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Urban Art Network is a registered 501-C3 non-profit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for self-representing local artists. With a current membership of over 500 Portland area artists, this pursuit is realized by the artists themselves. Since 2000, a devoted team of artist coordinators has presented a street art gallery in the Pearl District on First Thursdays. For one vibrant evening each month from April through October, artists at all stages of their careers, self- represent and sell their work. The neighborhood streets bustle with an exuberant appreciation of the arts.
The arts are an integral part of the renowned culture in Portland. Our inclusive, dynamic and lively affair persists uninterrupted through changes in the landscape of our city. The event sparks dialogue and creativity in people of all ages, social and economic backgrounds. Artists connect with enthusiasts, patrons and collectors resulting in many positive impacts on artist's careers.
The Urban Art Network First Thursday Street Gallery enjoys popularity and recognition in the region. Our event is highly visible and well regarded by the local businesses, the neighborhood association, and is in excellent standing with the city agencies. For nineteen years we have maintained an expertly organized event that both respects the upscale community of the Pearl District, and simultaneously reaches local artists as one of the most affordable venues for art display in the city.
The First Thursday Street Gallery is free to attend. A summertime evening can draw upwards of 10,000 people. The event is as much a local favorite as it is a tourist destination. Urban Art Network is committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity and inclusion. We strive to create opportunities for all artists of individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, inventiveness, innovation, self- expression, unique capabilities and talents. We embrace and encourage artists with differences in age, color, ethnicity, race, language, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, political affiliation, veteran status, physical and mental ability, and socio-economic status.
In 2019 our event included an additional city block, improvements to our infrastructure and extended programming for our members. In 2020 we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary with installation and performance art accompanying to our traditional visual artists’ booths. Together with Portland Arts non-profits including Polaris, PHAME, Bravo Youth Orchestra, The Portland Interfaith Gospel Choir, Portland Youth Philharmonic, and Portland Center Stage we will present a dynamic multi cultural, multi-discipline arts celebration along NW 13th Street. Stay tuned for details and information, including opportunities to participate and support our Urban Art Network 20th anniversary festival.