Apologies for the short notice on this, but today from 5:30 to 7:30pm at City Hall's council chambers there will be a town hall meeting on how murals are permitted. The intent is to facilitate more community-based art murals without opening the flood gates to crass advertising.
This has been an ongoing issue and balancing act for Portland for a long time. Murals were exempted from the city’s sign code for many years, until legal challenges left no choice but to reluctantly discontinue the exemption in 1998. As a result, for several years the production of community murals came to a near standstill. Under Mayor Vera Katz a compromise was developed wherein the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) became empowered to approve murals through the city’s Public Art Program. These discussions, city leaders hope, will create an alternative process for the City to consider community murals for those who may not choose to apply for funding through RACC’s Public Art Mural Program.Anyone who drove west over the Morrison Bridge a couple years ago noticed the egregious electric sign there. But murals are also a wonderful urban phenomenon. How do we pull of the balancing act?