Read highlights about a few of the active projects we are managing in partnership with public agencies. Learn more about the artists and the program focus on purchasing art from underrepresented artists and adding art in historically undeserved communities.
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PDX Airport Expansion
Over the next five years, a series of transformative projects will bring more Pacific Northwest-inspired architecture, local restaurants and shops, inclusive design, and carbon footprint-reducing technology to the Portland Airport. Our team is supporting the selection of artists and creation of new artworks at PDX through a partnership with the Port of Portland.
In the future, travelers moving through the airport’s new Concourse B, will both see and feel “Inhabitance,” RYAN! Feddersen’s installation honoring the varied terrain of the Pacific Northwest. The Tacoma artist is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. Learn more.
Multnomah County Library Bond
Thanks to the support of Multnomah County voters, Multnomah County Library is expanding several libraries and building a new flagship library in East County. Multnomah County capital constrution projects include a dedicated 2% for art budget. We’re working with the library bond team to plan for an investment of approximately $2.5 million in art and to commission artists to create works that meet the project goals. Learn more about the library bond here and how you can get involved.
Errol Heights Park
With its forested setting, topography, creek, and wetlands, the four seasons have dramatic visual impact on Errol Heights Park. This spring artists Terresa White and Mike Suri were selected for design, fabrication and installation of new artwork in Errol Heights Park. The budget for the commission (approximately $85,000) comes from the City of Portland’s Percent for Art Program. The art will play a key role in showcasing the changing seasons and add a long-lasting amenity for visitors. Park construction is planned for completion summer 2022 with art installation in the fall or winter. Follow the project here.
While many public buildings are not open to the public due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19, you can learn about our recent projects and see the artworks online at racc.org/publicart
Multnomah County Courthouse
The new Multnomah County Courthouse opened downtown October 2020 with no fanfare due to state of emergency orders protecting public health and in response to the global pandemic. The building houses an expansive new collection of public art that reflects the deep connections selected artists have to their community, identity and history. Learn more about how we approached the project and see the artworks here.
On the building’s exterior, you can still find the temporary mural designed by local youth focusing on their vision of justice. The collaboration was inspired by Melvin Oden-Orr, a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge who works in the building.
Multnomah County Department of Justice East Campus
In the interior hallways and meeting rooms inside the Multnomah County Department of Justice East Campus, the artist team Blue and Michael Stevenson, Jr., conceived and curated Gallery Blue, featuring work by currently or formerly incarcerated artists. Watch this video to meet the artists who concieved of and implemented this project.
Black Portland Matters Art + Placemaking
In Southeast Portland youth and artists collaborated with local community-based and youth-serving organizations on a series of murals and art installations. These Black-led art projects were supported through a multi-year initiative of RACC and Portland’s Bureau of Transportation.
These projects demonstrate the ways we are expanding our definition of public art and achieving our vision of a thriving region, powered by creativity, with arts and culture in every neighborhood. We are integrating different art media and a diversity of perspectives into public spaces in every community.
The Portland Building
Significant new works were installed in the fully renovated and restored Portland Building. Read more here.
Watch this video featuring a few of the artists with permanent works in the Portland Building, including: Refik Anandol, Kayin Talton Davis and the husband and wife artist team Shelby Davis and Crystal Schenk.
Visit the entire collection and learn more about each individual artist here.
The final installation of artwork funded by the City of Portland’s Percent for Art Program includes artwork created by 10 local Native artists with multi-generational ties to Portland. You can listen to traditional carver Bobby Mercier describe his artistic practice and how his art preserves the history of his ancestors.
Projects were funded by the City of Portland Percent for Art program which dedicates two percent of the cost of the City’s qualifying infrastructure projects to purchase public art. Thousands of pieces of art have been placed across Portland, from City buildings downtown to neighborhood installations.
Our Murals Program approved 11 projects during FY 20-21.
- Morrison Bridge/Hygiene4All – Emi Hensley
- Bernstein’s Bagels – Amaranta Colindres
- Forest For The Trees/Airway Science for Kids – Molly Mendoza, Bernadette Little, and Elizabeth Haidle
- Noble’s Building – Travis Wheeler and John Vance
- Sign Wizards – Hayden Senter
- Forest For The Trees/New Avenues for Youth – Gage Hamilton and eatcho
- Escuela Viva – Stefan Ways
- DeSoto Building/Pride Northwest – Cassandra Swan, Kyra Watkins, Tommiemc Davis, and Naomi Likayi
- Society Hotel – Gian Galang and Peter Yue
- Portland Institute for Contemporary Art – Sharita Towne and Natalie Ball
- Alberta Abbey – Garima Thakur and Sharita Towne.
FY 20-21 Artists
Last year more than 200 artworks – prints, photography, sculpture, fiber arts, ceramics, murals and more – were purchased and added to our public art collection. Find the full list of artists and artworks supported in fiscal year 20-21 here. Funding for these art commissions and purchases came from the City of Portland and Multnomah County, including City of Portland #PDXCARES funds.