Chamber Music Northwest The Old Church Strings Portland Oregon

The Artists Series 5: Visual Artists

The creators: Ten portraits by K.B. Dixon of artists who are defining what Portland and the state look like.



This is the fifth and final installment of portraits in The Artists Series—a Series focused on the talented people who have made invaluable contributions to the art, character, and culture of this city and state; people whose various gifts have enriched our lives and whose legacies are destined to be part of our cultural history.

Parts 1 and 2 of the series are dedicated to Oregon writers, the artists working in words; Parts 3, 4, and 5 are dedicated to the artists working in visual media—our gifted painters, sculptors, and photographers.

My hope has been to call attention to the remarkable work of these remarkable people and, as always, to produce a decent photograph—a photograph that honors the medium’s allegiance to reality, that preserves for myself and others a unique and honest sense of the subject.

MEL KATZ: Sculptor

“The pieces in Katz’s studio appear vaguely figurative, but the works are abstract, conceptual. They were born out of the post abstract-expressionist moment to encompass several ‘-isms’ spanning the last few decades, including post-painterly abstraction, op art, hard-edge abstraction and minimalism.” 

– Grace Kook-Anderson, The Oregonian

Examples of Katz’s work can be found at Russo Lee Gallery

MARK ANDRES: Painter and Filmmaker

Andres’s paintings are in numerous public and private collections including the Portland Art Museum, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, and Maryhill Museum of Art. His silent animated feature films have been official selections at numerous film festivals and awarded Best Animated Film at the Independent Filmmakers Showcase in Los Angeles.

– Excerpted from Art Collection at PCC

Examples of Andres’s work can be found at Augen Gallery and at Mark Andres, Kinographic Novels


“Using vivid colors and iconic forms, Johnson chronicles events and environments. She explores internal and external landscapes with densely composed imagery.  Stacking and wrapping compositions within compositions, Johnson is able to make stories within abstractions.”

Chamber Music Northwest The Old Church Strings Portland Oregon

– Excerpted from Jackie K. Johnson, Russo Lee Gallery

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

V. MALDONADO: Interdisciplinary Artist

“Deploying both traditional media including painting, printmaking and drawing alongside contemporary strategies such as performance, installation and intervention, Maldonado expresses the power of identity to author experience and perception.”

– Excerpted from V. Maldonado, Froelick Gallery 

Examples of Maldonado’s work can be found at Froelick Gallery

STU LEVY: Photographer

Levy has led photography workshops on the Oregon Coast for over 30 years. He studied with Ansel Adams and was an assistant instructor for Adams workshops in Yosemite and Carmel. His photographs are in many public and private collections including The Center for Creative Photography, the George Eastman House, and the Portland Art Museum. He was one of the founders of the Photography Council of the Portland Art Museum and was the Council President from 2003 to 2006. He is also on the Board of Directors of Photolucida and the Pacific Northwest Photographers Archive.

– Excerpted from On Landscape

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


“In a classic Sharon Bronzan painting you find a woman alone in a wilderness booby-trapped with daggered cactuses. She doesn’t look away but stares unflinchingly into danger. When she relaxes her hold on strict logic, her life-saving guardians appear: a lion, an alligator, a Joshua tree. Bronzan specializes in peril and its antidotes in myth and folklore.”

– Ann Japenga, California Desert Art

Examples of Bronzen’s work can be found at Augen Gallery


Fernandez explores “clear skies and isolated spaces in a clean, uncluttered mid-century setting. Interiors and exteriors are in a cool palette of the bright west coast light, shedding a mix of mystery and optimism.”

– Excerpted from Gabe Fernandez, Russo Lee Gallery 

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


In Cooke’s work there is “a significant historical synthesis occurring … in which the geometric vocabulary of modernism passes through kitsch, ready-mades and the trend of conceptual anti-craft that critic Raphael Rubinstein termed ‘provisional painting’…. But where so many young artists strain to amalgamate the last century’s schools and movements to unfeeling effect, Cooke’s negotiation of those developments is relaxed and honest. Her works do not scan as statements disguised as paintings; they are simply paintings, which can’t help but stoke reflection.”

– John Motley, The Oregonian

Examples of Cooke’s work can be found at Elizabeth Leach Gallery

J.D. PERKIN: Sculptor and Painter

Perkin “creates life-size, figurative ceramic sculpture, using surfaces that are rich and organic. His human forms have a dynamic, yet often meditative presence.”

– Excerpted from J.D. Perkin, Russo Lee Gallery 

Examples of Perkin’s work can be found at Russo Lee Gallery


“Known throughout the Northwest for his ‘molecular’ images of flowers and birds, … [Rickabaugh] draws the eye into a world of precision, color and mystery suggestive of folk art from Mexico, the Middle East or India.” 

– David Stabler, The Oregonian

Examples of Rickabaugh’s work can be found at Russo Lee 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.
  • The Artists Series 4: Visual Artists. Dixon portrays Oregon artists Stephen Hayes, Mary Josephson, George Johanson, Elizabeth Malaska, Christopher Rauschenberg, Gregory Grenon, Laurie Danial, Thomas Prochaska, Melinda Thorsnes, and Robert Dozono.

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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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