PSAA Projects

Sunshine Dairy

Logo Desi gn by Forrest Wolf Kell

In the Spring of 2019, PSAA was approached by Eastbank Development about a new property they had just acquired, the Sunshine Dairy factory - a 39,000-square-foot plant located at 801 NE 21st Avenue, in Portland’s Kerns Neighborhood. Sunshine Dairy is iconic for not only their milk products, but also their massive spinning milk carton that sits atop the roof of the building. In May 2018, Sunshine Dairy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, closing their historic location after 83 years of dairy production. The Oregonian newspaper reported that Sunshine's bankruptcy reflects changing dynamics in the dairy industry, Boverman said, driven primarily by consolidation among dairy producers and grocery chains, which has given the supermarkets more pricing power.

Given the Sunshine Dairy factory has structural foundation issues, Eastbank Development decided to redevelop the site. This was not surprising considering it is in prime location, right off I-84. This building was originally constructed in 1935, and has unique industrial zoning, which allows for both residential and mixed-use development at the site.

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Eastbank had caught wind of PSAA’s recent projects in the Central Eastside - the Produce Row Mural at Coast Auto Supply, and the Taylor Electric Project at Clay Creative. Realizing that the factory would be sitting vacant for almost a year, Eastbank decided to activate this space with street art until its demise. With the help of a donation, PSAA was able to arrange for four teams of artists to completely cover the factory building with fresh new art of their choosing. PSAA covered most of the paint costs, and artists are donating their time to make this happen. Over 30 artists are now on display on walls of the factory. This temporary and rotating art project is a win-win, where local artists can have space to practice and play, and developers can work together to activate new public spaces and give back to the local community. Neighbors come by everyday to check out the new art, and cars tend to slam on their brakes as they see the new splash of color in the neighborhood.

Hand of Dogg has been hard at work for over a month on this massive mural, using only brush work. Photo: Paul Landeros

Hand of Dogg has been hard at work for over a month on this massive mural, using only brush work. Photo: Paul Landeros

Aerial view of Sunshine Dairy. Photo: InvoicePDX

Aerial view of Sunshine Dairy. Photo: InvoicePDX

The mural wall along SE 20th was managed by InvoicePDX and Hand of Dogg and displays a mixture of classic graffiti-style text, and hyper-realistic sign painting techniques. Participating artists in the first round of painting include: DETR, YATSE, YUCKO, COPS, GIMER, ENVY, FNGER, AT ME, KENRO, and GRISLE.  Photo: Paul Landeros

The mural wall along SE 20th was managed by InvoicePDX and Hand of Dogg and displays a mixture of classic graffiti-style text, and hyper-realistic sign painting techniques. Participating artists in the first round of painting include: DETR, YATSE, YUCKO, COPS, GIMER, ENVY, FNGER, AT ME, KENRO, and GRISLE.

Photo: Paul Landeros

Each side of the building was organized by a different Team Captains, so each side of the building has a distinct style and vibe. PSAA aims to empower local leaders in the arts through projects such as Sunshine Dairy. The wall along NE Pacific St (pictured below), was managed by JOINS, and the mural was a collaboration between JOINS, Jeremy Nichols, and RASKOE. Jeremy wanted to practice his new hyper-realistic rendering of animals that he started painting in the Dallas recently for another large-scale mural. The bears were all done using aerosol spray paint and took Jeremy about 2 weeks to complete, along with the forest background. RASKOE came in underneath along the bottom portion of the wall, adding 3D wildstyle graffiti pieces, masterfully blending these two unique styles.

JOINS laying down the lines. Photo: Tiffany Conklin

JOINS laying down the lines. Photo: Tiffany Conklin

Spaces like Sunshine Dairy are important pieces of our public art landscape, as they provide easily accessible space for artists to explore new techniques, build their portfolios, and just interact with each other in a chill and fun setting. Unlike commissioned murals, these community projects are much more organic and don’t have any planned sketches or themes. Each team of artists chooses a general color scheme, and their own schedules. Artists are provided very open creative freedom, which provides spaces for innovation and experimentation. PSAA manages all of the logistics, securing the mural permit, arranging for site access, media inquires, sponsorship, and documentation.

In-progress mural along NE 21st Avenue, managed by Galen Malcolm of PSAA. Art along this wall included work by EKOSE, NEKON, NOTES, ADJUST, GIVER, VIDEO, FIBER, ABNR, KANGO, and Level Headed Press.  Photo: Paul Landeros

In-progress mural along NE 21st Avenue, managed by Galen Malcolm of PSAA. Art along this wall included work by EKOSE, NEKON, NOTES, ADJUST, GIVER, VIDEO, FIBER, ABNR, KANGO, and Level Headed Press.

Photo: Paul Landeros

EKOSE working on a robotic character towering over the city below. Photo: InvoicePDX

EKOSE working on a robotic character towering over the city below. Photo: InvoicePDX

Detail of KANGO’s piece. Photo: Tiffany Conklin

Detail of KANGO’s piece. Photo: Tiffany Conklin

Artist at work at Sunshine Dairy. Photo: Tiffany Conklin

Artist at work at Sunshine Dairy. Photo: Tiffany Conklin

In-progress mural wall managed by the MLS crew in Portland, OR. Still in-progress. Line-up TBA!  Photo: Tiffany Conklin

In-progress mural wall managed by the MLS crew in Portland, OR. Still in-progress. Line-up TBA!

