July 8, 2011

Local artist Arvie Smith  completed his fifth and final mural in a public arts project for the Juvenile Detention Complex, Multnomah Department of Community Justice (DCJ). Over 110 detained youth have helped him along the way, contributing their ideas and helping him paint the designs covering the massive 8’x15’ murals.

On Wednesday June 22nd, the completed murals were displayed together for the first time. Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen, DCJ Director Scott Taylor, and Carol Smith, Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC), helped celebrate the project in a mural dedication ceremony held in the gym of the Juvenile Detention Complex. The event was catered by Chef Kim Pidcoke and a group of youth trainees participating in DCJ’s Culinary Arts Program. A second and smaller ceremony was also held for the youth who remain in detention and had assisted with the murals.

Arvie Smith began the project in July, 2009. The project is part of a long-running Artist-in-Residence program funded through RACC. For nearly fifteen years, RACC has provided funding to help qualified artists bring performances, films, and visual art to the detention complex.

Project Hope: 

  • Short video about the project