiative, RACC’s 8 year old program that integrates the arts into the core curriculum of elementary students across the tri-county region. Rebecca oversaw the program’s outreach efforts and marketing strategies and designed a wide range of communications and special events to foster community engagement and support RACC’s fundraising for arts education. Thanks to her boundless energy, commitment to Right Brain, and her marketing savvy she has helped  establish and grow this groundbreaking program that is changing the way students learn and teachers teach and drawing attention and praise across the country. And in her spare time she is active with the young leaders cohort at Americans for the Arts and Portland Emerging Arts Leaders (PEAL). Rebecca will be greatly missed by all of us.

Kathryn Jackson was hired in 2006 as RACC’s Work for Art Manager. As such she oversaw and developed all aspects of Work for Art, RACC’s 10 year old workplace giving program that supports arts activities, arts education and the creative economy. Through a growing public/private partnership Work for Art raises money for local arts organizations and actively engages employees of private companies, non-profits and public agencies as arts donors and participants. Kathryn has been a dedicated advocate for the services that over 100 arts organizations provide and helps increase their accessibility to all who take part. She also has forged beneficial relationships between the arts community and businesses, which RACC continues to build upon going forward. Together with program leadership, Kathryn worked diligently to help Work for Art raise more than $7.1 million over the last 10 years. She has been a tireless champion for this program she truly loves and for all  RACC programs and initiatives.

Eric Hormel  joined our Board in 2010 and has been a dedicated member of the RACC community for 3 2-year terms. Eric is an Oregon native and a shareholder at Perkins and Company. He works in his company’s Legacy Planning group, specializing in working with high net worth individuals and their families. He also leads Perkins’ creative services practice group, working with Portland’s largest advertising and PR firms. During his time with us Eric very ably served on RACC’s Finance and Audit Committee, Executive Committee and served for 4 years as the Board Secretary. Not being satisfied to leave it there, Eric took an interest in RACC’s Public Art Program and audited our Public Art Advisory Committee for several months to learn more. And, as outgoing Chair Jan Robertson said in her goodbye to him, “Eric has the remarkable ability to make even Finance fun!” Thank you, Eric, for your wisdom and wit and all you brought to RACC. Please keep in touch!

Joe Krumm is the executive director of community and government relations for the North Clackamas School District, and oversees communications in many forms−community partnerships, family support, outreach to diverse communities, interpretation, translation, volunteerism and lobbying. He came to the district in 1990 after serving as editor and co-publisher with The Clackamas County Review. Joe also joined RACC in 2010 and just completed his 6th year representing Clackamas County on our board. Not only did he bring his vast knowledge and expertise in education, but also his understanding, passion and facilitation skills to our organization-wide equity and inclusion work. Joe has been a committed member of RACC”s Equity Committee and has even requested staying on after his Board service ends. That was an easy request to meet. Joe is well known and respected by the leadership at Clackamas County and is a highly effective advocate for the arts in his county and in his role on the Leadership Development Committee has helped us recruit several new Clackamas Board candidates. We will miss his good humor and sensitivity to all people. Thank you Joe.

We wish these talented and valued friends and co-workers great success in their new ventures and will miss them greatly. Thank you for all you have contributed to the RACC family, Andre, Rebecca, Kathryn, Eric and Joe.

RACC seeks submissions for the “Visual Chronicle of Portland”

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) is seeking works on paper—prints, drawings, paintings on paper and photographs—to purchase for the Visual Chronicle of Portland collection. To learn more about the submission guidelines, click hereDeadline for submissions is Monday, July 25, 2016.

The Visual Chronicle of Portland is a city-owned collection of original works on paper that portray artists’ perceptions of what makes Portland, Oregon, unique. Since its inception in 1985, the Chronicle has grown to 330 works by nearly 200 different artists. Works are displayed in publicly accessible spaces in City of Portland and Multnomah County buildings.

The Chronicle reflects a diversity of populations, artistic disciplines and points of view. The collection can be viewed as a timepiece that provides a visual narrative of greater Portland, and is meant to reveal our city’s distinctive and diverse personality as seen and interpreted by artists who are intimately familiar with the region. The Visual Chronicle represents a living archive, and RACC is committed to engaging and expanding the communities of artists and the range of artistic and cultural expression that it represents.

For more information and to view images and details of the entire collection, visit http://bit.ly/visualchronicle

This year’s purchase decisions will be based on how well the work matches the purpose and spirit of the Visual Chronicle—conveying perceptions of what makes Portland unique. We encourage work that documents, describes, or evokes areas, communities, and issues that are under-represented in the Chronicle. The bridges, the Rose Parade, Washington Park and other Portland icons that come immediately to mind are all well represented, but the collection has fewer works that portray people and places that exist beyond the central city areas. While no absolute boundaries or subjects are mandated or excluded, we hope to add range to the Chronicle and better represent vital neighborhoods, communities, and artists that contribute to an equitable view of Portland.

An independent volunteer panel of artists, curators and historians will select artwork for purchase in a two-part process. First, the panel will review digital images that are submitted. Artists whose works are selected for further consideration will be asked to deliver the actual artwork to RACC for a first-hand review and final selection. The panel reserves the right to purchase work from artists who do not submit work, and is not obligated to spend the entire 2016-2017 budget of $20,000.

Works on paper—prints, drawings, paintings on paper and photographs—from professional artists familiar with Portland are eligible. For more information about guidelines, visit the RACC website at https://racc.org/resources/listings/racc-opportunity-call-for-artists-the-visual-chronicle-of-portland/, or contact program manager Kristin Calhoun at kcalhoun@racc.org or 503-823-5401.

For artists who are new to the submission process, unfamiliar with preparing digital images, or would like to get additional background on the Chronicle, RACC is hosting two free information sessions: Tuesday, June 21 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. at RACC (411 NW Park Avenue, Suite 101) and Thursday, June 23 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. at East Portland Neighborhood Office (1017 NE 117th Ave, Portland, OR 97220). Contact Salvador Mayoral at smayoral@racc.org to reserve a spot.

RACC is also hosting a free reception following the June 21st info session to highlight purchases made for the Visual Chronicle last year. Work by Avantika Bawa, Calvin Ross Carl, Garrick Imatani and Ralph Pugay will be on display, and Avantika Bawa and Ralph Pugay will be on hand to discuss their work. The event is free and open to the public, Thursday, June 21 at 6:45 p.m. at RACC.

To learn more about the submission guidelines, click here. The deadline for submissions is Monday, July 25, 2016.