Photo: Tiffany Conklin

Photo: Tiffany Conklin

Photo: Tiffany Conklin

Final shot of wall along SE 21st Ave, managed by InvoicePDX. Photo: InvoicePDX.

Final shot of wall along SE 21st Ave, managed by InvoicePDX. Photo: InvoicePDX.

HISTORY OF SUNSHINE DAIRY

Sunshine Dairy was a 4th-generation family-owned dairy processor. John Karamanos, a Greek immigrant and restaurateur founded the dairy operation in the 1930s to serve Portland's burgeoning food industry.

LOTS MORE HISTORY COMING SOON!

 

SUNSHINE DAIRY PROJECT IN THE NEWS

 








Thank you to our project sponsors!

© All Rights Reserved. Logo Design by Forrest Wolf Kell

A Walk Through Time Mural in Tigard OR

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Work is set to begin in July 2019 on a public mural by professional artist Jeremy Nichols in Downtown Tigard. The mural, entitled A Walk Through Time, will be an interwoven tapestry of Tigard’s history and culture along the Fanno Creek corridor.

Working with local historian, Sean Garvey, and ecology specialists in the city, Nichols’ design incorporates images from Tigard’s past. The mural depicts a member of the Kalapuya tribe (the indigenous inhabitants of the area) alongside native flora and fauna, including Red-tailed Hawk, Western Painted Turtle, Great Blue Heron and Oregon Iris and Camas flowers. Nichols hopes that the mural will raise awareness about the original inhabitants of the Tigard area, as well as the local ecosystem. “It is important to me to create a mural that will stay relevant and be enjoyed by generations to come. I wanted to create a design that steps away from the norms of ‘traditional cultural’ murals and create a design with a more contemporary approach that is equally informative and significant,” says Jeremy Nichols, the artist designing and painting the mural. 

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Located at 12553 SW Main Street, the mural will be directly adjacent to the popular Fanno Creek multi-use trail on the recently renovated building home to several new Downtown Tigard businesses including Frameabl, Versus Board Games and Senet Game Bar. Building upon previous arts initiatives led by the City of Tigard and non-profit Tigard Downtown Alliance the mural will aid in the ongoing revitalization of downtown Tigard. Dylan Dekay-Bemis, the City of Tigard’s Economic Development Coordinator, believes the project will “increase access to art in Tigard, help improve walkability in downtown and draw attention to the great local businesses housed within the building where the mural will be located.”

In recent years, art initiatives have driven commercial success and interest in Downtown Tigard, including the annual Downtown Art Walk event, gateway art sculptures by artist Brian Borrello, an Art on Loan program that places art leased from local artists in locations around downtown, and the award-winning SubUrban street art exhibition. 

Portland based non-profit Portland Street Art Alliance (PSAA) facilitated the commissioning of Jeremy Nichols for the City of Tigard and will continue to assist the City in managing this mural project. PSAA Executive Director Tiffany Conklin explains that “the quality of our shared public spaces speaks volumes about what we, as a society, believe to be important. Public art projects like A Walk Through Time not only bring more cultural vibrancy and interest to a place, but ensure that everyone has the opportunity to experience art in their everyday lives.” 

A Walk Through Time is funded through the City of Tigard’s Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper (LQC) program.  LQC projects are inexpensive but impactful actions that improve walkability, connectivity and health in Tigard.

 

What: A Walk Through Time (public mural)

Who: City of Tigard, Portland Street Art Alliance and artist Jeremy Nichols

When: July 8-15, 2019

Where: 12553 SW Main Street, Tigard, OR 97223


IN THE NEWS!




TAYLOR ELECTRIC PROJECT

Taylor Electric BLOCK PARTY SEPTEMBER 14, 2019

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LIVE PAINTING, INTERACTIVE ART INSTALLATIONS, LIVE MUSIC, DANCE BATTLES, ART VENDING, DJS, FOOD CARTS, LOCAL CRAFT BEER, COCKTAILS, AND MORE!

The Taylor Electric Project at Clay Creative, is a collaborative, open-air street art gallery that features the work of over 100 artists. For over a decade, the ruins of the Taylor Electrical Supply Company, located on 240 SE Clay St., became a Portland nexus of local, regional, and national graffiti and street art following a fire that left only the burnt-out husk of walls, a perfect canvas for street art within Portland’s ever-changing Central Eastside District. In 2015, what remained of the building was demolished but with the support of Killian Pacific, Portland Street Art Alliance is collectively rebuilding the Taylor Electric Project into a haven for street art once again. Portland Street Art Alliance manages the painting at Taylor Electric and annually co-hosts an all-day all-ages event with the help of For the Love that includes live-paintings, artist commissions, live music, a dance battle, local pop-ups, food carts, local beer, skateboarding ramps, and more. Thousands of people come out to celebrate Portland’s vibrant public art communities. The annual block party is truly a DIY community-centered and driven event, made possible with the support from local sponsors, volunteers, and artists. 

GET INVOLVED

Please consider volunteering, vending, donating, or sponsoring the Taylor Electric Block Party event on September 14, 2019. All of the PSAA and For the Love management team donates their time up front, works together, and makes this all happen! Contributions are tax-deductable. 

