Multnomah County Library and Regional Arts & Culture Council announce renowned sculpture artists for Albina, North Portland and Midland libraries

New sculptures will provide engaging presence at expanded libraries 

Contact: Liz Sauer, Multnomah County Library Capital Building Projects Communications Manager, 971.469.9815,

Contact: Meech Boakye, Communications Lead, Regional Arts & Culture Council, 503.823.5111,




PORTLAND, OR. —Multnomah County Library (MCL) and the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) are continuing their efforts to bring community-centered artwork to libraries throughout Multnomah County. This work is part of the voter-approved 2020 Library building bond which will build, rebuild or expand nine library buildings. Smaller upgrades to 11 libraries are also underway as part of the Refresh projects. 

Albina Library will be renovated and greatly expanded, resulting in a 30,000 square foot library for the surrounding community. The design, led by LEVER Architecture, preserves and seismically upgrades the historic Carnegie structure on Knott Street, while providing four times the current space, making it one of the largest libraries in Multnomah County. 

North Portland Library will also be renovated and expanded, adding 1,500 square feet to make the library 10,200 square feet. The renovated building will highlight the diversity and history of the community. The design by LEVER Architecture preserves the historic Carnegie building on Killingsworth Street with an opportunity for community gatherings in the new Black Cultural Center. 

Midland Library will undergo important renovations and an expansion to add 6,000 square feet of space, resulting in a total of 30,000 square feet on the existing site. With Colloqate Design as the design architect and Bora Architecture & Interiors as the architect of record, Midland will have more space for community gatherings as well as teen and children’s areas that allow for play and engagement. 

Sculptures for the community

As part of these building updates, regional artists are creating unique sculptural artworks that represent and reflect each location’s history, culture and diversity. 

Albina Library: Greg A. Robinson

Artist standing against a wall with a large wooden sculpture next to him

Photo courtesy of the artist

The Albina Library Sculpture Series is one of three new permanent public artworks at the renovated and expanded location. Local artist Greg A. Robinson will create a sequence of site-specific exterior sculptures which will greet library patrons, staff and visitors as they approach and enter the new building from the Russell Street entrance. As an enrolled member of the Chinook Indian Nation, Greg’s work centers and uplifts the histories, experiences and stories of the Indigenous peoples who originally lived in the Greater Portland area. Greg uses his artwork as a tool for education, inclusion and inspiration. Known for working in a variety of materials, including wood, stone, glass, metal and cement, this commission will add to a number of other public art installations Greg has created in the Pacific Northwest. 

Midland Library: HYBYCOZO

Two people, a man and a woman standing next to an octagon type large sculpture at night time

Photo by John Nguyen

International Ukrainian-Canadian artist team, HYBYCOZO, will create a series of large-scale exterior sculptural artworks for Midland Library, providing a sense of welcome and belonging well before entering the building doors. HYBYCOZO is the collaborative studio of artists Serge Beaulieu and Yelena Filipchuk. Their work consists of larger-than-life sculptures that celebrate the inherent beauty of geometric form and pattern, composed in ways that harmonize the experience of sculpture, light and shadow. Much of their work draws on inspirations from mathematics, science and patterns in nature and acknowledges diverse cultural influences in pattern making and design. For this project, the landmark sculptures, with dynamic day and nighttime presence, will be installed prominently throughout the new south side plaza. Greeting patrons and staff upon their arrival to this revitalized and beloved community space, these artworks will create a renewed sense of place, inspiring connection and fostering curiosity. The artworks will mark the library as a destination and create a significant beacon for the building which the local neighborhood, and wider community, can feel aligned with and proud of. 

North Portland Library: Melanie Stevens

Woman standing with a quilt and image in the background

Photo by Mario Gallucci

The architectural details and art of the Black Cultural Center at North Portland Library will reflect the mission of that space. This will include Melanie Stevens' site-specific wooden relief sculpture surrounding the interior window sill facing North Commercial Ave. The artwork will build upon Melanie’s practice of printmaking and graphic novel works that explore the powerful legacy of Black narrative and cultural reclamation. For the Black Cultural Center, this will include four portraits of Afrofuturism's forebears: Octavia E. Butler, W.E.B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston and Sun Ra.  

These artworks are developed in coordination with the Regional Arts & Culture Council through the Multnomah County Percent for Art Program, allotting two percent of the construction budget for all county-funded improvement projects toward the investment in public art. Artists are awarded projects as part of a robust public process, which includes selection panels led by local residents, business owners, artists, library staff and project partners. 

Libraries centering community-engaged art

Community engagement is at the center of the library’s building projects. Each library’s selection panel, made up of residents of the neighborhood, artists, architects, and library staff, prioritized artists with demonstrated experiences of engaging community in their work. This includes multicultural understanding and representation as well as the ability to create meaningful connections to, and for, the community around each library. Most artists selected for these projects are seeking to create and host community engagement opportunities as part of their design phase.


About Multnomah County Library

A treasured community institution since 1864, Multnomah County Library is one of the nation’s busiest public library systems, providing social, educational and cultural programs, resources and services, online and through its 19 public locations. With an eye toward the future of community-centered spaces, the library is working to build, rebuild or expand eight libraries through a voter approved capital bond. In addition to being Oregon’s largest provider of free internet access, the library offers millions of print and digital resources, in multiple languages for people of all ages. From kindergarten readiness to job training, computer-assisted design and 3D printing, the library supports all people in their pursuits to connect, learn and create. Learn more at

About Regional Arts & Culture Council

The Regional Arts & Culture Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides grants for artists and nonprofit organizations in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; and provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance. RACC advocates for equity, inclusion and access, working to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity and the arts. For more information visit