TEMPOart commissions temporary public art that sparks dialogue, builds community, and inspires our collective imagination.

Each year new projects from TEMPOart enliven Portland’s public spaces. We believe that art can be a catalyst to connect communities and inspire meaningful thought and conversation on timely issues. We present art that doesn’t need a ticket or an instruction manual to make the power and possibility of art free, open, and inclusive. Our projects and events help people see their world in a new way, or just go through their day with a new found energy–feeling less alone, alive with wonder, and knowing more is possible.


Dancing for Joy (By the Will of the People) by The Myth Makers (2024)

Great Egrets are flamboyant and vivid. Each spring they grow extravagant plumes and leap with abandon to attract and impress a mate. They are remarkable birds that develop adoring relationships, gently sharing all nesting and child care duties.

This work will be a meeting place, a place for children to play in and run through. A glittering silver white and nearly 20 feet tall, it will be a beacon, visible from many views along the Back Cove trail.

Dancing for Joy is designed for all ages. The doorways are a variety of sizes. Which entry suits you? Can you dance your best show off prance through the display of the Dancing Great Egrets?

This installation is dedicated to the freedom to marry who you love. These sculptures celebrate the will of the people to democratically transform society. In 2012 Maine became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular vote.

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Carousel Cosmos by Chris Miller (2023)

This carousel is inspired by kindness, adventure, outer space, bed-time stories, dinosaurs, and ice cream. It’s inspired by the Western Promenade’s endless views, spectacular sunsets, and contemplative atmosphere. It spins the way that the earth spins when the sun sets, in a place where trolleys used to stop, in a small picturesque city with a school community that speaks more than sixty languages. It will travel once or twice around the sun without leaving the ground, then vanish.1 In the meanwhile, it is a place for conversation, contemplation, imagination, and snacks,2 with animals that once roamed here as your guides. They’re not mythological, just misunderstood, and they invite you on a journey to greater understanding.3

  1. This is a year-long temporary art installation supported by TEMPOart.
  2. Please don’t feed the animals, they have very special diets.
  3. Look for clues in the star-flowers!

For more information about the project visit Chris’s website.

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Gathering Stones by Jesse Salisbury (2020)

Imagine an arrangement of large stones magically appearing on the Eastern Promenade. It’s as if they levitated from nearby fields and beaches to surprise morning walkers. Mysteriously shaped, and playfully arranged, they become a gathering place. Large granite and basalt stones form Jesse Salisbury’s Gathering Stones. Weighing from 4,000 to 12,000 pounds each, the stones are split, and carved into different shapes. We have an innate desire to collect and arrange stones that we find in nature. Arranging large stones creates a gathering place for people. Gathering Stones is a playful reference to both impulses.

This piece is now part of the City of Portland’s permanent art collection and is on view at Fish Point along the Eastern Trail, an easy walk from both Fort Allen Park and Commercial Street.

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Beneath the Forest, Beneath the Sea by Pamela Moulton (2022)

Beneath the Forest, Beneath the Sea consists of three larger-than-life free-standing whimsical sculptures that the artist describes as “an underwater arboretum crossed with outer space creatures” created from over 10-tons of “ghost gear” – trawling nets, ropes, buoys, lobster traps, and other fishing debris – salvaged from the Gulf of Maine. Driven by the artist’s community and collaborative based practice, it is public art created for and by the public, with over 5,600 students and collaborators detangling, weaving, painting, and assembling the sculptures while discussing art making and the stories behind the materials. 

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Mother’s Garden by Daniel Minter (2019)

Mother's Garden by Daniel Minter (2019)

In the summer of 2019, TEMPOart commissioned Daniel Minter, a Portland-based artist known for his work in painting and sculpture, and co-founder of the Indigo Arts Alliance, to explore the relationship between public art and culinary diplomacy. Through a series of monumental wood sculptures titled Mother’s Garden, Minter’s project addresses the cultural traditions and food of the African Diaspora and recent immigrants to Portland. In conjunction with this project, and in partnership with World To Table, TEMPOart sponsored four dinners for recently arrived immigrants and longtime Mainers. In addition to the dinners, we sponsored four youth art and writing & programs, including those offered by the Telling Room and Mayo Street Arts. We also hosted summer interns from the Portland Museum of Art.

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UNDER REVIEW: The American Dream (2017)

Now We Plant by Christina Bechstein

In 2017, three artists were asked to respond to the relevance of the “American dream” in today’s socio-political climate, and to commemorate the one-year anniversary of TEMPOart’s inaugural project in Lincoln Park, Judith Hoffman’s The American Dream.

Christina Bechstein, Christian Prasch, and John Sundling were selected based on their innovative project proposals by the TEMPOart board, and local arts professionals Stephen Benenson, Rachael Harkness, and Justin Levesque. The installations launched at successive First Fridays in June, July and August 2017.

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The American Dream by Judith Hoffman (2016)

The American Dream by Judith Hoffman

The American Dream was installed at the corner of Congress and Franklin Streets in Summer 2016. Hoffman created the large-scale sculpture based on the Sears Kit Homes from the early 1900s, exploring the notion of the “American Dream home.”

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