Public Art Committee

In April 2000, the City Council established the Portland Public Art Program to preserve, restore and enhance the city’s public art collection. The Portland Public Art Program commissions art that engages with the surrounding environment to create, enrich, or reveal a sense of place, and to express the spirit, values, visions and poetry of place that collectively define Portland.

Public Art Collection

The public art collection currently contains 56 works of art that are permanently installed throughout Portland. Several new works were added in 2004 and again in 2013 through 2015 with several gifts. The collection contains works of historical significance that date from the nineteenth century, as well as contemporary pieces that reflect the diversity and spirit of the city.

The Portland Public Art Committee administers the Portland Public Art Program. The responsibilities of the Art Committee are outlined in Article XI of the City Code (Public Art Program). The Art Committee utilizes the Guidelines for the Public Art Ordinance (Volume 1, Number 1 – adopted May 2001) for direction in administering their responsibilities.


A key element of the Portland Public Art Program was the establishment of a percent-for-art ordinance. Under that ordinance, the city allocates ½ of 1% of the city’s annual Capital Improvement Project (CIP) budget for the restoration or acquisition of permanent public art.

Information about the Portland Public Art Program can be obtained from Department of Planning and Development, City of Portland, 389 Congress Street, Portland, Maine 04101, by phone at 207-874-8901, by email, or by visiting the Public Art Committee website.

Information for Artists

The public art program provides several opportunities for artists to engage.  Get more information below:

Passing the Torch proposal revised

Recent News

Roundabout Artist selected (July 17, 2019)

The roundabout art selection committee gave its recommendation to proceed with the proposal "Passing the Torch" by artist Mark Pettegrow with a total budget of $75,000 for the roundabout project.  The Public Art Committee voted to accept this recommendation and will take the budget proposal forward to the City Council for approval.  Mark Pettegrow is originally from Maine with studios in Pennsylvania and Maine.

The roundabout will be constructed in 2020 at the intersection of Brighton and Deering Avenues.  The sculptures are proposed to be placed in the center of the roundabout and will include lighting and landscape enhancements.  The Public Art Committee will continue to develop the artwork commission with the artist over the next year - interested parties may attend monthly committee meetings to observe and participate.  Committee meetings and agendas are posted on the City's calendar and agenda center.