RACC Celebrates the First Six Artists Selected for the Multnomah County Library Capital Bond Projects

RACC is excited to announce the first six artists who have been selected as part of the on-going Multnomah County Library (MCL) Capital Bond Projects. Passed by voters in 2020, the bond includes renovations and expansions to seven local libraries, upgrades at eleven more libraries within the MCL network, the development of a new destination library in East County, the creation of a materials-handling facility, and high-speed internet system-wide.

The new MCL Operations Center launched the first phase of the bond projects in summer 2022. The expansions and renovations to Holgate and Midland libraries are also underway and will be some of the first locations to reopen to the public in spring/summer 2024, with Albina and North Portland libraries closely following. All bond projects are anticipated to be completed by winter 2025-2026.

RACC, in partnership with MCL, is overseeing the public art opportunities in these new and refreshed community spaces. The artist selection process is being conducted in a phased approach to align with the MCL project sequence. The artists selected so far will be creating large-scale permanent artworks at the first three building projects in the sequence: the Operations Center, Holgate Library, and Midland Library.

Community engagement is a core value within the bond projects, and artists with demonstrated experience and express interest in embedding community into their practice and work have been prioritized. Most artists selected for these projects are expected to create and host community engagement opportunities as part of their design phase in order to involve the community in the creation process. Some of these arts-focused events have already taken place and more are on the way, so stay tuned for further details on how to participate in the coming months.

For now, RACC would like to honor the artists who have been selected so far and who are working behind the scenes on these initial projects. RACC is proud to announce that all of those selected are local to Portland, BIPOC/BIPGM, and identify as women, transgender, non-binary and/or gender non-conforming. Please join us in congratulating these very talented and deserving artists, and follow and support them when and where you can!

Please contact Public Art Project Manager, Sophie, at shook@racc.org if you have any questions. For information on future calls to artists please follow us on Instagram.

Midland Library Exterior Canopy: Paola De La Cruz and Lillyanne Pham. Photo Credit: Keanu Narciso.







Operations Center Exterior Entrance: Tenya Rogriguez. Photo Credit: Tenya Rodriguez.










Holgate Library Exterior Site Enclosure: Crystal Meneses. Photo Credit: Alberta Akins.


Holgate Library Interior/Exterior Wall: Salomée Souag. Photo Credit: Haley Busch.

Midland Library Gathering Circle: Kanani Miyamoto. Photo Credit: Kayla Wiley.


Fresh Paint Opportunity Re-Opens to First Time Muralists

Artist standing on a ladder painting image of a person on a wall mural

Artist Eric Mbungu Mpwo works on his Fresh Paint mural

Open Signal had a wall. We had experience creating murals. Salvador Mayoral, who facilitates our Public Art Murals Program, recalls how Fresh Paint, the partnership to provide emerging Black and brown artists a place to become muralists, got its start. “We were looking for a high visibility spot for a temporary mural pilot project,” he said. Open Signal’s Director of Strategy, Rebecca Burrell, remembers, “We were looking for a way to bring visibility to our mission and bring more art into our neighborhood.” The two organizations joined forces and their new initiative, Fresh Paint, kicked off in 2017. Since then, 10 artists have been selected to paint a temporary mural on an exterior wall of Open Signal’s building facing the highly visible Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Each mural is hosted for at least four months and then painted over in preparation for the next artist.

Installation Dates for Murals
  • October 2021 – March 2022
  • April 2022 – September 2022
The Opportunity

Fresh Paint is a professional development initiative providing emerging artists of color with a paid opportunity to paint a public mural for the first time in Portland. “We wanted artists who didn’t have experience as muralists but the desire to create murals get the support and resources they need to develop a new skill set and build their portfolio,” Mayoral explained. For several artists, the mural projects have led to other public commissions or funding opportunities. The wall currently features Limei Lai’s mural, Together.

RACC and Open Signal, announce a new call for Fresh Paint muralists. Interested artists have until July 14th, 2021 to apply. To qualify for the opportunity, artists must live in the greater Portland metropolitan area, defined as Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties in Oregon and Clark County in Washington. The selected artists receive a commission for their participation and are offered the opportunity to engage with a range of resources at Open Signal, including the use of equipment.

To be considered, artists can submit information about their background and interest through RACC’s online application portal. No proposals are required. Because the program is designed to support artists in establishing their careers, applicants may not have received any public art commission through RACC nor created an official exterior mural in the City of Portland. Regional Arts & Culture Council’s Public Art Murals Program will run the selection process, relying on past Fresh Paint muralists to review submissions and recommend which new artists should be selected.

Get Help with your Application

Questions regarding the application platform and materials and project’s process/timeline?

CONTACT: Salvador Mayoral IV at 503.823.5865, smayoral@racc.org

Artist Information Sessions
  • Monday, June 14 at noon on Instagram Live. Follow @regionalarts on Instagram to stay informed of this and other upcoming opportunities.
  • Tuesday, June 22 at 6 p.m. on Zoom. RSVP here.

Questions about the Zoom info session or need special accommodations to attend?

CONTACT: Daniela Serna at 503.288.1515 ext. 931 daniela@opensignalpdx.org.


About Open Signal

Open Signal is a media arts center making media production possible for anyone and everyone in Portland, Oregon. Launched in 2017, the center builds upon the 35-year legacy of Portland Community Media to create a resource totally unique in the Pacific Northwest. Open Signal offers media workshops, a public equipment library, artist residencies and five cable channels programmed with locally produced content. Open Signal delivers media programming with a commitment to creativity, technology and social change. Learn more at opensignalpdx.org.

About the Regional Arts & Culture Council

An independent non-profit organization, the Regional Arts & Culture Council supports greater Portland’s creative economy by equitably providing 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. RACC connects artists and creatives to opportunity and access. Learn more at racc.org.