Stories about how the Port is moving with purpose to transform our region into a place where everyone is welcome, empowered, and connected to opportunity.
Building Representation and Access Through Art at PDX

“As far as it being a platform for underrepresented artists, PDX couldn’t be a better place.” That’s what Portland-based painter Renee Zangara had to say when we asked about her experience showcasing a collection of paintings at Portland International Airport.

With its globally diverse community, from the people traveling through PDX to the people who make it run 24 hours a day, PDX is unlike most other spaces for public art. There's a fundamental belief that everyone has the right to have arts and culture in their community. Part of what art can do for a public space like PDX is humanize it, by sharing artists’ voices, ideas and stories -- and we have a responsibility to make sure our collections represent a diversity of voices and experiences. 

Our art program’s mission is to provide equitable access to art that celebrates different perspectives. Over the last five years, we’ve taken steps to make our art program more welcoming, inclusive and accessible, and to make sure it better reflects the diversity of the region we serve. We're also opening doors, removing barriers, and creating more opportunities for historically underrepresented artists to show their work—and tell their stories - at PDX.

In this video, Oregon-based artists speak to their experience showing temporary rotating exhibits at our airport, and to the significance of representation on a platform like PDX.

Featured Artist Information

  • Jeremy Okai Davis, whose portraits explore themes of representation and African American identity were part of a temporary rotating exhibit at PDX from 2018 to 2019, and are part of the Port of Portland’s permanent collection
  • Phillip A. Robinson Jr.’s installation of custom multi-media sculptures is currently on view in the Concourse B/C Connector, and a few short films about Phil’s creative process are also running in The Hollywood Theater at PDX
  • Samantha Wall, an artist whose work draws from her background as a Korean immigrant and had large-scale pieces on display at PDX from 2018 to 2021
  • Renee Zangara, who had a temporary rotating exhibit of fifty-two contemporary oil paintings titled The Official State Flowers of the United States of America on display at PDX from 2019 to 2020