August 2007

Located on the vast Portland Public Art photo archive is now a large collection of pre-1950 postcards, showing off Portland and it’s environs in their heyday. Most of the postcards show well-known locations or events, such as street scenes, hotels, hospitals, government buildings, parks, aerial photos, and the like.

(A collection of pictures of picture postcards – it’s both post modern and less fuss!)

At the right, Alice Cooper’s Sacajawea, located in Washington Park. I think this sculpture came to Portland during the first centennial celebration of the Corps of Discovery, in 1906.

Click on the PICASA logo at the right side of the screen to go to the PHOTO ARCHIVE.

Click HERE to go directly to the Portland postcards collection. Look in the WASHINGTON PARK section of the archive to see more images of Coming of the White Man, by H. A. MacNeil, shown in the second postcard. This sculpture is also in Washington Park, but in a somewhat more secluded location than Cooper’s Sacajawea.

Photos in the archive are split up by both location and by subject, and list both the artworks and artists mentioned in the Portland Public Art blog and many many others.

Two upcoming City Hall events and only history will sort out which is more important to the future of our fair village.

August 23 at 5 PMMusicFest NW presents the Shaky Hands and Pierced Arrows play in the City Hall turnaround. Last year it was great fun to watch Sam intro Tom Potter to the kids and geez there are a lot of kids working at City Hall.

Shaky Hands are okay, from the same breed as so many other Portland bands; about to go out on tour with The Shins. Pierced Arrows are Fred & Toody Cole back from their short vacation away from the stage. They sold their souls to rock and roll, right? That means retirement is bunk!

Listen : Shaky Hands – Summer’s Life
(I can’t find music online for Pierced Arrows, so instead, and I mean this with no disrespect for Fred & Toody, here is)
Listen : I’m From Barcelona : Britney

See – Portland Public Art – It’s OK – Dead Moon Retires

September 17 and 23 at 6:30 PM – Sam Adams and etcetera will host “a series of smaller discussions on specific topics raised at the Creative Capacity Townhall in June.”

Sign up by at Seats are limited.

If you missed it, Commissioner Sam has pledged to connect the wide variety of creative agents into an advocacy community with uniting messages to pressure Salem and local corporations + foundations to take and fund the arts seriously. Does it seem unrealistic? Perhaps it’s been a long time since we’ve had leadership in the public arts.

For all about the Creative Capacity discussion, see –

Portland Public Art – Getting our Creative Capacity Sorted Out
Portland Public Art – Creative Capacity Townhall – video

Sam and etcetera are also looking to form a Creative Capacity Steering Committee. I am going to quote at length here because if only the usual suspects sign up, you know what the outcome will become.

We want to grow the capacity of the creative community to advocate for more resources through either voters at the ballot or with decision makers at budget time. How we find and use those resources to grow and strengthen the community is up to you.

We need your help. We’re looking for folks interested in serving on a steering committee of between 30 to 50 people to help guide this effort.

You should be: a) actively engaged in the creative community b) willing to meet every other month for a few hours during the day c) unafraid to share your opinion d) unafraid of compromise.

Think that’s you? Email a little something about yourself to

There will be lots of other opportunities to engage with the effort as well, we promise.

Promises promises. Here’s the very first question for the “Roundtable” or “Steering Committee.” What is the criteria for determining who sits at the table?

Jack Portland’s artwork seems everywhere in his hometown. A new fresco at St. Philip Neri joins the enormous Provincial Narrative at the international gates at PDX, Urban Landscape at the SE police station, the county courthouse and a rackful of oils at Laura Russo. (He was one of the first artists to join Arlene Schnitzer’s Fountain Gallery, one of the first showplaces of Portland painters and sculptors.)

Portland (the city) has a handful of weekly papers which are terrifically easy to overlook if you’re not in the niche, and the Catholic Sentinel is one. Say what you like about their supernatural delusions, it’s always a curious read.

This week the Sentinel highlights Jack Portland’s new fresco at St. Philip NeriArtist returned to life with the most difficult of paintings. The narrative tells how Portland has been spending half of each year in Italy painting frescos, and how a recent health crisis altered his artwork. Illuminating.

Portland (the man) was highlighted recently on Oregon ArtBeat.

Considering masters of Catholic symbolism and dream imagery – See – Italy Loses Fra Angelico Altarpieces, Again

About ten years back the old Multnomah Hotel was converted from a suite of decrepit federal offices back into a business hotel – now part of a national chain.

Following a popular trend, very big in casinos and uninteresting resorts, this place, at Third and SW Oak Streets has installed spectacle art as a memorable object. This used to be the niche of taxidermy or wax museums but now tycoons like Steve Wynn use art as lobby filler, fluff for the rubes.

You can imagine the dialog by the traveling sales reps, “remember that place we stayed at in Portland?” “Which one?” “The big place downtown with the really weird statue in the lobby.” “Oh yeah! What was up with that?”

Good question. Not that we should make traveling sales reps our aesthetic measuring tape.

This thing is easily eight feet high and made by Sandy Proctor of Florida, who has a nice operation of bland and boring bronze sculpture, which probably sells pretty well. This piece, after you stop chuckling, is clearly both fantastically expensive and out of place. Like an odd puzzle piece, tho I can’t imagine the surrounding puzzle. The Playgirl mansion? Jim Bakker’s boudoir?