This gallery features artwork by students from Portland Public Schools — all across the city of Portland! We hope you will be inspired by the creativity of our students and teachers. Click on the images to learn more.
PPS Art Teachers: Click the link below to submit student work. Please submit jpegs only.Submit here!
This piece was created digitally. I created it to represent a school space that is extremely flexible and malleable. This space is entirely weightless, so people can go anywhere they want. Each room is a large bubble. The bubbles are connected by long tunnels that can disconnect and reattach to other bubbles. The entire structure is similar to how ideas are formed: we connect different things we come up with to things other people give us, and form a new bubble that other people can join and support. People can go to other bubbles through the tunnels to spread knowledge and ideas they learn in the bubbles they leave behind. Most of the time, people who are teaching others will stay in their own bubble, so people can join them and learn the same thing that other people learned. As more people learn more things and travel to new bubbles, the structure starts to look like the inside of a brain, with bubbles passing information to the next like neurons. I feel that academics and teaching should encompass every possible angle and way of thinking, so I made this piece to show a place where you can learn what you want as much as you want, in any way that you want. It’s a structure that is friendly to everyone and leaves out nobody. And who am I kidding? It would be fun to float around in zero gravity.
Lane MS is reimagined and overgrown with plants, life, and acceptance.
The Mabel Faye Ring Academy is designed so everything the school needs is inside the main circle, with the exception of the front office area. The classrooms surround and open onto a ring-shaped courtyard. There is a small circular building in the center that has the restrooms and storage, and the staff lounge located on the second floor. The courtyard is where the students eat lunch, have recess, and walk from class to class. There is a retractable roof that can be extended to provide shelter, and heaters located throughout the courtyard for cold days. This way, it can be used all year. The outer wall of the courtyard is a hydroponic garden, growing both flowers and food and giving the area a nature-like feel. One main strength of the school’s design is that it is incredibly safe. Any unwelcome visitor would have to get into the front office, through the hallway to the courtyard (which can be locked at both ends), and from there into a classroom. The classrooms each have an exit on the back wall, which lets the students leave quickly if there is a fire. From the outside, the door would look like a normal section of wall. It can only be opened from the inside. All classrooms have skylights for natural lighting, which makes the school more energy-efficient. Altogether, the design of Ring Academy is to promote student creativity and well-being by the natural flow of the space.
At Lincoln, lots of students are sad to see features like the courtyard disappear as we move into the new building. Although the prompt was about new ideas, we wanted to depict the aspects of our school that have allowed us to build community for so many years. The crowded halls, library and the courtyard tree have been reimagined in little ways to highlight a space where students can really thrive and be creative! Places like the computer lab show the wide range of subjects students can choose. The globe is centered as a way to show the importance of having many ideas, cultures and beliefs mixed into one school. Well-being, inclusivity and community are all essential aspects to great space for students to learn.
I was inspired by constellations and the general idea space. As a student, the idea of exploring the unknown and uncharted excites me and drives me to learn and work hard. With my art piece I also tride to convey that not everything has to fit into a certain standard or be symmetrical and perfect.
Creating inclusive spaces in the coming years of PPS, in order to create community and growth is very important. I wanted to avoid western structures, as they are inherently discriminative based on the institutions they represent. In my painting I was inspired by indigenous longhouses. These were spaces of togetherness. They were used for living spaces, or gatherings. The floor plan is open, with all people on the same level. I feel these structures represent community, which is something that needs to be healed at Grant especially after Covid-19. Because I am white, I don’t want to speak for POC at my school. I instead wanted to focus my work on the wellness of students, and working as a community. The birds represent both students and staff members working together to create community based learning. The roots at the bottom of the structure represent schools being the integral to the growth of societies.
My picture is an example of what a school that I would design. "Susan B. Anthony Middle School" is an environmentally safe school with paintings on the windows from children that go to this school. It also has a graffiti wall so the people that do graffiti art they have a space for that, because everyone does art in a different way. There are a lot of different things to do outside like foursquare, basketball, kickball, soccer, and eat lunch.
I studied the history of architecture and tried to comprehend how the term “smart design” has changed over the years. I used two PPS high schools that I’ve attended as case studies, citing different architectural features and design elements that indicate their stage in the “evolution of design.” I included collages and mixed media to juxtapose the clean, architectural lines.
I want my work to be something that is clear, like a clear path forward. My building is made of big lines and curves, balconies and undefined spaces. It isn't forced into straight lines and old ideas. It is free flowing. My building is full of nature and windows blurring the lines between outdoors and indoors. It is multicolored and flows out of the space. I want to inspire optimism and an abstract calmness.
The characters are not mine I just drew the picture.
