Benz and Chang won a juried commission to install a piece of public art in the Portland Building starting mid-September 2016. The photos above are different views of a model of what I plan to build for it, except the content will be a little different. The finished piece will be room-sized and be installed in a room.

Every year the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) puts out a call for artists to submit proposals for the installation space in the Portland Building. This is the city building at 1120 5th Avenue in downtown Port­land – the one with the enormous statue on it. The installation space is to the side in their main lobby. Here is a link to the page that RACC maintains to document the Portland Building installations.

Artists are chosen by a jury. RACC says that about 100 artists submit proposals every year. Six professional artists and three student artists are chosen each year. I submitted a proposal in late 2015 for the 2016-2017 season, and was fortunate to be chosen. My installation will be up from September 19 to October 14. The date that I can start installing is September 12. My current plan is to start the work in early August, build most of my installation in my garage, and install it during that week.

I thought that it would be interesting to post my entire proposal here as a sample for other artists to see what it looks like. First off, here is the 2016-2017 Artist RFP from RACC (This one is specific to 2016-2017 only. If you’re thinking of applying, get a current one from RACC).

Here is the text of my proposal, as it was submitted:

The Bridge, 1910


To dream of a bridge may signify making a connection, crossing a transition, or overcoming an obstacle. When I was contemplating the project, I came across this photo from the City of Portland Archives, and was struck by the poses and faces of the men. I wanted to bring these figures and bridge building into a more dream-like, archetypal representation. Here are the agents of change and here is their means of transport over this obstacle.

Hawthorne Bridge Crew in 1910 – framed area will be used for silhouette Source: City of Portland Archives


The bridge will be constructed of four frames, each being 8′ tall by 6′ 5″ wide, which are assembled in a line like a bridge (see the attached photos for a model of the piece). Photography backdrop paper will be stretched across each frame. This paper will be cut with silhouettes as shown in the sketches (but with more detail). The back of the installation space will be painted with raindrops. On the left side of the bridge, I will leave a few inches of space. Viewers will be able to enter the space to the right of the bridge.

The paper and other materials will be cut ahead of time in my studio and transported to the installation space to be assembled.

Here is my sketch of the installation:

Artists are asked to include up to six images of past work. I opted to include two images of a “proof of concept” model that I built.

1. Proof of concept paper model, view 1 – Cardboard and glue – 2015 – This is a photo of a paper model I did as a test to see how this sort of format would work.

2. Proof of concept paper model, view 2. – Cardboard and glue – 2015

3. Finding Beauty in Cancer, the Alchemist, 1912 – Walnut ink on watercolor paper – 10 x 14.5 inches – 2015 – My current body of work is very archetypal and dream-like. These two “Finding Beauty” paintings were a collaboration with local photographer Kimberli Ransom.

4. Finding Beauty in Cancer, New Diagnosis, 1912 – Walnut ink on watercolor paper – 10 x 14.5 inches – 2015

5. Mr. Marguerite Lives Like a Ghost, 1923 – Walnut ink on watercolor paper – 10 x 13 inches – 2015

6. The Photographer, 1933 – Walnut ink on watercolor paper – 14 x 11 inches – 2015

Here, in PDFs linked to the text, are my “simple budget or list of expenses“, “image_list“, and “resume or bio.” I did my best to keep everything on one page and simple.

That’s it! I’ll be sending out invites when it happens.

Categories: NewsRACC


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