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2018 Block Party

2018 NEWS COVERAGE

2018 PHOTOS

© All photos copyright of credited owner. Do not use without permission. 

 

HISTORY OF TAYLOR ELECTRIC

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For over a decade, the burnt-out ruins at SE 2nd and Clay served as Portland's most famous space for graffiti– a free open art gallery that attracted artists and onlooks from near and far.  

Built in 1936 by the Loggers & Lumberman’s Investment Company, the warehouse at 240 SE Clay (previously 352 E Clay St) served as a home to many different businesses through its lifetime at its picturesque location at the east-end of the Central Eastside Industrial District. In the 1990s, the Rexel Taylor Electrical Supply Company purchased the building and used it as a storefront and warehouse for electrical supplies.

On the night of May 17, 2006, a stack of pallets outside the building caught fire. Fueled by the electrical supplies inside, a massive 4-alarm fire broke out. Over 125 fire-fighters from Portland and nearby cities worked around the clock trying to extinguish the blaze and protect nearby buildings. Burning for over 24 hours, the fire sent a river of debris into the nearby Willamette River.

Taylor Electrical Supply had plans to rebuild and sell the property, but that fell through, so the charred skeleton of the warehouse sat abandoned for over a decade. The ruins blossomed into a unique and iconic local landmark - a sanctuary for artists, rebels, and outcasts. When people visited Portland and wanted to see graffiti, Taylor Electric was an obvious and easily accessible destination. Cultural activities from dances, circuses, and bicycle chariot wars used Taylor Electric as a gritty stage and backdrop.

In many booming west coast cities, space for unanticipated interactions and unauthorized art are rapidly diminishing. However, these derelict spaces serve important functions for many creatives. Artists are often some of the first to find, occupy, and re-use dilapidated spaces. These cracks of the urban fabric fall outside the watchful eye of neighbors and police.

There is an inherent uncertainty and unpredictability of abandoned spaces where graffiti often gravitates. These spaces often provide the raw material conditions that incubated new ways of expression and imaginative thinking. Graffiti’s ephemeral and nomadic nature contributes to its resiliency and allure. For these reasons, the aesthetics of Taylor Electric were addictive for many, including artists, tourists, academics, journalistsphotographers, and videographers. Geographer Bradley Garrett wrote: “These spaces are appreciated for their aesthetic qualities, for their possibilities for temporarily escaping the rush of the surrounding urban environment and their ability to hint at what the future might look like, when all people have disappeared, a visceral reminder of our own mortality.

Rumors of demolition and redevelopment plans of Taylor Electric had been circulating for years. With Portland’s booming economy and population this change was inevitable. As power and urban space collide, developers inevitably would redevelop this centrally located property. A family-owned local development company, Killian Pacific eventually purchased the property intending to develop it into a new office campus called Clay Creative. Thankfully, Killian Pacific appreciated the cultural history and raw beauty of the space and decided to preserve and reinforce part of the old south-facing retaining wall, incorporating it into the new building.

In the months leading up to its demise, the art at Taylor Electric flourished as the fences went down and security was reduced. More so than ever people of all types, young and old, high heels and rubber boots, descended on this public place to experience a post-apocalyptic scene bursting with color.

On May 10th, 2015 the demolition of Taylor Electric began. Spreading quickly through social media, artists shared images of the first walls to fall. Some onlookers talked with workers, gathering details of the plans. Local media outlets covered the demolition, focusing on the cultural importance and impact of this space.

While a sense of loss pervaded, there was also a sense of unity and reflection that arose, as many people began to introspectively think about what was being lost, but also what had been built over the years in this space. During this time, the Portland Street Art Alliance (PSAA), a local arts non-profit that advocates for and manages street art projects in the pacific northwest, started pitching the ideas of hosting a gallery art show in commemoration of the old space. Donations immediately started coming in from community members and businesses. PSAA connected with Killian Pacific and the main tenant of the building, Simple Bank. From these new partnerships, a new idea was born – bring graffiti art back to the site, but this time, provide artists time, structure, and funding to really make a huge splash. The collective aim was to honor and continue the history of this unique art sanctuary. To create a new rotating public art gallery displaying fresh works from pacific-northwest and visiting artists.

Since 2017, the Taylor Electric Project at Clay Creative has been managed by PSAA with support of local businesses. Over 100 regional artists have painted murals at the site, completely covering the underground garage and old remaining walls of the warehouse.

On July 21st, 2018, PSAA organized a team of Portland-based artist collectives to co-host a huge block party. Over 2,000 people came to celebrate the completion of the new murals. The block party had live painting by over 20 artists, live bands, a dance battle organized by Find a Way, a pop-up skate park erected by D-Block, kids activities, a food and beer garden, and an art fair in the garage where local artists sold merchandise and did live screen printing.

Portland Street Art Alliance plans to make this an annual block party event that brings together artists from around the pacific northwest to celebrate and further seed art into the Central Eastside Industrial District and the City of Portland.

READ MORE ABOUT TAYLOR ELECTRIC

THE HISTORY OF TAYLOR ELECTRIC

ASHES, ART AND ARCHITECTURE: THE RICH HISTORY OF SIMPLE’S HOMEBASE

INTERIOR MURALS

Working in partnership with Killian Pacific and Simple Bank, PSAA has managed several interior office mural at Clay Creative, with plans for more. The aim is to provide local artists access to commission opportunities, and provide workers with an inspiring everyday environment to be in, in the heart of Portland’s Central Eastside Industrial District. 