In this piece I wanted to talk about the amount of dyslexic students that fall into drug and alcohol abuse because they don’t feel like they belong in school. School should be a place to build people up, not make them feel isolated and scattered. This piece is from a portfolio where I dive into this idea of identity and self, and created rabbits to represent everyone’s individual strengths. I want to show just how different every student is, so every rabbit is completely unique. Because every student is unique and has their own style of learning, and we need to give these learners space to grow their creativity, not shut them out because they don't fit the cookie cutter ideal.
For this piece I used pen, pencil, Sharpie, watercolor and watercolor paper. The reason I made this is because in art class with Ms. Pen we were asked to make a landscape under the sky. I chose to do mountains because of two reasons. One, I didn't want to make a huge sky. Two, I like mountains. They remind me of Oregon. Anyways I hope you like it as much as I do!
I’ve decided to call this acrylic interior painting “All Nighter,” in reference to it being my room where I often work late and to Night Cafe, the main inspiration for the painting.
Inspired by Haruki Murakami’s short story “The Second Bakery Attack” and the magical realism of his writing. My piece was meant to depict the feeling of certain places that are so odd and isolated that even your concept of self is altered. A figure is both awake and unconscious in the deserted diner.
After studying ocean advocate/artist Courtney Mattison and her coral reef sculptures, students tried their hand at mimicking textures and forms with the fate of our oceans in their hearts. "I didn't want the shapes to just be normal like squares or circles; I wanted some fun odd shapes."
This is a self portrait of myself during the pandemic.
During our sculpture unit Maggie used Das paper clay and an incredible amount of patience and attention to detail to craft her fox sculpture. Maggie puts her whole heart into all the work she makes. Showing her creative, fun and colorful personality, true to herself and her artistic voice.
I feel like the colors bring out me happiness. And my love of the world and the people in it. It shares my feelings.
This is a calavera of the legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen, who passed away on Oct. 6, 2020. I drew this as a way to honor him for Dia de los Muertos.
This project was inspired by Wendy Red Star's drawings on photographs of Native Americans. Keilan collaborated with his older brother, Tallan Paul, who are both part of the Lummi Nation and Chickahominy Tribe. Tallan created the original black and white photograph entitled "To Kill an Indian" and Keilan created his digital drawing over the top of Tallan's photo. Keilan chose the title "Rainbow Road" to represent their Native American religious practices.
My art is a part of my identity. I pour my heart into every piece and meticulously choose every single detail with the utmost care and precision.
My name is Jackson N. and I live in Portland Oregon. Some activities I like to do include Minecraft and playing the ukulele. I call my final project "Sunset Eruption," I call it this because I like mountains and sunsets. I took the sunset photo and at the beach in California when I went there two weeks ago, I combined it by putting the sunset over the smoke from the volcano.
It's a drawing of me...being tired. I used watercolor, a glitter gel pen, and black felt pens. It's very blue because I like blue, but also to show I am tired.
“I wanted to make something almost psychedelic with water and I thought what better chance than while i was watering my flowers?”
“I was inspired by the carefree feeling I got from Alice Neel’s art style and just wanted to make a painting that was fun for me to make and also fun to look at to also capture that carefreeness. I really just let my creativity go and tried not to perfect every little quirk I made because I think that’s the personality of the piece. The oil pastel eyes were kind of a last minute addition but have become my favorite part of the piece, and it why i decided to title the painting so simply”
This piece, titled "Becoming," is about my journey as a transgender teenager. It shows me in the beginning, upset and uncomfortable without knowing why, to me discovering who I am and transitioning, to me now being comfortable with my identity, to me in the future becoming whoever I will be next. I utilized color and lighting especially for this piece to help enhance the transition. The photograph in the middle is my way of portraying how I am constantly placed in a box by society, and how I am better now at climbing out.
I was twelve when I created this artwork. I had just seen the video of the killing of George Floyd and massive protests had started all over the country, including the city I live in. Everything I’d heard about racism had been in class or from my parents but I had never lived through any of it. All the documentaries or activities we did could not prepare me for what it would be like to watch it in real time and think, wait, this is happening right now. I began to understand that if I was a person of color I would have known this all along. My parents had never told me to watch out for the police; I had never known anyone who had been harassed or killed by a cop. That summer was when I realised what it meant to be privileged and also what it meant to be an ally. This artwork was one of my ways of speaking up.
The process was like a maze for me, I would get lost sometimes but just kept going.
I chose to do a portrait of Questlove for Black History Month because he makes really cool music and I love that he is an activist.
Written by the artist: This collage was inspired by the work of Derrik Adams. Derrick Adams's art is mostly all about portraying Black Americans in relaxation and in leisure, positing that despite itself, is a political act when seen and accepted by black communities. To be honest, this project was not the easiest one I've come across. The gluing of different materials was rather hard, some of the materials wouldn't stick as well as others and needed more attention than others. But I do think I would do this project again, this project let me experiment with variations of color and how they look together. I also think that the fact that I started this project in class instead of online was a blessing because I got my idea for 3D hair from someone in the classroom and I know for a fact I wouldn't have been inspired to do that if I were to have started this alone.
