Portland is a very big city. There are 645,000 (that’s double Salinas), just in the city, with a few million more living in the suburbs and smaller surrounding towns. Many of those people are talented artists.
And there are only so many art galleries, museums, and shops. All the art just won’t fit inside.
So quite a bit of it is outside. This is great! You don’t have to pay to see it, or even go out of your way. It is right there on the way to store or whizzing by the bus window.
When I talk about Art Outside, I distinguish between street art, which takes planning, care and talent, and graffiti, which just takes a can of spray paint. Graffiti people, who call themselves “taggers” usually have a signature set of letters that they spray wherever they can reach, like a kid writing their name on the wall.
To me, this isn’t art. It is vandalism. People spend their time and money to cover up the graffiti, or wash it off. Art outside is a perfect reflection of people’s ability to make their world better, or worse.
I love returning to a neighborhood after a few months and seeing a new mural. “How long has that been here? It’s so cool!”
And while you are here, we’ll see plenty.