Oregon's Percent for Art Program is the third oldest public art program in the nation and is considered a pioneering and innovative project for community cultural development. Enacted in Marion and Polk counties in 1975 and expanded statewide in 1977, the Oregon Legislative Assembly created the One Percent for Art in Public Buildings Program as set forth in Oregon Revised Statutes 276.073—276.090. The Percent for Art Program mandates utilization of "… not less than 1% of the direct construction funds of new or remodeled state buildings with construction budgets of $100,000 or greater for the acquisition of art work which may be an integral part of the building, attached thereto, or capable of display in other State Buildings."
Since 1975, the Oregon Percent for Art Program has commissioned approximately 2,500 works of art. Public art serves as an expression of our community, as well as a landmark, providing an important venue for all Oregonians and visitors to appreciate artwork outside the traditional museum or gallery setting. Percent for Art projects are site-specific and engage a variety of media—from painting, photography, glass, textile and sculpture to architectural details and installation pieces—all to make art accessible and visible throughout the state.
Works commissioned by the Program are selected by committees comprised of citizens of Oregon who work in and use the public spaces, as well as architects and art professionals involved in the design of the sites. This collaborative process serves the Oregon Arts Commission's objective to facilitate the successful integration of artwork and public spaces, by bringing artists, the public and architects together as a working team to select art that is accessible, engaging and relevant to Oregon’s communities and agencies.