It is fun to make art. You can make different creations. I feel happy and excited because I can make new things.
Dear Earth, Thank you so much for everything you do. You are so beautiful and we love you!
This piece was inspired by my mom. I've never gotten a chance to actually draw her so it seemed like the perfect time. My first instinct was to go way more realistic but I'm glad it turned out the way it did. I used regular acrylic paint and tried using a posterized type of design.
I first drew the portrait on one piece of paper then I cut it out and glued it onto another piece of paper. After that, I browsed through a couple copies of puzzlemania and cut some out and glued those on. Along with some from my dad‘s Nike magazines. One thing I would like my viewers of this piece of art to take away from it is how good at art I am. I spent a lot of time on it so expect positive feedback. I think I did really well with the hair and the sweatshirt.
Reclaimed Leather, foam, rubber, plastic, and thread 12.25” x 4.5” x 4.75” Centered around the use of patchwork leather, these shoes are an exploration of how scrap material can be used to make unique and artistic footwear. Unfortunately, just like the footwear industry, my shoe-making practice is littered with inefficiencies and waste. If more of the scraps were able to be repurposed in examples such as these shoes, my work, along with the footwear industry, would become much more sustainable.
Madi's self portrait speaks to the feelings around having her Senior year of High School in an online format. It was a hard year for being alone at home while still in school and painting was an outlet that helped.
This is a portrait of a friendship. I wanted to draw my friend, but also build in symbols of all the different elements that make it complex and alive.
Theme: Items that hold memories or feelings. My artwork consists of 4 different pokemon characters, mew, mewtwo, charizard, rayquaza, and a drawing of the item ( a pokemon card).I created my art by using pencils and special pens that I use for a type of art called pointillism or stippling. This art uses references from online but I used multiple different ones and kinda just put them all together and made something cool out of it, though the triangles and alternating black and white- to color were all my idea for this piece. I use a lot of shading when I do pointillism. I do this by either pressing harder in some spots with the pen or using pens of different sizes or colors. When I finished this I was very happy with the way it turned out because this was one of the first times I did something that was closer to an animation and not realism ( which is something I do more often than any kind of animation). I learned that I am more capable of doing good or progressive artwork which finally got me out of my comfort zone and now I feel like there is a little bit more originality in every piece of art I do. Even though I did have a hard time blending some of the colors together correctly, I still think that I made a great improvement and I'm very happy about that.
I'm Sofia. I'm 11 years old and I live in Portland, Oregon. I attend da Vinci Arts Middle school. I love to draw and play video games. I've titled my piece: "Flowers of Aganyu." (Pronounced: Ah-ga-you) I made this because the volcanic eruption picture from the picture bank caught my eye. I really wanted to replace the ashes with something that makes me happy, like flowers. Aganyu is an Orisha from the Lucumi traditions that is associated with volcanoes. This Orisha is important to my family. I used an editing app to crop and drag each flower into the volcanic eruption until I liked the outcome. A challenge was getting the the flower cut out and trying not to continuously use the same flowers. I felt like it was a success overall. I really enjoy my art class.
Perspective can be different depending on your size.
I created Scenic Mountain II as an ongoing series in my study of artist Bob Ross. In this painting, I continued to practice mixing acrylic paints and experiment with new techniques.
I made my artwork with a tiny cardboard box along with different clay utensils. The most challenging part of my project for me was to make a clay wall I had to make sure it was the right length and width and if it was thick enough so it could stand properly. I am most proud of being able to have patience to put thought into every single piece of clay and how I first started with a clay living room and made it into a whole house. The message I want to give to my viewer is to see how patience and care can lead you to make things you didn’t even know you can make.
In this painting I wanted to demonstrate the theory of trophic cascade and how every part of a natural ecosystem is connected. Here we have wolves preying on an elk, top predators like wolves keep prey species like elk in check, if you eliminate the predators, prey species will grow too large and overgraze plants and trees such as the aspen in my picture, which are vital for stopping erosion along rivers and streams. If one piece is removed, the whole ecosystem will feel the consequences. For centuries we have been prosecuting predators under the false pretense that they are killing off all the "gentle and beautiful" game animals they want to shoot instead. In the past, we have thought of the predators as the ruthless villains of the natural world and it's time to give them the appreciation they deserve as a integral part of every balanced ecosystem.
This long exposure photograph combines feelings of loneliness with hope. With the use of techniques such as light painting and further manipulation in post-production the photo takes on a surrealist atmosphere that draws the viewer in.
