A conversation about public art and monuments

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Protesters in Portland knocked over several statues, including that of President Abraham Lincoln, on Sunday, October 11, 2020, in an event they called “Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage.”

Sergio olmos

Portland City Commissioner Carmen Rubio asks her fellow city councilors to set aside $ 50,000 for a community engagement process to decide what to do with five statues that were toppled or removed during protests for racial justice last year. Arts organization Converge 45 has created Portland’s Monuments and Memorials Project and is poised to play a role in the ongoing conversation about the role of art in public spaces and what monuments should look like in 2021. PMMP recently concluded an exhibition titled “Prototypes” where artists and community members came together to imagine answers to these big questions. We discuss some ideas and concepts with David Harrelson, head of the cultural resources department of the Confederate Tribes of Grand Ronde, visual artist Paula Wilson and artist Jess Perlitz, co-chair of PMMP and associate professor of sculpture at Lewis & Clark College.

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