The Viaduct Arts initiative brings vibrant community art to the streets of the Central Eastside Industrial District.
Drawing inspiration from the district’s acronym CEID, this new initiative is intended to “seed” art making as an integral part of the district’s identity as a hub for innovation and culture building. Viaduct Arts aims to ensure street art remains an integral part of everyday life in the CEID. This work aligns with several city and district community goals including public place-making and ensuring space remains accessible to artists in the district. This neighborhood-wide initiative is being spearheaded by the Portland Street Art Alliance, in collaboration with local businesses and property owners, the Central Eastside Industrial Council, Regional Arts & Culture Council, and the City of Portland's Office of Community & Civic Life's Graffiti Program.
The Viaduct Arts initiative also strives to address social and geographic disparities, specifically when it comes to gaining access to large-scale outdoor painting opportunities in the city. Therefore, Viaduct Arts outreach is focusing on connecting with Oregon-based artists living outside of the Portland Metro Area and those who identify as being a part of underrepresented communities (BIPOC+, LGBTQ, Women, Disabled, Low SES, etc.). PSAA is dedicated to creating inclusive models for place and district-making by engaging with diverse audiences and artists.
A New Mural District
As Portland experiences accelerated redevelopment and demographic changes, there is an increased urgency for the creation of spaces that welcome artists to work, grow, and thrive. The Central Eastside is long-time “industrial sanctuary.” In the early 1900s, thanks to the fertile Willamette Valley, Italian immigrants established fruit and vegetable wholesale distribution and transportation networks. This new riverside industrial district became known as “Produce Row.” At the heart of this historic industrial area, are two parallel loading dock streets - 2nd & 3rd Avenues. These thoroughfares transect four viaducts - under the Hawthorne and Morrison Bridges that create deep cavern-like spaces cutting through the Central Eastside. This unique environment creates opportunities for large-scale artwork. With recent changes in zoning, and increased interest in development, this area is rapidly changing. Viaduct Arts aims ensure that street art remains an essential element of the district and future development.
Currently, several mural sites have been secured thanks to partnerships with Killian Pacific, Libertas Companies, All Service Moving, and Todd Hess Building Company. Several other CEID property owners are in communication with PSAA about becoming a part of Viaduct Arts.
Why Street Art is Important IN CEID
Street art has long been an important and visible part of the Central Eastside, contributing to it’s uniquely innovative and gritty character. Street art enriches everyday life, helps to build a city's identity and fosters a sense of place and pride in our community.
Murals provide access to art without barriers of admission
Murals promote a sense of identity and belonging
Murals create a tangible sense of place
Call to Artists
In October 2019, PSAA will release the Viaduct Arts ‘Call to Artists,’ seeking to commission three Oregon-based artists to paint large-scale murals in CEID. This mural work will be managed and fully-funded by PSAA, thanks to grant and local business support. The aim is to establish new connections for diverse artists to push their creative boundaries and increase representation in Portland's public art landscape. Selected artists can be paired with a local mentor, who will help guide them through the mural-making process (design, mock-ups, planning logistics, supply purchases, and painting). The goal of this mentorship program is to support artists in taking risks, developing their public practice, and expanding their skill-sets. We hope that by offering this extra support, PSAA can help increase artists’ ability to engage within their respective communities to “seed” arts across Oregon.
Call to Artists Oct 15, 2019
Applications Due Dec 1, 2019
Artist Selection Feb 1, 2020
Design & Review Phase Feb - Mar, 2020
Logistics Planning Apr - May, 2020
Painting June 2020
Consider making a tax-deductible donation to support this initiative! The grant covers artist and management time for 3 murals, but support is needed from the community to help pay for additional murals and supplies. All business donors who contribute $1000 or more will become an “official sponsor” and recognized on this website, in marketing promotions, and on social media.
Volunteer, help us make this happen!
PSAA is a volunteer run organization. Many of the public art projects we do depend on the community coming together to make them happen! Please fill out the Volunteer Interest Form below to get involved.
SPONSORS + PARTNERS
The Portland Street Art Alliance has been awarded an Oregon Community Foundation Creative Heights in support of the new Viaduct Arts: Central Eastside Mural Art Program. For the fifth consecutive year, Creative Heights grants fund a variety of artists and cultural projects throughout the state. Each year, OCF provides Creative Heights Grants to up to 12 of the most innovative and culturally impactful proposals by artists and groups across Oregon. Support from OCF and generous donors expand opportunities for many of Oregon’s art communities to create work that advances the state’s artistic and cultural fields and engages traditionally underserved audiences. PSAA is truly honored to be a 2018 grant recipient. Read more about Creative Heights and other exciting grant recipient projects here.