My art focuses on how humans create and develop their identity, and how we are able to do so because of the presence of other people. With my cartoonish and human-like characters I try to explain the emotions and stages of creating the self you show the world.
The man standing in the middle of the drawing is being ignored by the passing train. It reminds me of people in the world who are being ignored and don't have a voice.
This is a black and white painting of an Ansel Adams photo. Photography is one of my passions. This was my first time shading with paint. I love how art can be expressed in many different forms. I thought about the different shades and how the viewer would see my art.
This is me riding my pet bearded dragon Elvis out of the river in Portland. I like Minecraft so I am holding a Minecraft sword and the Ender Dragon is flying over Mount Hood. I also like Legos so I am holding a Lego. I thought it would be cool if Elvis was breathing fire. I used fire from Super Mario Brothers the Boss Bowser.
Throughout my concentration I focused on scanning physical objects, making them look as life like as possible and incorporating them into my collages. Even though this image is very simple, I think it was successful with its layering. My goal was to make something beautiful with high contrast, bright colors, and with solid unity, due to this very gloom filled year. I wanted to emphasize the importance of maintaining true connections during this time of stress and isolation.
Scenic Mountain I is my attempt to recreate the style and techniques used by artist Bob Ross. Acrylic paints, a palette knife and brushes enabled me to create textural quality on the canvas.
This particular piece was a reference to an interview that Dr. Angela Y. Davis was doing while being detained in California state prison. When drawing I wanted to really bring out her expression and emotions. I wanted it to embody the quote "I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept." So when pulling this off I added sharp lines and blocks of color for some shading, focusing on specific parts of the face for the desired effect. What I found most crucial was the shape and expression of her eyes.
H.E.R. is a creative contemporary R&B singer/songwriter. She recently won a Grammy for Song of the Year which was titled “I Can’t Breathe” in which she sings/raps about the current and historic struggles of Black Americans, and how people can make that struggle seem insignificant through ignorant actions and words. I included a guitar to represent her creativity and talent, and a repeating Black Lives Matter fist (because we keep repeating our mistakes). I admire this strong Black woman who advocates for Black lives through her social platform and through her music.
My name is Carrie, I'm 13, and I live in Portland. I love photography and music. The title of my project would be "Another World," because it's like a glimpse through a mirror into a completely different place. I erased the middle part of the mirror and the white wall in the background, so that the landscape was showing through. It was difficult for me to come up with a way to combine the two photos. Once I had an idea, it was easy to erase certain parts of the photos.
I took this picture from the balcony of the hotel room in which I was staying. My mom grew up in Cannon Beach, so my family and I have gone to visit the town many times each year since before I was born. To this day it is our favorite vacation spot. I'm sad I won't get to see it much anymore since this is my last year before college, but I do know I'll find myself there again at some point in the future. That doesn't mean I can't miss it, though!
well i kind just looked at a wolf picture and started to draw it
Students studied the art of graffiti in preparation for a collaborative street art project. They compared sanctioned street art to illegal graffiti and considered contemporary (Banksy) and historic examples (Lascaux Caves). They viewed and discussed the role local street artists are playing in transforming our city through the Portland Street Art Alliance. After practicing writing graffiti lettering techniques, students chose powerful words to design.
This piece is dedicated to Suzanne Spaak, a courageous women who utilized her upper class status to save Jews during the holocaust. She is a figure who I admire very much.
In my artwork I like to mix the worlds of Realism and Cartooning using both colored pencil and blending markers.
In my artwork I like to mix the worlds of Realism and Cartooning using both colored pencil and blending markers.
I wanted my painting to be lively and thoughtful. The crossed pencils are the cross bones and they represent knowledge and the importance of education. The skull represents death, one of my worst fears. The crown on the skulls head represents respect for self and others. In the time of Basquiat if a graffiti artist liked someones art, they might put a crown on or beside the graffiti. This symbol meant that they liked and respected that art work and the artist who made the art. The word peace is done in a style similar to graffiti and in contrast to the background colors.
I had this wonderful flower in front of me and I knew that I like to draw still lifes so I used different pencils and shading tools to try and make the drawing as realistic as possible and I think it turned out really well.
I am a third grader at Rieke. I didn't think I would be selected, but it turned out, I was. That makes me happy, because I am kind of an inexperienced artist. I am glad that my artwork was admired.
Students observed volcanoes in art, and in documentaries. They thought carefully about the textures of a mountain and used rubbing plates to create mountain texture. They observed what happened in the sky during a volcanic eruption; smoke, ash, and debris. Then they studied how lava can move out of a crater and used paint to show that movement.
Please note: every effort will be made to add your submission to the gallery; disqualifiers include inappropriate or violent content, personal details, student’s face being visible in image, or blurred/unclear photograph.
All artwork remains the sole property of the artist.