Our Projects include:

Restoration of ‘Back Pride’, Fall, 2016.

Part of the Albina Mural Project (1978-1983), lead by renowned Portland muralist Isaka Shamsud-Din, sought to create artistic cultural markers in the heart of Portland’s African American community. In cooperation with Lifeworks NW and Project UMOJA, AAW brought in a team of 5 artists who are almost finished with the restoration of the mural depicting slaves and Malcolm X. The mural, located at 17th and Alberta, is one of Portland’s oldest, painted in 1984 by Lewis Harris with help from the students of the Black Education Center that was once housed in the same building.


Black Pride by Lewis Harris and the students from the Black Education Center, 1989.

Black Pride by Lewis Harris and the students from the Black Education Center, 1989.

Public Art Walking Map and Art Tours


This summer, walking tours of Alberta’s murals and public art finally began. We have been leading tours for schools and the public. We have teamed up with Tip Tour to provide an audible version of the walking tour for everyone to be able to learn more about NE Alberta’s public art. During the tours we discuss what is sanctioned art, street art and discuss the concept of public art and public space.
Look for the Public Art Walk brochure at businesses and galleries on Alberta Street.



Six Strong

A mural project by women for girls everywhere. -Alberta Grocery Co-op parking lot, 15th & NE Alberta

Artists: Michelle McCausey, lead

Darci Johnson, Una Kim, Corie Hinton, Heidi Elise Wirz, Lucid Rose


Spraypaint Techniques taught by Jeremy Nichols

and Mural 101 classes.20160416_141935

Chaba Thai Project-Mural for Graffiti

Artists Kango and Mc ToolsChaba Thai alley20160507_180601


Alberta Benchmarks Project


Through the City of Portland’s Adopt-a-Landscape program, Alberta Art Works has taken over 8 bus benches on Alberta Street! Set to be re-done every two years, we are now approaching the two year mark, and are accepting submissions for the next round.


Michael Feliz - AAW Benchmarks

Michael Feliz

Michael Feliz

Chelsea Rose


Matt Schlosky

Wendy Fitch

Sarah Hessinger


Chelsea Rose - AAW Benchmarks 1

Chelsea Rose – Lucid Optic Lab

15th Ave ATM (Summer 2016)

Artist Selena Jones and Danny Ebru.

Using individual squares of hand marbled paper, Ebru collaged the sides of the ATM box and Jones created the tree sculpture that  lights up each night.

Storage Crate Makeover -NE Alberta & 32nd Place.

by artist Michelle McCausey.storagecrate


Black United Fund of Oregon Mural Project:

The Black United Fund of Oregon Mural Project is located at 2828 NE Alberta. The six murals are a celebration of Alberta Street’s history, economic growth and diversity.

These murals celebrate and honor our past while bringing beauty and vibrancy to the east entrance of the Alberta corridor.

The BUFOR murals will be featured in a future in the public art map and tours of Alberta Street’s public art, increasing community engagement, strengthening public commitment and promoting Alberta’s cultural tourism.

History of Alberta St. – Panel Descriptions:

1  Chinook and Kalapuya –Commissioned Artist, Michael Feliz 

Chinook Indians panel for Alberta Art Work's BUFOR History of Alberta Project by Michael Feliz


The first known people to settle this region. This piece pays homage to the Chinook and Kalapuya Indians.




2 German and Russian immigrants Commissioned Artists, M3AT and Maquette Reeverts

20160702_153704In the early 1880ʼs German and Russian immigrants migrated from California to find work after being terminated from the Union Pacific Railroad Company. Many settled along the Willamette River including the NE Alberta Street District. The area evolved into a prosperous community – markets and retail businesses were open for business, streetcars ran up Alberta Street and connected the community; the area was thriving and expanding.

3 Vanport Flood  – Commissioned Artist, Carla Bartow 

Vanport Flood panel for Alberta Art Work's BUFOR History of Alberta Project by Carla BartowThe Vanport, Albina and Alberta Street neighborhoods became a redline district or exclusionary zone for “Negros and Orientals” in which realtors, bankers and insurance companies were no longer allowed to conduct business in the area. Agents could lose their licenses for crossing this color barrier. The area was victimized by these practices that remained legal in Oregon until 1972 (and reportedly continued into the 1990s).

