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Mayor’s Office Native Art Project: Telling the Story of Portland

The Portland, Oregon Mayor’s office, working in partnership with the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, is looking to showcase the work of 3-4 Native artists. The theme is to tell a story of the Indigenous Peoples in the Portland Metropolitan area, past, present, and future. Selected artwork will be purchased for the City of Portland’s art collection and will be installed in the lobby of the Mayor’s office.


In an effort to increase Native American visibility and convey a more equitable perspective of Portland’s history, artwork created by Native artists will replace portraits of previous mayors that are currently displayed in the entrance to the Mayor’s office. These works will tell the stories of the past, present and future of the city as expressed through the eyes of Native artists. Knowing that truthful storytelling can unify and build community relations, Mayor Wheeler is dedicated to showcasing Native art throughout the city while building stronger relationships with tribal nations and the urban native community.

Site Description:

  • Three to four small works of art will be installed on the wall marking the entrance to the mayor’s office.
  • Overall dimension of the wall is 9 feet high by 10 feet wide.

Artist Eligibility:

  • Artist applicant must be over the age of 18. 
  • Applicants must currently reside in the United States. 
  • New and emerging artists and transitional aged youth are encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants should be an enrolled member or citizen of a federally recognized or state-recognized American Indian tribe or Alaska Native corporation, or first or second degree descendent. Applicants will be asked to describe their tribal affiliation or ancestry in a narrative.
  • Artists do not have to reside in the Portland metropolitan area, but should be able to demonstrate deep ties and connections to the local Portland Native community.

Type of Artwork:

  • New or existing two-dimensional work or wall mounted three-dimensional work with a depth of no more than 6 inches.
  • Overall size of each work should be no larger than 24 inches wide and 72 inches high.

Award Amount: $2,000 for each artwork chosen.  

Artists will be responsible for any taxes imposed on this purchase amount.

Copyright:  The exclusive legal rights of the artwork will remain with the artist while the artwork will become part of the city’s public art collection. The city will retain a non-exclusive license to copy or reproduce the artwork for standard collection purposes including education and publicity but may not copy or reproduce the artwork for commercial purposes without seeking permission from the copyright holder (artist).

Submission Requirements:

Using the Submittable form below, please provide:

  • Artist’s bio [500 word limit]
  • Narrative about the Artist’s tribal affiliation / ancestry and their ties and connections to the Portland metropolitan area and local Native community [500 word limit]
  • Statement of work [300 word limit]
  • Website links, if available
  • Image and description of artwork(s) available for purchase (limited to no more than 3 submissions per applicant); include title, size, medium, and date.
  • Additional work samples may be requested by the City Advisory Committee. 

Submissions Due: August 13, 2021 at 5:00pm Pacific Time

Selection Process: Artwork will be chosen by a Portland City Advisory Committee. 

Notification: Artists whose work is chosen will be notified by September 3, 2021.

Artwork Delivery: Chosen artwork must be delivered to the mayor’s office no later than September 20, 2021. (It will be the responsibility of the artist to deliver the artwork by the deadline)

Installation: Selected artists are requested to be present during installation, date to be determined.

A reception for the artists will take place at a date yet to be determined.


  • Log in or create a Submittable account.
  • Please be sure the email address you used to sign up for your Submittable account is one that you check regularly. We will follow-up with you about your submission by email. 
  • Answer all required questions in the form (required questions are marked with an asterisk*) and upload your work samples and supporting materials.
  • You may save your work and return to your application at a later time by clicking, "Save Draft" at the bottom of the page. 
  • Once you are finished, click the "Submit" button at the bottom of the page. 
  • You will receive an email shortly after you submit your form to confirm it was received. If you did not receive a confirmation email, then NACF may not have received your submission and you must notify Laura Cales, Program Manager, at laura@nativeartsandcultures.org as soon as possible. 
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  • For technical support, email support@submittable.com or click the "Technical Help" button on this page or 
  • For all other inquiries, please contact Reuben Roqueñi, NACF Director of Transformative Change Programs, at reuben@nativeartsandcultures.org or 503-388-3720 or Laura Cales, NACF Program Manager, at laura@nativeartsandcultures.org or 360-334-7285. 
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