THE GARAGE

In 2017, PSAA began organizing rotating painting inside the parking garage at Clay Creative. All garage murals are done on a volunteer basis by both PSAA and participating artists. These walls provide much needed space to build  portfolios, experiment with new designs, and painting techiques. 


Produce Row Mural

In the fall of 2018, Portland Street Art Alliance (PSAA) was approached by Harsch Investments Properties. Harsch had recently purchased the old Coast Auto Supply building at SE 2nd & Stark in Portland’s Central Eastside Industrial District (CEID). In addition to repairing the windows and broken downspouts, Harsch was directed by the city to abatement the graffiti present on the outside of the building. Instead of just constantly buffing it, Harsch wanted to commission a mural by local artists that paid homage to the history of Produce Row. Located at 125 SE Stark St, this site has a long and colorful past, being in the heart of the city’s Produce Row for the past 83 years, and a popular space for graffiti art over the past decade. With Harsch’s support, PSAA hired a team of four lead artists from the MLS and 4SK crews in Portland to coordinate a massive dual-mural, wrapping around most of the warehouse along Stark, 2nd, and Oak Streets.

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The Produce Row Mural

Over the past six years, Portland Street Art Alliance has spearheaded several street art projects in the Central Eastside Industrial District such as Taylor Electric, Alexis Walls (across the street from Coast Auto), and the upcoming Viaduct Arts project. While we understand cities always change, loosing Coast Auto as a “defacto” space for graffiti sat heavy with us. With the neighborhood undergoing intense redevelopment, we took this as an opportunity to maintain this site as a space for local art, as the change in ownership also came with more security patrols and a regular maintenance schedule.

PSAA wanted to ensure that local artists would still have access to the walls, so two teams of long-time Portland-based graffiti artists were hired to produce a design that was inspired by the history of the district, but with a fresh new twist to the traditional history murals. Digging through archive records, the team landed on a simple concept - massive piles of Willamette Valley fruits and vegetables. The team wanted to experiment with showcasing both sides of their artistic abilities; a concept that is very rarely seen. The final composition blended painterly techniques with their unique text-based graffiti lettering. This experiment manifested itself in overlaid wild-style graffiti lettering, keeping to the colors of the background imagery.

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The mural painting took three months to complete, as the work had to be done incrementally due to Portland’s wet fall and winter weather. Most of the underlying base coats were done with bucket paint and rollers, and then the muralists added details with aerosol and brush paint.

PSAA is working with several Central Eastside property owners trying to ensure that art remains an integral part of the district’s identity. As the city and the district quickly changes beyond our collective control, we want to ensure that long time local graffiti culture is still part of the urban landscape. PSAA is dedicated to creating inclusive models for place and district-making by engaging diverse audiences and artists, and increasing access to public art opportunities such as this, while helping to support local and regional artists.

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Produce Row History

In 1913 Italian immigrants began establishing truck farms that supplied fruit and vegetable wholesalers in a bustling new riverside industrial district that became to be known as “Produce Row.” At the heart of this historic industrial area, are two parallel loading dock streets - 2nd & 3rd Avenues. These thoroughfares transect three viaducts - the Hawthorne Bridge, Morrison Bridge, and Burnside Bridge pass overhead creating deep cavern-like spaces cutting through the Central Eastside. In 1981 it was officially declared in as an ‘industrial sanctuary’ an effort to maintain its unique land use and character. Warehouses and storage facilities were a significant part of the district’s beginnings, and the area provided a variety of blue-collar jobs (Jones, 2014).

Today, SE 2nd and 3rd Avenues still rumble with heavy trucking activity, but the industrial uses have changed, with cleaner and lighter wholesalers, and an increasing number of exclusive commercial services, including fine dining restaurants, multi-media production, as well as high-end retail have begun moving into the CEID (Jones, 2014). This is juxtapose to Portland’s booming creative, tech, and service industry, which is closing in on this historic industrial sanctuary. The infamous DIY Burnside Skatepark lies just a few blocks north on SE 2nd Avenue, nestled underneath the Burnside Bridgehead surrounded by sparkling modern towers.

SE Alder St between 3rd and Union Avenues in 1940. The building on the left would later become Corno’s Market (City of Portland Archives)

SE Alder St between 3rd and Union Avenues in 1940. The building on the left would later become Corno’s Market (City of Portland Archives)

SE 3rd Avenue and SE Alder Street in 1950 (City of Portland Archives)

SE 3rd Avenue and SE Alder Street in 1950 (City of Portland Archives)

SE 3rd Avenue in 2018 (Portland Street Art Alliance)

SE 3rd Avenue in 2018 (Portland Street Art Alliance)

Produce Row used to be the home to dozens of produce warehouses, some of which are still in operation today. Family-owned Rinella Produce at 231 SE Alder St opened in 1914. The Rinella and Lombardo families immigrated from Sicily and Rome to the US. The business has been passed down from father to his son and is one of the oldest produce distribution buildings on the West Coast of the US.

Rinella Produce

Rinella Produce

Frank and David Rinella (Rinella Produce)

Frank and David Rinella (Rinella Produce)

Over the past three or four decades, Produce Row has nurtured newer generations of produce distributors. Pacific Coast Fruit Company at 201 NE 2nd Ave is another produce company that still exists on Produce Row. Pacific Coast was founded in 1977 by Emil Nemarnik. Today they have become one of the largest, independent produce distributors in the Northwest.