4.1 (Waiting for an artist – Click here to submit!)
Between the 1970ʼs and 1990ʼs, despite the presence of the old commercial buildings, very few retail businesses on Alberta Street were open for business. It went from a prosperous business district with a streetcar line to mostly light industrial with no public transit. Absentee landowners scooped up properties and held them during this period, leaving them mostly unkempt and in varying states of disrepair. The area continued to decline in the 1970ʼs as gang violence and drug use on the street increased. A television reporter had deemed Alberta Street “the most killing street in Portland” in the spring of 1997.

4.2 In the 1990 revitalization began with Roslyn Hill and Roslyn’s Garden Coffee House, leading to her buying and fixing up a dozen more buildings.

4.3 Revitalization continued in 1996 when the city’s Bureau of Housing and Community Development Corporation and the Portland Development Commission made Alberta Street part of the Corridor Target Area Program, funds were provided to Sabin Community Development Corporation to hire a coordinator and they began to organize the community. Three citizen committees formed as a result; Commercial Revitalization, Street Beautification and Streetscape and began to act. The Streetscape Committee wrote a grant for Transportation Growth Management funds and the Alberta Streetscape Project was born in 1998.  Even in those early stages the community said loud and clear that they wanted art to play a central role on the street through murals, public art and beautification projects.

5 Last Thursday: (In Progress!) Matt Schlosky

Poised for change the neighborhood embraced the new art walk that began in an attempt to bring visitors to our side of the river. Last Thursday was born and grew up an unrestricted, do-it-yourself event with no management or oversight for 14 years. A community volunteer group, Friends of Last Thursday began to manage the event in 2011, as a result of the city’s challenge to the neighborhood to bring some control and services to the event.


6 Alberta Street Mandala: Commissioned Artists: Linda Dalal Sawaya, lead artist, with Anne Mansfield.


A collaborative piece representing the flow of time and featuring a host of prominent figures from Alberta Streets past and present. For more information on this mandala, and mandalas in general, see the description here.



   Your generous donation will be used to
commission  murals and is tax deductible!
Murals add cultural, social, and economic value to Neighborhoods.
Art adds uniqueness and humanizes our buildings.
Murals invigorate our street and can retard graffiti.
They are an intersection between past, present and future.
Murals are free & accessible public art.


  1. YES!!!!
    I am so on this!
    you do know I have over 10 years and 40 murals to my name?…yeah?
    I would like to approach this with a group though, Do you know of any that could use a mural pro as lead?

  2. I hope whatever is chosen reflects the cultural mix that the history of Alberta has been.

    • That is our point. If you read through the history of Alberta provided with the mural project for BUFOR it reflects the diversity of people that have lived in our neighborhood. Our first mural to be installed on the street is a painting of the redline district in order to honor our past.

  3. Shel! We are still looking for submissions for panels #2, #4, #5 and #6. If you’re interested, please get us a sketch!

  4. Any option for doing a mural about the redlining that went on in Portland, Oregon for so many years?

    • Yes. Although a mural has been approved for the Vanport flood so concentrating on the NE area specifically during that time would be a good angle. Please submit a sketch when you have something. We would love to see what you propose and share it with the BUFOR Board for discussions.

  5. What a wonderful project!
    I have been doing some research and am working on a sketch for #5. Roslyn Hill is an absolute inspiration. What a perfect way to commemorate all of her work!
    My friend and I helped clean up and paint the BUFOR building back in February. We are looking forward to seeing all of the murals hung. The finished product will be quite a sight- a true representation of the Alberta Arts District.
    Thank you for providing such an educational opportunity.

  6. My husband and I want to FUND one of the murals. At the $675 level. How do we make that happen? Email is and phone is 503-231-5655. Be in touch.

  7. Here’s my website. IN case you want to know more about me.

  8. My husband may be donating via Pay Pal and your web site today or maybe he already did? His name is John Laurence.

  9. Hello,
    I might just be overlooking it, but where do we submit our mural sketch for the History of Alberta mural project? I see a link for the bench project but not the other.
    Thank you!

  10. I’m interested in submitting a sketch for mural #5. Could you tell me where to submit?

    Thank you!

  11. Pingback: The Murals of The Black United Fund - Concordia Neighborhood Association | Portland, Oregon

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  13. I noticed the comments are a little old, but do you still offer murals?

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