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Photo First: An amble through Scare City

K.D. Dixon roams the streets of Portland with his camera in search of the odd, the eerie, the hair-raising, the ghoulish, the spectral, and the skeletal. Saints preserve us, he finds them.

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Finally Found a Place, 2023

WHAT’S HALLOWEEN WITHOUT a little jolt of visual shock — something eerie, unanticipated, ghostly, maybe skeletal to scare up the seasonal spirits? As regular ArtsWatch readers know, photographer and writer K.B. Dixon has a way of discovering the unusual amid the ordinary, and recently, as he puts it, “I did some motivated meandering the other day and took a few shots for Halloween.”

Like pretty much every hamlet, town and city across the United States, Portland takes on a distinctly haunted air come late October. Grab your mask and maybe a trick-or-treat bag and follow along in Dixon’s footsteps as he gets the goods on the ghouls and celebrates the skills of the “ordinary,” if slightly skewed, citizens who assembled these masterworks of mayhem. You might notice that he and his camera include not an even dozen but eleven destinations on his tour of terror. That’s … odd. Which, on Halloween, seems just right.

— The Editors

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Pot of Skulls, 2023

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Crosses, 2023

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You’re Next, 2023

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Do Not Disturb, 2023

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James Yeast, 2023

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Three Witches, 2023

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Portland Playhouse A Christmas Carol Portland Oregon

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Boo, 2023

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The Skeletones, 2023

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Portland Playhouse A Christmas Carol Portland Oregon

Rest in Pieces, 2023

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Skeleton on Horseback, 2023

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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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