We pay, as a collective soul, for a person to keep track of all the public art in Portland, in our region in fact. That person – that database – has been offline, inaccessible, without sufficient explanation, for quite awhile.

It’s Robert Krueger, Public Art Collections Specialist, 503-823-5404, rkrueger@racc.org of the Regional Arts & Culture Council – or RACC, and the RACC database of public artwork. Which today or yesterday updated it’s placeholder site to no longer say the database would be back online “in late October.” This note has been slightly altered toward the unaccountable.

Here’s where the database should be – but it’s not!


October 30, 2005 version

We’re sorry…
Due to technology upgrades, the RACC Public Art Search page is currently unavailable, but will return soon. We apologize for the inconvenience. Thank you for visiting.


It’s not the Water Bureau, I know. We don’t need a public art database. (Which calls to question to point of the thing.) We don’t need to know where all this stuff is, or what condition its in, or who made it or when. I guess we don’t.

But the stickier question is, where is it when it isn’t anywhere at all, at least not yet?

The Multnomah County Library, a mighty finer municipal fiefdom, managed to switch it’s database systems last month, not comfortably but they switched. Nice difference – switched. Not stopped for a long unpredictable amount of time, only to be delayed longer.

Why not leave up what was there? Why evaporate entirely? Why not a clean switch? Is this some amateur deal where someone’s cousin got involved? But wait a second – I thought we paid to have someone keep track of all this public artwork.

So yeah, it’s not an amateur deal. Or at least it shouldn’t be.