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The Artists Series 4: Visual Artists

Ten portraits by K.B. Dixon of Oregon artists who are helping to define what Portland and the state look like.



This is the fourth installment of portraits in The Artist Series. The first two focused on Oregon writers. Part 3 and this installment, Part 4, focus on visual artists—the gifted, award-winning painters, sculptors, and photographers who have made invaluable contributions to the cultural life of this city and state, people whose legacies are destined to be part of our cultural history.

For an introductory look at their work, I refer you to their digital digs—their virtual ateliers.


A “deft blending of representation and sheer abstraction underpins Hayes’s eminence as a supreme kind of painters’ painter in the Pacific Northwest.” – Sue Taylor, Art in America.

Examples of Hayes’s work can be found at the Elizabeth Leach Gallery and at


“Painting was my first love. Over the course of my career my techniques and materials have evolved, but I remain in love with the act of telling stories and celebrating human experience.” – Mary Josephson, Statement.

Examples of Josephson’s work can be found at the Russo Lee Gallery and at


“Whether in New York jazz clubs and slaughterhouses, in Mexican villages, at the Rose Festival held each year in Portland, at rehearsals of the Oregon Symphony, or in life drawing sessions with artist friends, making images on paper has been a basic element for Johanson throughout his life. The haunting power of Johanson’s art originates, almost always, in drawing.” – Roger Hull, George Johanson: Image and Idea.

Examples of Johanson’s work can be found at the Augen Gallery and at


“Malaska has mastered classical technique and shows a range of painting styles and aesthetic approaches … as well as continual shifts in depiction. Sometimes her style is painterly, sometimes highly detailed and exact, sometimes like folk art. There are carefully constructed fields of perspective in some paintings and in others the floors seem to lean against the walls that lean against ceilings, evidence of Malaska skillfully facing the challenge all painters face–how (and whether) to represent a three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface–and having fun while she does it.” – Sarah Sentilles, Oregon ArtsWatch.

Examples of Malaska’s work can be found at the Lee-Russo Gallery and at


Rauschenberg has photographed around the world. His work has been featured in more than a 100 solo shows. He is a co-founder and past president of Photolucida and a co-founder, co-curator, and Board Chairman of Blue Sky Gallery.

Examples of Rauschenberg’s work can be found at the Elizabeth Leach Gallery and at


Grenon’s work “presents a complex range of emotions that he incorporates into the presentation of his feminine subjects, who he imbues with his own intense and conflicted feelings.” – Joseph Modica, Urban Glass.

Examples of Grenon’s work can be found at the Lee-Russo Gallery and at



“Making paintings that are both suggestive and elusive is no easy task. Danial says her process is ‘intuitive, chaotic, and circuitous,’ and this is certainly evidenced within the work, for one’s eye cannot rest in one place for too long before being drawn to another element, then pulled back from the picture plane into deeper aspects.” – Patrick Collier, Oregon Visual Arts Ecology Project.

Examples of Danial’s work can be found at the Froelick Gallery and at


“My sense is that, as a musician plays the feeling of the notes, Prochaska’s brush paints the feeling of what is being rendered, not the look of it. The resulting image is the result of how it felt to paint it, and if we, the viewers, engage with these works it is in some way to engage with the painter’s story of being a painter, of being in the work. Tiny shapes, strokes, dabs, progress across the small canvas, nudging us from one mark to the next.” – Paul Sutinen, Oregon ArtsWatch.

Examples of Prochaska’s work can be found at the Froelick Gallery:


“Thorsnes’ richly colored, provocative paintings offer audacious characters that seem to jump off the picture plane…. Her depictions of seemingly familiar faces and settings give way to ephemeral Fellini-like moments that turn routine ‘feral’ and reality into dreamscape.” – Michael Parsons, Michael Parsons Fine Art.

Examples of Thorsnes’s work can be found at


“From a distance, say, of 30 feet or more, [Dozono’s ‘trash’] images appear seamless, often stream landscapes with a wonderful shimmering watery surface. However, when one moves in to three feet, the shock sets in, as the stuff on the surface now is in active conflict with the illusion. And then at three inches, with your nose almost in the paint, the surface…is a completely abstract topography of these discards and dabs of color.” – Ken Weeks, Robert Dozono, Accumulation: Work 1963-2009.

Examples of Dozono’s work can be found at Blackfish Gallery:


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.
  • The Artists Series 3: Visual Artists. Dixon portrays Oregon artists Lee Kelly, Henk Pander, Lucinda Parker, Samantha Wall, Katherine Ace, Laura Ross-Paul, Stephen O’Donnell, Arvie Smith, Sherrie Wolf, and Matthew Dennison.

About the author

K.B. Dixon’s work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and journals. 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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