Public Art Mural Program

Public art is a powerful tool for creating a sense of place and strengthening our community. Art can attract us to public spaces, enliven our neighborhoods, enhance our experiences in parks, inform us about the history and peoples of our place, and celebrate our ethnic and cultural diversity.

Thinking about painting a mural? Here's what you need to know!

In August 2021, the City of Oregon City City Commission voted to allow public art murals exempt from the sign code; however, a permitting process will still apply. Any party wishing to place an outdoor mural on public or private property must apply for permission and approval from the Oregon City Art Commission through the Public Art Program.

Murals in Oregon City - Step by Step

  1. Contact the Economic Development Department to discuss:
    • Location - is it visually accessible to the public?
    • Imagery - is it compatible with the setting?
    • Materials - Are you using durable paints?
    • Artists' qualifications
    • Funding sources
    • Building owner's approval
  2. Submit a complete Mural Application to the City of Oregon City's Economic Development Department, which includes:
    • Scaled color image
    • Photos of the location
    • Written description, including materials to be used
    • Who will participate and how
    • Project timeline
    • Plan for safety
    • Easement from the building owner to maintain the mural for five years
    • The applicant to the mural arts program shall obtain a Certificate of General Liability Insurance in the amount of $1,000,000, naming the City of Oregon City as an additional insured. The Certificate of General Liability shall be in effect during the mural installation period and re-instated again when the Mural is either being refurbished or removed. The initial Certificate of General Liability must be in effect prior to the applicant receiving a permit to move forward with the disposition of the mural.
    • $125 application fee
  3. Public Hearing:
    All mural permit applications must be approved during a public hearing by the Oregon City Arts Commission. Don't worry! While this may sound daunting, staff will help applicants navigate this process. Plan to allow roughly 6 weeks for application review and the public hearing.
  4. Secure the funding needed to complete your mural:
    The Public Art Mural Application is separate from any form of City funding.
  5. Paint your mural:
    1. City of Oregon City issues a Notice to Proceed
    2. Secure any permits, if needed. (For example, will you be blocking the sidewalk or the street?)
    3. Paint the mural
    4. Apply anti-graffiti coating
    5. Notify the Public Art Program that your mural is finished
    6. Complete the Conservation Record Forms
    7. Artwork is loaned to the City's Public Art Collection

For questions, email James Graham, Economic Development Manager.