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Portland Public Art, photo by Tamara Muldoon

Expose Yourself to (Public) Art

Michael Ryerson_expose-yourself-to-art

Visitors to Portland, Oregon are sometimes astounded by the number of public art installations in the downtown area.  Strolling through the central city, a person encounters a diversity of artworks on nearly every block.

Since 1980, the City of Portland and Multnomah County have required a percentage of the cost of new construction or major building renovation projects within their jurisdictions to be earmarked for purchase of permanent artworks. …more…

Monet, "Waterlilies" - Courtest of Portland Art Museum

Five Monets in Portland

Now on display at the Portland Art Museum (Portland, Oregon) through August 5, 2012 are five works by Monet. The Museum has supplemented two of Monet’s paintings from its permanent collection, Waterlilies and River at Lavacourt, with three works from a private collection to stage this special showing entitled “Five Monets / 100 Days.”

The five paintings cover a 25-year period of Monet’s career and show his development as an artist …more…

Aaron Hockley 2011

Portland Photo Month

April is Portland Photo Month, an event which is not a product of any one organization, but rather a collaboration of art galleries, nonprofits and individual artists. Portland, Oregon is a city of artists and art enthusiasts and accordingly is home to a multitude of artists who express themselves through the medium of photography.

Numerous Portland art galleries specialize in photography. Among these are Black Box Gallery, Blue Sky Gallery, Camerawork …more…

Pam Mummy_Words_courtesy of Port of Portland

In Our Element

Passengers traveling through Portland International Airport (PDX) in Oregon this summer should allow extra time to enjoy the series of rotating art exhibits that grace its concourses. From April 1 through October 15, 2012, PDX is featuring an exhibit entitled “In Our Element.”

The display includes sculpture by eight Pacific Northwest artists—most are from Portland—that represent the elements of fire, water, earth, metal and wood. The contributing artists are: Richard Cawley, …more…

Courtesy of the artist, Ron Baron

You Are Here

Another jewel was added to the necklace of public art installations in Portland, Oregon on Friday, March 9, 2012 when a sculpture entitled “You Are Here” was unveiled at the newly-renovated Jeld-Wen Field soccer stadium. ...more...

Mark Rothko, Entrance to Subway, 1938, oil on canvas, Copyright © 1998, Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko

The Life and Work of Mark Rothko

For a limited time, Portlanders have the opportunity to not only view a retrospective of work by Mark Rothko (1903-1970) at the Portland Art Museum, but also to see a theatrical presentation at Portland Center Stage that allows a glimpse into his life.

Considered to be one of the foremost American painters of the 20th Century, Rothko spent his early years in Portland, Oregon. Immigrating from Russia in 1913 at the …more…


Join the Discussion

An Art Forum will be held in Portland, Oregon on Monday, March 5 giving arts advocates an opportunity to hear from candidates running for the Portland Mayoral seat and City Council discuss their position on the role of local government in the arts community.

The free Art Forum promises to be a lively interaction that will give supporters of the arts a chance to learn more about these candidates and how …more…

Diane Lewis "Party's Over" courtesy of the Attic Gallery

Still Life Is Alive And Well

The genre of still life painting is alive and well in Portland, Oregon and will be showcased at the Attic Gallery at their upcoming First Thursday opening on March 1, 2012.  Works by Bill Baily, Diane Lewis and Gail Larson Joseph, three of the artists represented by the Gallery, will be presented.

A “Still Life” is a style of painting depicting an artful arrangement of inanimate objects. Popular subjects include flowers, …more…

Hearts-and-Love-collage_Penny Michelle Taylor

First, Last or All

Many cities set aside one day a month where art galleries are either open late or have a special event to encourage the public to come see their shows. Last year marked the 25th anniversary of Portland, Oregon’s First Thursday, by now a venerable institution in Downtown and the Northwest Portland Pearl District.

When condominiums replaced dilapidated warehouse and industrial buildings in Northwest Portland, many artists and galleries were priced out …more…

taj mahal_L

With The Etch A Sketch, Play Can Be Art

Imagine creating an elaborate etched image without ever lifting the stylus from the surface. This is exactly what three Etch A Sketch artists from Portland, Oregon do. Rather than adding material to a surface to make a drawing, etchings are made by taking material away, requiring artists to think in terms of negative space.

I wonder if the toy’s inventor, André Cassagnes of France, ever imagined that artists would use it …more…

Jazz vocalist Karla Harris at Jimmy Mak's.

Jimmy Mak’s – Love Song to a Hometown Haunt

Greetings from the West Coast! I’m on a quick trip home and I thought I would step in as a guest blogger for Portland – my almost hometown! ...more...


Will Work For Art

Fundraising for arts organizations can be a challenge even in a strong economy. In Portland, Oregon the Work for Art program helps to support the arts by facilitating employee-giving campaigns at public and private workplaces throughout Oregon and SW Washington. Some of the participating employers even provide matching funds.

These Work for Art donations are then re-directed back to the community, with 100% of the funds that are raised benefiting arts …more…

Photo courtesy of the Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon

Through the Looking Glass

Once again the Portland Art Museum (PAM) in Oregon has delved into its permanent collection to mount an exhibition. This time, the Museum is mining its photographic print archive of approximately 5,000 images produced throughout the 19th and 20th century. The exhibit, titled “Through the Looking Glass: Photography’s Use of Windows, Doorways, and Mirrors,” runs through the end of February 2012 and includes over sixty photographs in which these objects play a dominant role. ...more...

Photo By Brian Mohr_ Courtesy of Right Brain Initiative

The Right Brain Initiative

Rather than bemoan the loss of school arts programs due to budget cuts, arts supporters in Portland, Oregon have developed an innovative program that weaves the arts into required school curriculum. Since 2008, the Right Brain Initiative has given teachers tools for integrating the arts into their teaching of core education subjects. When the creative process is merged with learning, students are more engaged with the subject matter, and it …more…

_POP5693 Chuck Jones Resized

Beep! Beep!

Nearly everyone living in the United States during the last fifty years has seen this artist’s work, or at least is familiar with it. That is quite an audience; however, not many people could tell you the artist’s name.

An exhibit spanning the life’s work of animator Chuck Jones, who was born in Spokane, Washington, is now on display at Portland International Airport (PDX) through March 2012. Those of us who …more…

Portland Art Museum; Utagawa Toyohiro, Parlor Puppets: Act VI of The Treasury of Loyal Retainers, c. 1803, The Mary Andrews Ladd Collection

The Artist’s Touch, The Craftsman’s Hand

Drawing from its extensive permanent collection of over 2,500 Japanese woodblock prints, the Portland Art Museum (PAM) has carefully selected about 250 of the most unique and historically significant items for a special exhibition, The Artist’s Touch, The Craftsman’s Hand: Three Centuries of Japanese Prints from the Portland Art Museum.

The permanent collection began in 1932 with a donation by Mary Andrews Ladd of over 750 traditional woodblock prints. Over the …more…

Photo Credit: Tamara Muldoon

Portlandia – Existing in Obscurity

Paris is symbolized by the Eiffel Tower, San Francisco by the Golden Gate Bridge, and New York City by the Statue of Liberty. Portland, Oregon’s icon is Portlandia. What is Portlandia, you say?

In the 1980’s during construction of the Portland Building – a 15-story post-modern box designed by Michael Graves – a call for artists went out under the auspices of the Percent-for-Art ordinance. This program requires a percentage of …more…