N. Williams and Russell
       
     
LV's Twelve22
       
     
N. Williams and Broadway
       
     
N. Cook and Commercial
       
     
Smithson Block
       
     
Hazelwood Building
       
     
733 N. Russell
       
     
Dawson Park Gazebo
       
     
N. Williams and Russell
       
     
N. Williams and Russell

Oil and acrylic on canvas

2018

20” x 16”

The corner of N. Williams and Russell in Portland, where the historic Hill Building stood at the hub of what was once a thriving African-American district with renowned jazz clubs and deep community roots; after it was demolished in the 1970s to expand Emanuel Hospital, the vacant site was never developed and sits empty to this day. This painting is part of a series called Ghosts of Albina, about Portland's history of racial displacement and the mass destruction of homes and community through urban renewal over the last century. This may be the whitest big city in the country, but the popular refrain that "there are no Black people in Portland" dismisses both a community that very much exists, and the stories behind a neighborhood perennially in danger of disappearing from the map.

100% of sales of these paintings (after venue commission) will be donated to the Urban League of Portland, an African-American civil rights and advocacy group whose headquarters still stand across the street from this vacant lot.

LV's Twelve22
       
     
LV's Twelve22

Oil and acrylic on canvas

2018

16” x 20”

LV's Twelve22, one of North Portland's last Black-owned clubs, stood at N. Vancouver and Fremont on what is now the site of one of the most conspicuously sleek and modern structures in the massive wave of high-end development transforming the stretch of the Williams-Vancouver Corridor once known as Portland’s “Black Broadway.”


N. Williams and Broadway
       
     
N. Williams and Broadway

Oil and acrylic on canvas

2018

12” x 12”

The Interstate 5 onramp at Williams and Broadway near the Rose Quarter. Nearly every landmark in this area—I-5, Memorial Coliseum, the Moda Center, the Rose Quarter Transit Center, the Oregon Convention Center—stands on what used to be residential and commercial blocks in the heart of the Albina neighborhood.


N. Cook and Commercial
       
     
N. Cook and Commercial

Oil and acrylic on canvas

2018

12” x 12”

The Fremont Bridge's east side on/offramp, which cuts a long diagonal path through empty land between I-5 and Emanuel Hospital, all of which stand on what used to be residential blocks. The view seen here is from the point where streets are cut off just north of the ramp—one of several places where the Albina neighborhood was sliced and fragmented by large-scale city projects.

Smithson Block
       
     
Smithson Block

Oil and acrylic on canvas

2018

12” x 12”

The Smithson block at N. Interstate Avenue and Russell was a densely populated apartment building in the heart of Old Albina. There is a city plaque outside of the Widmer Brothers brewpub seen here that describes the area's early history as a railroad company town, but includes nothing about the redlining practices that established it as a Black enclave, nor the disinvestment that led to its decline.

Hazelwood Building
       
     
Hazelwood Building

Oil and acrylic on canvas

2018

20” x 16”

The Hazelwood building at NE Broadway and Flint, site of legendary jazz club the Dude Ranch in the postwar years when the surrounding area was a bustling entertainment district known as Jumptown. This was the cultural and commercial hub of Black Portland, established by redlining practices and then largely wiped off the map by disinvestment and demolition. The Dude Ranch was the biggest jazz hotspot west of Chicago, hosting appearances by Louis Armstrong, among others. It was shut down by the city as a “public nuisance” after only a few years of operation, but the building stands today as the only remaining artifact of those old nightclubs, surrounded by freeway ramps, the Moda Center, the Convention Center, and Memorial Coliseum—all built on what used to be neighborhood blocks.

733 N. Russell
       
     
733 N. Russell

Oil and acrylic on canvas

2018

12” x 16”

The stretch of N. Russell St. running between Interstate Avenue and the freeway underpass was a business thoroughfare in Old Albina before disinvestment and the construction of I-5 all but suffocated the area to death. Today this strip is gradually sprouting brewpubs thanks to the revitalization brought by the nearby MAX light rail line, but this former commercial building is still waiting its turn. Most likely it will be town down—the “U” sign signals to firefighters that a structure is unsafe or noncompliant with building codes.

Dawson Park Gazebo
       
     
Dawson Park Gazebo

Oil and acrylic on canvas

2018

14” x 11”

A gathering place throughout the Albina neighborhood’s history, Dawson Park on N. Williams remains an unofficial town square for Portland’s African-American community, including former residents long since priced out of their homes in the area who still make the trip to hang out, barbecue, shoot dominoes and play music. The dome crowning the gazebo was salvaged from the historic Hill Building two blocks away, after its demolition in the 1970s for a hospital expansion that never materialized. Today the gazebo serves as a stage for lively summer concerts in one of the few genuinely Black spaces left in the neighborhood.