Pacific Coast Groundbreaking (Pacific Coast Fruit Company)

Pacific Coast Groundbreaking (Pacific Coast Fruit Company)

Alexis Foods at the corner of SE Stark and 2nd was established by Alexis Bakouros in 1987 after operating a successful Greek restaurant. Using his European contacts, Alexis was able to import high quality specialty foods from Greece, Spain, Italy and France. As the local market evolved and vendors emerged, Alexis Foods' product line expanded to also source crafted, locally sustainable products.

Even though Produce Row continues to thrive as a distribution hub, many of these warehouses and distributors are now gone, including the Independent Fruit and Produce Company pictured below. In the summer of 2017, Alexis Foods partnered with Portland Street Art Alliance to produce two murals by local artists, one of which depicts a series of Greek-style vases.

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Independent Fruit & Produce Co. at 705 SE MLK in 1932 (City of Portland Archives)

Independent Fruit & Produce Co. at 705 SE MLK in 1932 (City of Portland Archives)

Another lost landmark was the Corno family-owned produce market. Corno’s opened in 1951 and was a very popular and well-loved market in Portland. It closed its doors in 1995, and was torn down in 2006 to make way for a pipe project which runs under 3rd Ave now.

Corno Market (City of Portland Archives)

Corno Market (City of Portland Archives)

Today, the Sheridan Fruit Company at 409 SE MLK Blvd is the last of Portland’s ‘old-school’ produce markets. In 1916, John Sheridan started an open-air produce market on Union Avenue (now MLK Blvd). In 1946, the Poleo Brothers, whose family still owns and operates The Sheridan Fruit Company today, purchased the company and began a wholesale operation in 1950. 

Sheridan Fruit Company at 333 SE Alder St (Public Works Administration Archives)

Sheridan Fruit Company at 333 SE Alder St (Public Works Administration Archives)

Sheridan Fruit Company

Sheridan Fruit Company

Sheridan Fruit Company

Sheridan Fruit Company

Another Pacific Fruit & Produce Co. Building at SE 2nd & Alder, 1935 (City of Portland Archives)

Another Pacific Fruit & Produce Co. Building at SE 2nd & Alder, 1935 (City of Portland Archives)

The History of 125 SE Stark

Built in 1936, the building at 125 SE Stark St was originally home to Pacific Fruit and Produce, built and owned by the Portland Terminal Investment Company. Sometime in the 1980s it was purchased by Coast Auto Supply, which operated an auto supply business out of it until 2017 when it was acquired by Harsch.

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Legal Wall Research Project

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In 2012, PSAA was founded as an advocacy group. Our friends were being pressured and harassed by the police for making art in the street, even when they had permission from owners. Art shows and galleries that supported street and graffiti art were being shut down. Since then, PSAA has been working behind-the-scenes to help advocate for this form of art and shape the future of street and graffiti art in Portland by advocating for new City policies.

PSAA is working in a collaboration with Portland State University’s Urban Planning Department to develop a Legal Walls proposal to go before the Portland Council for city-wide approval in the Summer of 2019. PSAA was one of a few organizations selected (including the Portland Bureau of Transportation, the City of Vancouver, the City of Monroe, and the Cathedral Park Neighborhood Association) by the department’s Master’s student senior workshop to participate in this initiative.

Working closely with PSAA, a team of students crafted a proposal to advance the City’s policies surrounding street murals and public art for the collective empowerment of Portland’s street artist community, drawing on street art best practices and case studies from around the world. The proposal combines research, original data collection, and analysis to present policy alternatives allowing Portland to better leverage its thriving street arts culture and solidify the City’s identity as a haven for creatives.

By listening to stories from artists and free wall organizers from around the world, and working with policymakers, property owners, and other stakeholders, this team developed recommendations supporting street art’s potential to achieve City-wide district revitalization goals and use art as a means to include the voices and perspectives of historically marginalized communities.

To remain updated on the process join the PSAA community list for notifications about upcoming related events.

Please attend the presentation to Portland City Council on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 @ 9:30 am. We welcome your support at the hearing!

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READ MORE! | Legal Walls PDX Full Research Report | Available Soon!

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Legal Walls PDX Companion Zine | Available Soon!

Design Week Portland: Art in the Open Panel Talk @ Clay Creative

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On April 10th, 2019, PSAA participated in a Design Week Portland panel discussion and non-profit fundraiser, organized by Killian Pacific and held at Clay Creative (the site of our recent Taylor Electric Project). The panel was moderated by Ann Hudner, an Art Consultant + Communications Strategist based in Portland, OR. Panelists included Adam Tyler, President of Killian Pacific, Tiffany Conklin & Tomás Valladares, Founders of the Portland Street Art Alliance, Kristin Calhoun, the Director of Public Art at the Regional Arts and Culture Council, Chris Herring, the Founder Portland Winter Light Festival, artists Alex Chiu, Lane Walkup, and Joe Thurston. The event also featured interactive art pieces, including a diatom-inspired LED interactive lantern show by Tor Clausen, hyperreal arrangements by Manu Torres, metallic dreams by Lane Walkup, and live mural painting by Alex Chiu, with assistance from several local Portland-based artists including HeySus, May Cat, and Vincent Kukua.

