The ‘largest’ book collection on campus

Don’t miss one of the most eye-catching pieces of art on Portland State’s campus. The Knowledge is a block-long wall of books from Millar Library, installed in 2010 along Southwest Fifth Avenue between Hall and College streets (on the east wall of 5th Avenue Cinema).

The mural, digitally printed vinyl on concrete, was created by Harrell Fletcher, with assistance from Avalon Kalin. Titles include references to the adjacent educational community and local sustainability efforts, as well as topics of interest to the diverse student body, the campus community in general, and neighboring businesses that support the University District area.

Students, faculty, and staff participated in a poll to choose the book titles, which were then pulled from the shelves, photographed and enlarged by a billboard company.

About the artists

Harrell Fletcher is an American artist from Santa Maria, California, and a professor of Art and Social Practice at Portland State University. Fletcher has produced a variety of socially engaged collaborative and interdisciplinary projects since the early 1990s.

Fletcher has work in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, the New Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Hammer Museum, the Berkeley Art Museum, the De Young Museum, and the FRAC Brittany, France.

Avalon Kalin is a graphic artist who makes documentary and social art connected to everyday life. He was an MFA student in the first Social Practice program at Portland State when he assisted Fletcher in creating The Knowledge.

Rediscovering Campus is a weekly series that highlights the stories behind popular spaces at Portland State University, as we gear up for a return to in-person learning.