Portland Water District to Continue Allowing Use of Graffiti Wall

Mar 30, 2017

After a review that included a public meeting, the Portland Water District Board of Trustees has decided that a wall near the East End Wastewater Treatment Facility will continue to be available for public art.

There were calls to end the practice in September, when a depiction of Gov. Paul LePage as a KKK grand wizard, and later with Mickey Mouse ears, appeared on the wall.

Water District spokeswoman Michelle Clements says more than 50 people attended the public meeting.

“We had a lot of input from the public,” she says. “The majority of it was in favor of keeping the canvas as-is for public art.”

Although the water district owns the wall, it has been in use as a public canvas for 15 years, ever since then-Police Chief Michael Chitwood made a verbal agreement with the district to allow graffiti and other artists free rein there.