Panel Topic: Has the definition of public art expanded?

Our built environment is a canvas for artistic expression providing opportunities for artists that extend beyond the confines of gallery walls. How can we advocate for and broaden not only the understanding of public art, but the city’s expansive creative capacity and its potential to impact the cultural vibrancy of Portland? As individual property owners, real estate developers, government entities, community members and civic leaders incorporate the artistic community as active participants in a dynamic city, what is the role of public discourse and community engagement?

In this changing landscape where urban planning, business objectives and artistic expression intersect, what are the challenges and opportunities for meaningful change? How does one interpret beauty, cultural aesthetics and new art forms in public spaces? How do we celebrate the public art that currently exists or the experimental spaces and communities that are emerging? Where are the crossroads for public/private and city-wide collaboration?

Huge thank you to our friends at Killian Pacific for hosting this event. Thank you to the beverage sponsors: Union Wine Co., Dirty Pretty Brewing & Brew Dr. Kombucha.

Young Artists Empowerment Camp

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YAE Camp is a partnership between several female-directed nonprofits and collectives. YAE! is a summer camp for young girls; an immersive experience designed to build confidence and empowerment for female identifying youth inside of typically male dominated artistic spaces. YAE! provides mentorship for female/femme/non-binary youth ages 12 to 17 years old. Participants came from diverse, historically marginalized communities, and under-served low-income homes in Portland are given top priority in the scholarship program. Students come from all different levels of technique and experience in visual art and dance. By the end of YAE!, campers learn the basics of aerosol painting and safety, and will have completed a large-scale permanent mural in SE Portland. Campers also showcase a dance they have helped choreograph and participate in a freestyle/cypher/jam session with local female dance artists. 2019 camp registration is open now!

Week 1: August 12-16, 2019 Week 2: August 19-23, 2019

 

Get Involved

If you would like to volunteer to help with YAE Camp, please email erika@pdxstreetart.org.

 

Support

The cost of the 10-day summer camp is $425 per student. This fee pays for art instructor stipends, guest speakers, mural-making supplies, and refreshments for the week. Each year, we aim to raise money from local businesses and community members who can donate to this cause, so we can offer needs-based scholarship spaces. Our goal is to make the camp available everyone, including under-served and diverse youth from all around Portland. Please consider donating to this important program. All donations are tax-deductible. Major sponsors will be acknowledged on the project website, at the event, and in social media announcements. Please email tomas@pdxstreetart.org for more information about how to make a donation.

Sow Radical Seeds

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Introducing PSAA’s newest mural, Sow Radical Seeds, at the Montavilla Farmers Market (7700 SE Stark St). This mural was designed and painted by an all-female team of artists: Girl MobbSara Eileen, and Portland's own N.O. Bonzo. It depicts two strong women, sowing the seeds of radical community-driven change, nurturing a more sustainable world where communities have food security, food sovereignty, and equitable access to healthy nutritious foods. It took the artists 3 full days to complete the mural. It is the perfect backdrop to the weekly farmer’s market. PSAA has been working with Montavilla neighborhood residents and hoping to secure more walls for art in the near future.

The mural came into existence thanks to efforts by the Montavilla Neighborhood Association and PSAA. Working together in just one week they secured community-supported funding, an artist team, and a city mural permit.

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PSAA, the Montavilla Neighborhood Association, and Montavilla Farmers Market officially introduced the mural to the neighborhood by hosting a community meeting where artists, organizers, and farmers came together to talk about how they sow radical seeds in the community with the work they do.

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At the meeting, Javier Lara of Anahuac Produce spoke about his work as a farmer, community leader and activist for human rights. His philosophy on farming stems from a deep connection to nature, and his practice mimics those beliefs. Javier says farming is “more than just local or organic, it has to do with community, and human beings are part of this system.” Javier also fights for farmworkers’ rights as well by working in partnership with PCUN-Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United). PCUN is Oregon’s farmworkers union and the largest Latino organization in the state.

Lily Matlock of Lil' Starts also spoke at the meeting about her 2-acre urban farm located in the East Columbia neighborhood of NE Portland. Lil’ Starts uses permaculture and biodynamic principles to grow clean, healthy produce and robust productive plant starts for local farmers markets, restaurants, and their two CSA programs.

This mural and community meeting was an opportunity to meet people who are sowing radical seeds in Montavilla, and soak up some inspiration for your own community good works! 

Please consider donating to this project, to show your support for the artists time and creativity! So far we have raised just enough to cover supplies and the city mural permit, but we also want to try to compensate the artists for some of their donated time:  https://www.gofundme.com/sow-radical-seeds-mural

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Viaduct Arts

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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 precipitant. Read more about Creative Heights and other exciting grant recipient projects here.

Viaduct Arts will support emerging artists from across Oregon in painting vibrant art murals in the heart of the Central Eastside Industrial District (CEID) of Portland in the Spring/Summer 2019.

Three established Portland street artists along with emerging artists from around Oregon will pair and take new risks to develop their public practice and skill-sets, build their connections, and promote more inclusive engagement and access to public art-making in the city.   Drawing inspiration from the district’s acronym CEID, this new program is intended to seed art making as an integral part of the district’s identity as a hub for innovation and culture building.

