WESTAF Shoebox Arts

The Artists Series 3: Visual Artists

Ten portraits in black and white by K.B. Dixon of Oregon artists making their mark on the world.



This is the third installment of portraits in The Artist Series. The first two focused on Oregon writers. This one focuses on visual artists—the gifted painters and sculptors who have made invaluable contributions to the character and culture of this city and state, people whose legacies are destined to be part of our cultural history.            

It would take pages to catalog the awards, commissions, and honors of these artists and color reproductions of their work to provide a full appreciation of their wizardry so I will simply refer you to their various perches in cyberspace—their virtual ateliers.


Kelly is one of the most revered artists in the Pacific Northwest. He is best known for his monumental public sculptures. These large pieces are “often animalistic, sometimes suggestive of calligraphy or Asian script, always poetic.” – Bob Hicks, ArtScatter.

Examples of Kelly’s work can be found at the Elizabeth Leach Gallery and at lee-kelly.net.


“It seems the purpose of my life has been to make paintings. Often things happen to me directly, or which indirectly move me, touch me, for one reason or another. When that happens and I can’t shake it or if it preoccupies me and I carry it around, I often paint it. The echo of my culture, the power of contemporary life in the US, my sense of history and memory are all motivating forces.” – Henk Pander, Huffington Post.

Examples of Pander’s work can be found at Henk Pander: Paintings.


“A Lucinda Parker painting is always on the move, gyrating slowly or swiftly, perpetually. Parker’s paintings are in fact bundles of energy, restrained and released; they are fields of force…. [T]he nature of these fields has changed dramatically over time.” – Roger Hull, Lucinda Parker: Force Fields.

Examples of Parker’s work can be found at the Russo Lee Gallery.



MYS Oregon to Iberia

“Race is a crucial to Wall’s work, but her drawings include aspects of something even more elemental. ‘In Roland Barthes’ Camera Lucida, he talks about the ‘air’ of an individual, and how you come across certain images, like, whatever it is that makes that person distinct is really captured in that photograph. That’s exactly the kind of images that I’m looking for,’ Wall says. These are the kind of images that are about understanding: understanding a person and experience, to whatever extent you can, and putting a face to the unknown.” – Jenna Lechner, Portland Mercury.

Examples of Wall’s work can be found at the Russo Lee Gallery and at samanthawall.com.


“The intersection of contraries fascinates me: ecstasy and agony; humor and tragedy; natural and constructed realities; experience and news.” – Katherine Ace, Artist Statement.

Examples of Ace’s work can be found at Froelick Gallery and at katherineace.com.


“Laura Ross-Paul is a Portland-based artist known for her flowing, ephemeral oil paintings. Her canvases depict lone figures in awe of nature, appearing precarious and vulnerable—hinting at the works of Casper David Friedrich or Claude Monet. The theme of the lone individual confronting the unknown is one inexorably tied to her personal story.” – Isaac Peterson, 1859.

Examples of Ross-Paul’s work can be found at Froelick Gallery and at lauraross-paul.com.


“As I continue to give definition to and refine my artistic focus—both visual and conceptual—I find that I’ve settled into a genre of painting that I hadn’t known to exist, or at least one that I didn’t know was distinct or that had an actual name. The portrait historic—literally a historicized portrait—is an artistic stylization in which a recognizable subject is depicted in historic or mythological guise.” – Stephen O’Donnell, Artist Statement.

Examples of O’Donnell’s work can be found at Froelick Gallery and at stephenodonnellartist.com.


“Smith’s body of work—including … huge, public expression[s] of his complicated feelings about being black in his adopted city—is gutsy, gorgeous, and urgent.” – Rebecca Johnson, Portland Monthly.

Examples of Smith’s work can be found at arviesmith.com.


“One of the Northwest’s finest, wittiest realist painters.” – Richard Speer, Willamette Week.

Examples of Wolf’s work can be found at the Russo Lee Gallery and at sherriewolfstudio.com.


“Painting is a form of writing to me. I view a group of paintings as text. I join ideas together with information and explore meanings through association. I combine images to make new information as if the images were words. The goal is to surface the remote elements of each painting as if they were a chapter in a larger text; a way of mapping together information to create another way of seeing the moment.” – Matthew Dennison, New American Painting.

Examples of Dennison’s work can be found at Froelick Gallery.



PCS Clyde’s

Earlier in the Artists Series:

  • The Artists Series: Writers. Dixon portrays Oregon writers Kim Stafford, Jon Raymond, Samiya Bashir, Omar El Akkad, Willy Vlautin, Lidia Yuknavich, Leni Zumas, Justin Taylor, Kimberly King Parsons, and Kevin Sampsell.
  • The Artists Series: Writers, Part 2. Dixon portrays Oregon writers Floyd Skloot, Sophia Shalmiyev, David Biespiel, Karen Russell, Arthur Bradford, Molly Gloss, Kate Carroll De Gutes, Reema Zaman, Zachary Schomburg, and Anis Mojgani.

Be part of our
growing success

Join our Stronger Together Campaign and help ensure a thriving creative community. Your support powers our mission to enhance accessibility, expand content, and unify arts groups across the region.

Together we can make a difference. Give today, knowing a donation that supports our work also benefits countless other organizations. When we are stronger, our entire cultural community is stronger.

Donate Today

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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Triangle Productions FLO
PCS Clyde’s
MYS Oregon to Iberia
Profile Theatre Orange Sky
OCCA Monthly
NW Dance Project
Maryhill Museum of Art
PAM 12 Month
Pacific Maritime HC Prosperity
PSU College of the Arts
Oregon Cultural Trust
We do this work for you.

Give to our GROW FUND.