Art on Alberta Has Left the Building

August 7, 2013 § Leave a comment

August 1, 2013—Portland, ORArt on Alberta has officially closed its doors, leaving behind a rich legacy of public art, art and education support, and community engagement. The group of dedicated volunteers has focused on promoting the Alberta Art District’s distinct cultural identity through art and educational activities for over 13 years via community connections, festival partnerships, art shows, classroom visits, public art installations, and events such as the beloved Art Hop, a day-long community festival celebrating arts and culture traditionally held each May.

The small but mighty nonprofit organization was formed by a group of art businesses and artists who first met in 2000 to secure a grant for fabric banners for the street and to organize the first Art Hop event. The energy shared at initial meetings fueled the team as they set up a Board of Directors, sought 501c3 status, and began meeting monthly to work on projects ranging from distributing fabricated metal sculptures built by teens, affectionately known as Art Agogs, to organizing the “Shovel Art Project” featured at the groundbreaking ceremonies for the Streetscape Improvement Project. The first board President was Donna Guardino (2000-2002) owner of Guardino Gallery. Onda Gallery’s Allan Oliver (2002-2005) was next, followed by Joseph Blanchette (2005 to 2007), Hilary Pfeifer (2007 to 2010) of Bunny with a Toolbelt, and Eve Connell (2010 to 2013). Local property owner / entrepreneur Roslyn Hill also helped organize Art on Alberta and the Alberta Street Neighborhood Business Association as a source of funds and community support.

Art on Alberta came together exclusively for charitable and educational purposes to enrich the artistic and cultural life of the Alberta Street corridor and to promote, develop, and preserve Northeast Alberta Street through community involvement as a viable and desirable place to work, live, and shop. In doing so, the organization has contributed greatly to the neighborhood’s cultural identity and revitalization efforts. Once the Alberta Main Street program was implemented in the neighborhood (2010), Art on Alberta eagerly partnered with this important group to continue the good work evident in this creative slice of Northeast Portland today.

Two main contributions – the annual Art Hop festival and the presence of Red Rover, a mobile gallery – enabled the group to bring arts experiences to the broader Portland community. Art on Alberta’s roving trailer gallery was used as an installation space, a tool for art education, and a literal vehicle to bring art to the community in a fun, unconventional way. The annual Art Hop festival engaged community members in celebrating the arts with over 200 vendors, music,

literary arts, food, fun, and more. The 2009 festival was a tremendous undertaking and cornerstone for the arts community and for Alberta Street as it featured the work of local artist (with international acclaim) Thelma Johnson Streat. The 2010 festival featured muralists Rodolfo Serna and Esteban Camacho who assisted teens and community groups and neighbors in creating murals that are on permanent display at three locations on Northeast Alberta Street. That was the last Art Hop festival (May 2010). Red Rover has been donated to SCRAP, another arts-focused nonprofit organization that inspires creative reuse and sustainable habits by providing educational programs and affordable materials to our craft hungry community. Remaining funds have been donated to Alberta Main Street so it may continue to support public art on the street.

“Alberta Main Street is committed to fostering the development of Northeast Alberta Street as a world class arts and creative district. While Art on Alberta is closing their doors, many of the founders and people remain engaged in our efforts,” notes Sara Wittenberg, Alberta Main Street’s Executive Director.

Art on Alberta relied on grants from RACC, OAC, other independent funders, as well as in-kind and cash donations from supporters and local businesses in order to host the Art Hop festival each year. The group also held annual meetings that attracted many small business owners, participated in RACC’s Art Spark events, and presented well-attended fundraising events like the Colour Party.

Art on Alberta’s board members are eager to see an official catalog of Northeast Alberta Street’s growing and impressive public art collection. A map project is underway with Alberta Main Street committees focused on design and promotions. A few Art on Alberta board members will join this group to share knowledge and history of the rich art legacy that continues to grow.