Street art can enrich everyday life, help build a city's identity, build bridges, and foster a sense of place and pride in our community.

The Viaduct Arts brings street art into everyday life in the CEID and aligns with, and elevates, several city and district community goals for:

  • Public place-making

  • Accessible spaces for art

  • Façade upgrades

  • Increasing safety

PSAA is dedicated to creating inclusive models for place and district-making by engaging diverse audiences and artists, and increasing access to public art opportunities, while seeding a new generation of emerging artists. Making strong visual use of under utilized spaces within the Central Eastside Industrial District increases alliance building and grassroots community engagement.

Murals PROVIDE ACCESS TO art without barriers of admission

Murals promote a sense of identity and belonging

Murals create a tangible sense of place

Read more about the benefits of murals

As a model for alliance building and grassroots involvement within the street art and business community, PSAA has garnered support from vital partners for this project.  The district-wide project will be coordinated in collaboration with the Central Eastside Industrial Council, Regional Arts & Culture CouncilCity of Portland's Office of Community & Civic Life's Graffiti Program, and most importantly local businesses and property owners.

Viaduct Arts brings together artists to build technical skills, and access support and resources, while pushing their creative boundaries.  Each participating artist is expected to hone skills that will support their increased ability to engage within their respective communities to seed arts across Oregon.

Portland is experiencing accelerated redevelopment and demographic changes, increasing the urgency for creation of spaces that welcome artists from across the state to work, grow, and thrive!

Emerging artists from underrepresented communities (BIPOC+, LGBTQ, Women, Disabled, Low SES), specifically those living across Oregon outside of the Portland metro area are particularly targeted for participation. Central to the success of this project is establishment of new connections for diverse artists to push their creative limits and make their voices heard in urban public spaces.  


PHASE 1 | Morrison Bridge Viaduct | Summer/Fall 2019-2020

PHASE 2 | Hawthorne Bridge Viaduct | Summer/Fall 2019-2020

PHASE 3 | CEID Mural District | On-Going


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DONATIONS

How can you help? Consider making a tax-deductible donation to support this new program! The secured grant funding covers artist and management time, but support is needed from business and property owners to help pay for additional paint and supplies.

 "You pay for the paint - We make it happen!”


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DO YOU HAVE a Wall?

Please email us at info@pdxstreetart.org or fill out this form:

PROPERTY/Business OWNER FORM

 

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. 

VOLUNTEER INTEREST FORM


SPONSORS + PARTNERS

GATS + N.O. Bonzo Mural

Portland Street Art Alliance’s (PSAA) new mural at SE 35th & Division is creating quite a stir. Located on the walls of the historic Oregon Theater, this mural was recently painted by world–renowned artist GATS (@gatsptv), and long-time local Portland artist and activist, N.O. Bonzo (@nobonzo).

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On May 1st 2018, Joseph McMillin, the property manager of the Oregon Theater, reached out to PSAA asking for help to beautify the building. Joseph had contacted PSAA back in 2012, but at that time, our small community advocacy group was just starting off, and not prepared to take on a project of this size. Six years later, PSAA is now a registered 501(c)3 non-profit that works to cultivate a more democratic culture of creative expression in the City of Portland. We form alliances between communities (art, business, governmental) to advocate for more equitable city policies and place-based programs, and provide diverse emerging artists access to resources, networking platforms, professional development, and paid commissioned work. We also work to engage the public in arts, by organizing multi-faceted events, interpretive tours, student internships, and panel talks. Since our founding, PSAA has spearheaded over 20 local art projects, and worked with 68 local and visiting artists. PSAA was much better equipped to help Joseph and the Oregon Theater add vibrant art to their building this time around!

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PSAA has managed the painting of similar murals around town, on Alexis Foods and Clay Creative, bringing a variety of artistic styles to transform blank walls into vibrant public spaces for the benefit of the community. Even with a large following and network, PSAA is still a burgeoning local organization, with no paid staff. We operate on small budgets and rely on a lot of volunteers to make what we do happen. Sometimes our projects are supported with community donations, or commission fees, other times, the property and business owners are able to chip in to support the costs of mural making.

A few days prior to being contacted by the Oregon Theater, PSAA was notified that our longtime friend from the Bay Area, GATS was planning a quick visit to Portland the following week. Joseph wasn’t able to provide any funding for the mural work, but PSAA did not want to miss the opportunity to have GATS paint a new mural in Portland. The Oregon Theater allowed PSAA to pick the artists, so this was the obvious choice. GATS was also willing to donate their time and some supplies for this project. PSAA covered the rest, paying approximately $400 for supplies from fees we charged for other for-profit commission work. 

We would like to share a bit of history about the two muralists, GATS and N.O. Bonzo and their work. Seeing the artwork is striking, but it is also important to know and understand the motivations and personal stories behind the imagery.

For 13 years, GATS, an artist from California, has brought their iconic mask imagery to blank walls all around the work. The mask, which is often likened to an octopus, represents a global identity that breaks down all barriers and prejudice. Inspired at a young age by the punk rock and skateboarding scenes, their iconic image has developed over time, and can be seen in cities and countries across the world from Jerusalem to the Philippines.

