Portal Project

Welcome to the Taylor Public Arts Advisory Board’s PORTAL PROJECT!

The TAAB Portal Project is a fun and creative way to bring art to unexpected community areas like our hike and bike trail by decorating the elevated manhole covers along the route.  

The Portal Project already spans several manhole covers along the trail, starting from 11th Street and Washburn and heading south and east.  There is a fantastic variety of designs in place already - created by local artists working together or solo to bring their ideas to life. 

 Our first phase is to continue the progress all the way to the bottom of the trail at Fannie Robinson Park, and then we hope to expand north towards and through Murphy Park.   

“Beehive” by Lisa Drummond

Lisa Drummond portal project artwork

“Frida Kahlo” by Rachel Martin

Rachel Martin portal project artwork

“Duck Pond” by Casey Anderson

Casey Anderson portal project artwork

“Secret Garden” by Dixie Sefcak Rhoades, Karen Burges

Dixie Sefcak Rhoades Karen Burges portal project artwork 2

“Sea Life” by Miguel Verastique

Miguel Verastique portal project artwork

“I’ve Got Sunshine” by Betsy Denny

Betsy Denny portal project artwork

“Mountains” by Ashely Pulkabrak

“Mountains” by Ashely Pulkabrak portal project artwork


Artists Wanted!

Do you have an idea for a portal?  Show us your proposed design!  Print template out and color it in (or do your own version digitally if you’d like), scan it, and email it to us at TaylorPublicArts@taylortx.gov with “Portal Project” in the subject line – you can also use this address to ask questions.  

 Dixie Sefcak Rhoades Karen Burges porta project artwork 1
Betsy Denny Portal Project Proposal
Betsy Denny portal project artwork

PLEASE NOTE: not all of the portals are the same size!  The dotted lines below show the approximate heights available - you are encouraged to visit the hike & bike trail and check out the blank portals to see for yourself, and plan accordingly.  Unpainted portals are numbered with a small white number painted on the top - you may have to brush away leaves or dust to find it.  For the shortest portals we use, use only the top section; for the middle, use the top and the middle; a few portals are large enough for all three sections.  We will try to match your design to a similar sized portal when we can. 

Click here for Portal Project template

NEW with this round - you may include the top metal manhole cover in your design!  It will be painted with plain rustoleum-type paint to help mitigate rust, and you can paint over it.  HOWEVER, while designs do not have to be painted (they can be fiber art, include small materials attached with glue, etc), the top manhole cover will need to remain painted only, so that nothing impedes their function or access. 

Please make sure that your artwork is appropriate for all ages and family friendly. The following must be avoided: 

  • Obscenities
  • Nudity, sex, or innuendo
  • Depictions of drug or alcohol abuse
  • Racism
  • Sexism
  • Degradation of individuals or groups
  • Violence, horror, or gore
  • Desecration of cultural symbols
  • Gang related art

If your design is selected for the current round, we will contact you to let you know and to coordinate a time for you to paint.  We will supply the paint (exterior latex house paint) in a variety of basic colors which you can mix to your needs, and a library of brushes to borrow.  After your portal is done please know that the city will put a coat of clear anti-grafitti varnish over it to help protect it, and the TAAB will need to stencil a small logo on it - somewhere unobtrusive.  As these are out in the open and subject to weather, people, and animals they are somewhat ephemeral; we are hoping each design lasts a few years but eventually they’ll need to be painted over by the next artist - maybe you!  

Whether you participate by taking in the art along the hike and bike or take the plunge and create your own, our wish is that the people of our community join together in this project!  Please contact us with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have at TaylorPublicArts@taylortx.gov.