Calling All Art Lovers: Oregon’s Public Collection Is Now Online


PORTLAND — More than 2,400 artworks from Oregon’s public art collection are now featured on a website for all to view. The Percent for Art Collection includes paintings, works on paper, photography, sculpture, ceramics, glass, mosaics, murals, textiles and art installations by over 800 artists.

Garrick Imatani’s “Plank House.” A detail from the installation, “Lessons from a Falling Star” at the University of Oregon.

The new online interface allows visitors to experience the state’s art collection remotely, or to plan visits to view art in person. Robust search capabilities allow tailored searches — for a teacher creating class curriculum, a student doing research, or a curious member of the public.

The collection includes pieces such as Henk Pander’s “The Road”, a large-scale painting of an imagined traffic accident based on the artist’s experiences riding along with various Oregon police, sheriff and fire departments. The painting was commissioned for the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem. Other highlights include Lead Pencil Studio’s “OSH Patient Memorial”, which respectfully commemorates more than 3,400 individuals who passed away in Oregon state institutions from 1913 to 1970.

Oregon was one of the first states in the nation to pass Percent for Art legislation, setting aside no less than 1 percent of funds for the acquisition of public-facing artwork in all state building construction projects with budgets over $100,000. Since 1975, the Percent for Art program has placed high-quality, accessible and mostly permanent art in public places. Over 275 state construction projects have qualified for Percent for Art funds and more than 2,000 Oregonians have taken part in the selection of artwork for their state’s higher education campuses and government facilities.

The program, managed by the Oregon Arts Commission, remains dedicated to the enhancement of public environments and the improvement of the character and quality of state buildings.

About Author

Carrie Kikel is the Communications Manager for Oregon’s Arts Department, which includes the Oregon Arts Commission and the Oregon Cultural Trust. The Oregon Arts Commission provides statewide grant funding to artists, arts organizations and arts programs. The Cultural Trust raises public and private awareness and investment in arts, heritage, history, humanities and preservation.

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