In April 2000, the City Council established the Portland Public Art Program to preserve, restore and enhance the city’s public art collection. The Portland Public Art Program commissions art that engages with the surrounding environment to create, enrich, or reveal a sense of place, and to express the spirit, values, visions and poetry of place that collectively define Portland.
Public Art Collection
The public art collection currently contains 56 works of art that are permanently installed throughout Portland. Several new works were added in 2004 and again in 2013 through 2015 with several gifts. The collection contains works of historical significance that date from the nineteenth century, as well as contemporary pieces that reflect the diversity and spirit of the city.
The Portland Public Art Committee administers the Portland Public Art Program. The responsibilities of the Art Committee are outlined in Article XI of the City Code (Public Art Program). The Art Committee utilizes the Guidelines for the Public Art Ordinance (Volume 1, Number 1 – adopted May 2001) for direction in administering their responsibilities.
A key element of the Portland Public Art Program was the establishment of a percent-for-art ordinance. Under that ordinance, the city allocates ½ of 1% of the city’s annual Capital Improvement Project (CIP) budget for the restoration or acquisition of permanent public art.
Information about the Portland Public Art Program can be obtained from Department of Planning and Development, City of Portland, 389 Congress Street, Portland, Maine 04101, by phone at 207-874-8901, by email, or by visiting the Public Art Committee website.
August 17, 2016 - Comment on the Woodfords Corner Public Art options - comment open through Friday, August 26th. Comment/feedback form
August 8, 2016 - Congress Square Public Art Forum - Video now posted here.
Congress Square Public Art Finalists Announced (June 17, 2016)
The Portland Public Art Committee is pleased to announce that four artists have been selected as finalists for the Congress Square Public Art Commission. The artists will be invited to Portland for interviews with the selection committee, a site visit, and a public presentation on August 8th.
The selected artist’s work will include developing a concept for public art to be sited in Congress Square in collaboration with WRT, the design team selected last month, who will create a concept for Congress Square as a whole.
The four artist finalists are (in alphabetical order):