Grassroots art gallery working to help revitalize Old Town

Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 6:33 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Amid all the reports of violence and vandalism in Portland’s Old Town, a grassroots effort is underway to breathe new life into the neighborhood. Community members are working together on a number of projects.

This week an exhibit at the Tuck Lung art gallery at 4th and Davis is focused on raising funds for the artists as well as the Blanchet House. The Blanchet House is a nonprofit organization in the neighborhood that provides food, clothing and shelter for the houseless. The space for the art show was donated by the building’s owner.

Jessie Burke, who co-owns the Society Hotel on a neighboring block helped secure the space for the art show. She’s also encouraging other property owners to help where they can. She says she’s helping young, up-and-coming business owners negotiate affordable leases. She’s doing this work for free because she’s interested in building a strong business coalition in Old Town.

“Whatever happens here will spread to the rest of the city good or bad,” Burke says. “My hope is that we can try to get it under control what we have here.”

Burke says she is seeing progress as a few new businesses have announced plans to move to Old Town.

The artwork at the Tuck Lung gallery is available for purchase in the gallery or online. For more information on gallery hours as well as how you can purchase the pieces, click here.