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Growing Diversity in Public Art

Striving for works out of the mainstream

6/21/2013, 11:36 a.m.
Motoya Nakamura’s pigment print, Orange Devy, is part of the Visual Chronicle of Portland collection, a public art resource that strives to reflect a diversity of populations, artistic disciplines and points of view.

The Regional Arts and Culture Council is striving for artworks out of the mainstream to reflect a diversity of populations, artistic disciplines and points of view.

Works on paper -- prints, drawings, paintings on paper and photographs will be purchased for the Visual Chronicle of Portland collection, original pieces that portray artists’ perceptions of what makes the City of Portland unique.

The Chronicle is owned by the city and exists as a subset of its Public Art Collection. Since its beginning in 1985, the collection has grown to 303 works by 179 different artists and has established itself as an important archive of daily life in Portland. The arts council insures that the collection remains available to the public by rotating works throughout public spaces in Portland and Multnomah County buildings. The collection strives to reflect a diversity of populations, artistic disciplines and points of view.

As in the past, selections will be made based on how well the work matches the purpose and spirit of the Visual Chronicle, conveying perceptions of what makes Portland unique. This year however, the selection panel is encouraging 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, are all well cataloged, but the collection has fewer works that represent people and places that exist beyond downtown and outside of the mainstream. While no absolute boundaries or subjects are mandated or excluded, the panel hopes to add range to the Chronicle and better represent vital neighborhoods, communities and artists that contribute to a fully textured view of Portland.

The budget for the purchase and framing of artwork is $10,000. The deadline for submissions is July 15. For more information, visit at racc.org or contact Keith Lachowicz at klachowicz@racc.org or 503-823-5404.