Additional Information:

Art on Alberta was a nonprofit organization with a dedicated volunteer board that, for over 13 years, focused on promoting the Alberta Art District’s distinct cultural identity through art and educational activities.

Art on Alberta thanks all its supporters and funders over the years for helping to shape this fantastic arts-focused community, vibrant business district, and super cool neighborhood!


Defend the Arts Today!

April 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

Arts and music education are IN JEOPARDY.

Portland City Council is facing a $21.5 million shortfall in 2013-14, and looking to cut costs. Every city bureau, and also RACC, are prepared for a standard cut of 10%, but some have suggested that RACC should be cut even further – as much as $1 million (15%) more.

Learn more about what you can do TODAY in ONE HOT MINUTE to support the mechanism that 62% of PDX voters approved in November.

Pay early! Pay online!

March 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

The City of Portland’s Revenue Bureau has recently launched — and has officially begun collecting Portland’s new $35 income tax to establish the Arts Education & Access Fund.

Payments are due on April 15th. The Revenue Bureau estimates that nearly 400,000 Portland residents will be eligible to pay this $35 local income tax along with their state and federal returns this year. While the Revenue Bureau has developed a comprehensive collections plan including multiple mailings and an online payment method through, they have made it clear that the more residents who pay online and pay early, the less money they will have to spend on collections. And every dollar saved will directly support the arts.

As supporters of Ballot Measure 26-146 and the Creative Advocacy Network, you all know that the arts improve our schools, shape our neighborhoods, fuel our economy and improve the livability of this city that we love. And now, with a simple annual $35 tax payment, we can ensure that every Portland resident has access to our city’s cultural and creative riches.

Pay early. Pay online. And bring the arts to life for every Portland classroom and community.

Join us for a Portland Timbers tribute w/Green & Gold on Alberta Street

February 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

The Portland Timbers, in conjunction with Alberta Main Street and Art on Alberta, will unveil their new 2013 primary and secondary jerseys on Last Thursday, February 28, 2013. The unveiling will feature an art exhibition, with Timbers inspired art at Alberta Street galleries.

Nationally, 12 Major League Soccer teams are unveiling new jerseys in February during “Jersey Week.” Art is the theme of all of the new kits making the Alberta Arts District’s Last Thursday the natural venue to unveil the Portland Timbers’ new kits.

Talisman Gallery (1476 NE Alberta St) and The Best Art Gallery in Portland (1468 NE Alberta St) will host the unveiling along with full shows featuring Timbers pieces by local artists. Additionally, attendees can participate in a paint-by-numbers mural that will be displayed at JELD-WEN Field and Art on Alberta’s Red Rover will debut a Timbers installation in front of Talisman Gallery. The show will open on Thursday February 28th, 6 – 9 PM and run through Sunday, March 24, 2013.

Guardino Gallery (2939 NE Alberta St), Six Days Art Co-op (2724 NE Alberta St), The Make House (1732 NE Alberta St), Antler (1722 NE Alberta St), and Screaming Sky Gallery (1416 NE Alberta St) will all feature one Timbers inspired piece each in addition to their regular shows. The Portland Timbers are providing pedicab transportation between galleries.

A percentage of sales will be donated to The Portland Timbers Community Fund, supporting youth education, sports, health and fitness, and environmental awareness, and activism.

Local artist Chris Haberman (The Peoples Art of Portland Gallery) is curating the show. Our very own Red Rover will showcase an amazing Timbers inspired installation created by artistic dynamic duo Peggy Pfenninger and Diane Pinsonault. (We think it’s our best installation – EVER.)

Join us for Last Thursday on Alberta Street! Party and raffle at Barista, too. Find more deets on FB.

AoA votes YES! to increase access to the arts for every Portland classroom and community!

October 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

On April 2, 2012, the US Department of Education released its first study of arts education in more than ten years. And while this study reflected what we already know – that arts education opportunities are declining nationally for those who need them most – it also showcased how far behind Portland has fallen.

CLICK HERE for more info!

