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Why won't Clear Channel let Portland have a Public Art program?

Artists and activists must defend artistic expression in the city of Portland, we are in danger of a terrible precedent takingplace- a sign company dictating whether murals and public art can be created or not.

In Defense of Art: Murals and Public Art in a Corporate Culture

November 9th, 2004 6-9 pm Portland State University's Smith Center Ballroom

art exhibit books information poetry lectures

Jim Prigoff, photographer, author and social activist will speak at PSU, showing slides from his archive of murals and urban art, including the aerosol art of LA, Cicago, New York, Ireland, Mexico, Nicaragua, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and much, much more.

Jim's books include: Spraycan Art (with Henry Chalfant) and Walls of Heritage, Walls of Pride: History of African American Murals (with Robin Dunitz).

Also, appearing will be Theodore A. Harris, poet, artist and muralist from Philadelphia, PA and three local mural artists: Isaka Shamsud-Din, Jennifer Joyce and Joe Cotter.

Admission is on a sliding scale: $8-20

Proceeds will benefit the Portland Alliance- one of our reliable alt. political papers, and Portland Mural Defense- an organization of artists and activists.
I love murals 26.Oct.2004 17:49

arty smarty

Every other city has lots of murals, why not Portland? What is the deal here anyway?

sock it to them 27.Oct.2004 01:49

blinders anyone?

Portland has a real problem with clear channel. I've read about it but am not clear on the details, partly because it's quite complex. I think clear channel won a big lawsuit against the city. I believe the city has managed to avoid paying it by making this agreement that does not descriminate between Clear Channel's very obnoxious advertising sign-age and murals that ordinary people like to think of as decor in their neighborhoods.
I'm 50+, and I've seen a lot of signs along motorways and other prominent places. I can understand, handle and respect a certain amount of commercial marketing strategy in the way of roadsigns on the part of advertising companies. I've been able to pretty much drive by and ignore most of this through my life if I chose to.
What has really "crisped" me in regards to advertising sign-age are the electronic billboards. They me be a significan evolution in roadside advertising.They are distracting to the point of being a potential traffic hazard in my opinion. I don't see signs that the public has yet come to that same conclusion, but it worrys me that such signs could proliferate with little consideration for safety and urban aesthetics.
A major component of marketing and advertising is conditioning in the form of brand familiarization that is ostensibly information of value to the public. This is done many ways, and we accept and even enjoy much of it in our lives. When it is done in such a way as to potentially threaten people's lives and property, something should be done to curtail it's use.
One example of such a sign in what I believe is a very hazardous location is located over in the 6th Avenue area south of I-405, PSU. This is an extremely tangled jumble of multi-laned streets that require quick lane changes in short distances given certain destinations. Coming from the southeast, as in Barbur Blvd, negotiating your way eventually to where you go to 12th, you drive a stretch of road where this sign is very intrusive quite some distance from it. especially on dark rainy nights, it glares out at drivers over everything else at an angle far to close to eye level.
How long before someone acutally has an accident because of glare from this sign? Is that what it takes before the city can actually restrict this imposition on people? From an aesthetic standpoint, the idea of a proliferation of these signs evokes images of a real-life "bladerunner" urban environment. How many people really want that to live in?
Clear Channel knows they have the city over a barrel on this sign code issue, and they arrogantly exploit the situation to impose their marketing on people. Meanwhile, people with genuine, sincere consideration for the aesthetic concerns of people they live with can't even create a traditional paint on the wall community relevent mural without an expensive, protracted legal maze to negotiate, thanks to Clear Channel.