Portland Playhouse A Christmas Carol Portland Oregon

A Portland Journal: The city in photos

Has the city lost its way? In the first of a series of urban portraits, K.B. Dixon reminds us of what Portland felt like in the not-too-distant past.

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City Hall, 2011


Text and Photographs by K.B. DIXON


There has been a lot of talk lately about what Portland has become in these last few years—about it being in decline, about it being a city that has lost its vitality, about it struggling with its cultural and civic identity.  It’s hard to argue. The images gathered here in what is the first part of a brief series have been excerpted from a larger ongoing project—from what is basically a photographic journal, a personalized and idiosyncratic survey of the city, an archive that serves in its own special way as a species of memoir. These images offer a glimpse of Portland as it was in the not-too-distant past as opposed to what it seems to be now in the disappointing and dispiriting present.  My hope is that in this look back one might find prospects for the future—that in this glimpse of what we once were, we might find traces of what we could possibly become again.

Jackson Tower, 2011

Horse Patrol, 2016

Scarf, 2017

Poodles, 2015

Looking South, 2012

Sandwiches, 2011

Church, 2011

Flag, 2017

Sketch Artist, 2014

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Photo Joe Cantrell

K.B. Dixon’s work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and journals. His most recent collection of stories, Artifacts: Irregular Stories (Small, Medium, and Large), was published in Summer 2022. The recipient of an OAC Individual Artist Fellowship Award, he is the winner of both the Next Generation Indie Book Award and the Eric Hoffer Book Award. He is the author of seven novels: The Sum of His SyndromesAndrew (A to Z)A Painter’s LifeThe Ingram InterviewThe Photo AlbumNovel Ideas, and Notes as well as the essay collection Too True, Essays on Photography, and the short story collection, My Desk and I. Examples of his photographic work may be found in private collections, juried exhibitions, online galleries, and at K.B. Dixon Images.

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