Nationally, 83% of public elementary schools provide visual arts education compared to just 18% in Portland.

Today in Portland there are 11,596 children attending schools that do not have any art, dance, drama, and music instruction. The rate of decline for arts education in Portland has been shockingly steep. In the last five years Parkrose and Centennial School Districts have cut their arts and music teaching staff by half, while Portland Public Schools has dropped all arts instruction in 22 schools in just two years.

With the Arts Education and Access Fund, the City of Portland will restore arts and music education to every elementary school in Portland’s six school districts by providing stable, long-term funding for certified arts and music teachers and grants for arts access programs. This fund will also support established arts organizations city-wide to bring arts, culture and creativity to life for every Portland resident.

In less than 70 days, the Art on Alberta team and other Portland residents will receive their November ballot and with it, the opportunity to approve the Arts Education and Access Fund. Together we can VOTE YES! to restore arts and music teachers to every Portland elementary school, fund the arts city-wide and increase access to the arts for every Portland classroom and community.

If you haven’t yet joined the Schools & Arts Together campaign to help us get out the vote – it’s time! More information can be found at


CLICK HERE for more info!

CLICK HERE for more info!

Abigail McNamara Makes a Custom-Designed Papercut for RED ROVER’s August Installation

August 5, 2012 § 1 Comment

For August’s featured artist, we invited local artist Abigail McNamara to create an installation for RED ROVER. Abigail Rose McNamara was born and raised in Missoula, Montana, and recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from Lewis & Clark College. A Portland local, her work has been exhibited at a variety of galleries and juried exhibitions. Her senior thesis piece was nominated for and exhibited at the Oregon Recent Graduates Exhibition at Blackfish Gallery.

Abigail’s work explores the capabilities of paper as a medium for artistic expression: “Humble paper, as it stands alone without surface treatment – part sculptural object and part drawing. The work is a record of its own making, a long undoing of blank paper into an elaborate geometric skeleton. Through avid endeavors to truly know the materials I work with, patterns arise. Repetitive action unravels a conversation between the medium and myself.” As her hand guides her, Abigail transforms the simplistic medium of plain paper into a complex series of microcosmic and macrocosmic structures. These structures don’t just stand alone, but create a dialogue with the space they occupy. The current installation featured in our RED ROVER art gallery was specifically designed and created by the artist to interact with this unique space.

This installation debuted Alberta Street’s Last Thursday and will be on public display at the Vagabond Circus lot on Northeast 19th Avenue and Alberta StreetRED ROVER will also make an appearance at the Alberta Street Fair on August 11th alongside our dedicated board members who will host a family-friendly table for papercut art projects (more info on our events page).

More information about Abigail McNamara’s work can be found on her website at:

To download AoA’s official August press release, click HERE.

Last Thursday & the Premiere of Jackie Avery’s “Swan Boat”

June 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

May’s Last Thursday event was special for many reasons. Not only did it kick off RED ROVER’s new summer home at the Vagabond Theatre (THANK YOU, Rose City Vaudeville!), but it was also the premiere of Jackie Avery’s Swan Boat installation.

Jackie Avery’s work has been seen at various Portland venues such as the Secret Society Lounge, Suzette Creperie, as well as Antler Art Gallery. Her work—influenced by quirky photographs and old books—is meant to spark the viewer’s imagination, and consists primarily of acrylic on wood ‘boxes’. The RED ROVER installation, Swan Boat, highlights the “sweet tacky beauty and intense summer fun feel” of this water-bound avian vessel. While researching this subject, Jackie found that individuals make variations of the swan-shaped boat all over the world, which can be seen in Ireland, Vietnam, Japan, Slovenia, Boston, China, and India. This
installation is meant to create a “little dream of summer fairytale frolicking on dry land” in our very own RED ROVER gallery.

More information about Jackie Avery can be found on Get to know the artist and her work!

For more photos of this installation, check out our FACEBOOK PAGE: