Sure, the streets and parks don't always look as deserted as they probably should, but the number of businesses with plywood covering their windows casts an eerie pall even on sunny 70-degree spring days.

Of course, many of those boarded-up businesses aren't officially dead—most of them are just waiting to reopen, and hoping to ward off burglars in the meantime.

The Portland Street Art Alliance wants to give them a splash of life. The nonprofit has put out a call to local businesses interested in having a Portland artist create temporary murals on their property.

"As we can see with examples happening around town," PSAA wrote in an Instagram post, "this is a great way to boost community morale and beauty our streetscapes while we all hunker down through this."

It's not just a way to spruce up the urban landscape—it'd also give artists some much-needed work. The organization is suggesting donations between $5 and $25 per square foot, though it adds that it will help businesses that can't afford payment right now find an alternative plan.

According to the Instagram post, while several artists have signed up to be part of the program, no businesses have yet requested their services. Interested parties are encouraged to email PSAA at

Correction: A previous version of this article misrepresented PSAA's suggested donations. It is per square feet, not inches. WW regrets the error.