Pilsen Walls, Chicago IL

Pilsen Walls, Chicago IL

GATS focuses on painting artwork for struggling communities, such as the houseless and at-risk youth, many of whom don’t have access fine art and can’t visit galleries or museums. Last year, GATS recently painted a mural inside Janus Youth’s offices in downtown Portland. Since 1972, Janus Youth Programs has provided a second chance for at-risk youth with few resources, and no place to turn for help. In an interview with Street Roots, GATS explained:

When you’re houseless, you don’t own a wall, let alone art to hang on it. Most people in that situation don’t browse Instagram for entertainment or feel socially comfortable hanging out in galleries. A mural to someone in this situation will have infinitely more meaning than someone purchasing a painting to decorate their house. I paint houseless shelters to give the building soul. Oftentimes they feel institutional. Your environment has a huge effect on your psyche. If your room looks like a jail, you’re going to act like you’re in jail. If your room feels like a home, you’re going to take pride in it. Also, when you’re low, you don’t want to be bombarded with over-positivity that comes off as insincere. I just wanted to make the place look cool without it feeling preachy. The last thing you want is to feel like you’re being judged when you ask for help. Seeing something familiar when you walk into a space makes you feel like you’re in the right place.” [Street Roots, 4/20/17]

Janus Youth, Portland OR

Janus Youth, Portland OR

GATS is also well-known in the contemporary art world, as galleries are eager to show their work. GATS has had sold-out solo shows in Hashimoto Contemporary (San Francisco), Spoke Art (Spoke Art), Takashi Murakami's Hidari Zingaro Gallery (Tokyo), and many more. They have a significant fanbase and following on social media, with even legendary street art documentarians Martha Cooper and Herny Chalfant being followers and amongst their gallery show audiences. Every time a new GATS artwork goes up in a city, a flurry of art lovers and photographers scurry to go see and document the work. The character is a true symbol of universal humanity and grassroots resistance that tens of thousands of people around the world identify with.

Local Portland artist N.O. Bonzo has been painting with GATS for over a decade, here in Portland and in cities across the Pacific Northwest. N.O. Bonzo is a notable and highly respected artist and printmaker in her own right. Her work focuses on anti-fascist imagery, women's resistance, environmentalism, sex worker rights, and police/prison abolition. N.O. Bonzo’s strikingly beautiful style often focuses on powerful female imagery often adorn with local and medicinal plants. She is known for her meticulous attention to detail, mixing her own homemade vegan inks, inlaying gold leaf, and even painting with rust. In 2014, she hosted a gallery art show at Portland’s Upper Playground called “Drowntown” raising awareness of Portland’s epidemic of depression and suicide.  The red string held by the women in the Oregon Theater mural, are a nod to weaver and spinners guilds. 

N.O.Bonzo and Circleface Mural | Dekum Community Garden Portland, OR

N.O.Bonzo and Circleface Mural | Dekum Community Garden Portland, OR

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In a recent local interview, she described her personal experiences and the motivations behind her artwork:

“I think a lot of us who are drawn to doing this work, do so because we in some way have these overwhelming personal experiences and dominant cultural narratives telling us we don’t matter and no one values us. I came from a lot of trauma and domestic violence, and pretty early on saw the state’s unwillingness to intervene in that violence, and the communities’ (at that time) inability or lack of concern around disrupting it. A lot of the organizing and work I do nowadays surrounds community intervention and support around domestic and sexual violence. Most of my pieces are highly personal in ways that for me are easiest to communicate visually. I draw the people I do because you don’t often see women portrayed in anything other than highly consumable and passive objects. The only place you’re ever going to find folks who are telling their own stories in city space, is with the traditional and modern mural artists, graff writers, and street artists. I want to see folks who experience marginalization getting up and taking space in completely unapologetic and challenging ways in whatever feels best for them. For me the space that I’m drawn to challenge those dominant narratives, is on city property.” [It's Going Down, 8/16/16]

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Portland Street Art Alliance is honored to work with these two immensely talented and passionate artists, and we are thankful to the Oregon Theater for allowing this artwork to be shown on their walls and providing us a canvas to create new public art in the City of Portland.

KEEP ON THE SUNNYSIDE MURAL PROJECT

In 2017, Portland Street Art Alliance organized the painting of a new community mural at the corner of SE 30th & Belmont. This mural honors the rich history of the Sunnyside Neighborhood & Belmont District. The mural was sponsored by a grant from SE Uplift’s Small Community Grants Program, along with support from the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association, local businesses, and generous neighbors. 

This 100-foot long mural was designed and painted by emerging street artist, Mado Hues (@murky.mind), being their largest public art project to date. Each of the 10 panels represent significant pieces of Sunnyside history, such as its early rural and pioneer histories, its historic built environment, unique transportation history (being the first streetcar era neighborhood), iconic local landmarks, prominent businesses and sacred spaces, and its dynamic cultures of art and sustainability. Working closely with PSAA researchers, a local artist developed concept sketches for the panels that embodied symbols of the Sunnyside neighborhood's past and present. 

EXLORE THE MURAL PANELS

Explore the mural panels and some of the history of the Sunnyside neighborhood and Belmont Business District.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

PSAA donated all of their management time, and volunteers assisted with many aspects of the project, including wall prep, community outreach, and architectural detail painting. PSAA connected with the neighborhood via print and social media, on-the-ground flyers, and word-of-mouth. Some people just simply passed by the mural, and offered to lend a helping hand. Dozens of community members including children, teens, elders, and local houseless community contributed to mural project in some way.