On my first visit to Portland in 1999, I spent an afternoon hopping on and off the MAX Blue Line, brochure in hand, exploring the art that adorns each light-rail station between downtown Portland and the western suburbs.

Twelve years later, I’m thrilled to present Portland’s Public Art to a broader audience, in a new format. I hope this app is a tool for learning, discovery, and inspiration – and I hope it builds new connections between citizens, visitors, artists and ideas. Matt Blair

About RACC

Over the course of 30 years, the City of Portland and Multnomah County have built a nationally renowned public art collection that infuses our government buildings, parks, community centers, libraries, streetscapes and fire stations with art. The Regional Arts & Culture Council is the steward of this collection, with over 400 permanently-sited works included in this app. There are more than 1800 artworks overall, funded by percent-for-art ordinances, private developers, donations and special project funds. Browse the entire collection online at http://www.racc.org/publicart.

Support the Creative Advocacy Network

The Creative Advocacy Network has launched a movement to increase public funding for the arts in our region. Why? Because we know that the arts can inspire kids and keep them in school, revive neighborhoods and enrich communities and create jobs and fuel the economy. It is time to make sure that every child and every community enjoys access to the arts. Join the movement.

For more information: http://theartscan.org


Ideas? Questions? Bugs? Concerns? Contact me via email: support@publicartpdx.org.

I’ll be expanding the collection of art featured here, and linking directly to the artists where possible. If you are aware of works of art, projects or collections you’d like to see in the app, send me a note via the + button at the bottom of the map, or email submissions@publicartpdx.com.


Design and Development by Matt Blair / Elsewise Strategic

Data hosting by CouchBase. Thanks to Jason Smith and J. Chris Anderson for prompt support.

Thanks to RACC and the City of Portland Bureau of Technology Services for making the public art data available as part of the Civic Apps Challenge.

Thanks to Max Ogden for the initial data import and CouchDB tips; Rick Nixon for leading the Civic Apps project and making introductions; Chris Bisgard of RACC and Richard Davies of BTS for their work on bringing all the data together; Jeffrey Baer for handling licensing details for the app icon; Paul Peterson for improvements to the app icon image; Peggy Kendellen, Kristin Calhoun, Danielle Davis, Jeff Hawthorne and Keith Lachowicz of RACC and Mayor Sam Adams for feedback and ideas about the app.

Special thanks to Cary Clarke (Arts & Culture Policy Director, Office of Mayor Sam Adams) for building connections, coordinating between agencies and generally making things happen!

As always, thanks to my favorite baby-boomer beta-testers: Jim and Kay Blair.

And thanks to everyone using the app for being interested in and supporting the arts.



Copyrights for artworks depicted typically remain with the artists, individual circumstances may vary. RACC does not assume responsibility for determining copyrights for any of the work in the City of Portland/Multnomah County public art collection.

Original dataset copyright RACC, 2011. All images provided by RACC are intended to be used as a guide for public art in the Portland Metropolitan Region, they are for educational purposes only and are not intended for any other use. For more information, visit www.racc.org.

The “Portland, Oregon” sign is owned by the City of Portland. Used by permission. App icon photo by Matt Blair, with enhancements by Paul Peterson.


The app uses ASIHTTPRequest (under BSD License) to manage network requests, json-framework (under New BSD License) to parse JSON, MBProgressHUD (under MIT License) and a few icons by Glyphish, available through the Creative Commons-Attribution license. Enhanced icons used for the iPhone 4 are licensed under terms of the Glyphish Pro package.

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