The Cultural Landscape: 11 Portraits

K.B. Dixon begins a new series with photographic portraits of eleven people who help define the shape of Portland's culture.

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Text and Photographs by K.B. DIXON


The portraits in this first installment of a new series focus on our cultural landscape—on the talented, dedicated, and creative people who have made significant contributions to the art, character, and culture of this city and state, people whose work and various legacies are destined to be part of our cultural history.

As with the portraits in previous series, I have tried to produce a decent photograph—a photograph that acknowledges the medium’s allegiance to reality, that preserves for myself and others a unique and honest sense of the subject.

The environmental details are kept to a minimum. The subjects have the frame to themselves and do not compete with context for attention. This provides for a simpler, blunter, more intense encounter with character.

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Marissa Wolf

Artistic Director of Portland Center Stage. Previously the Associate Artistic Director at Kansas City Repertory Theatre and the Artistic Director at San Francisco’s innovative Crowded Fire Theater. She has held the Bret C. Harte Directing Fellowship at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and has a degree in drama from Vassar College, with additional training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. https://www.pcs.org/

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Darrell Grant

Award-winning, internationally recognized jazz pianist, and composer, and Portland State University professor, Grant has appeared on major concert stages from Carnegie Hall to the Monterey, Telluride, and San Francisco Jazz Festivals. His albums regularly top the jazz charts.

Sponsor

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Amy Dotson

Director of the Northwest Film Center and Portland Art Museum’s Curator of Film & New Media. Dotson came to the Film Center from the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the oldest and largest organization in the United States championing the future of storytelling on all platforms, where she served as the Deputy Director & Head of Programming.

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Kevin Jones

Artistic Director and Co-Founder of the Red Door Project. He is an award-winning actor and director who has been performing on stage for more than 40 years.

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 Emily Powell

Third-generation owner and President of Powell’s Books, the largest independent bookstore in the world—a cultural and community landmark in Portland.

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Jordan Schnitzer

President and CEO of Harsch Investment Properties, Schnitzer is Director of the Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation. He has served on more than 30 civic and cultural boards, including the Portland Art Museum, the Japanese Garden Society of Oregon, and the High Desert Museum in Bend. Following his family’s commitment to support art and culture, Schnitzer has created one of the nation’s largest contemporary print collections, which is shared with the public through the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation. He and his Family Foundation have funded and organized more than 140 exhibitions from this collection. The Foundation also supports numerous outreach programs that enhance and educate the community about the importance of the arts.

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Jef Gunn

A nationally known artist, Gunn is represented by the Traver Gallery in Seattle, the Cedar Street Galleries in Honolulu, and the Augen Gallery in Portland. He has held residencies in Barcelona and Paris and has taught painting and drawing in Portland for more than 25 years.

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Ithica Tell

Tell is a classically trained, award-winning actor and singer. She has appeared onstage in Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, and as Othello in Shakespeare’s Othello. Her television appearances include Grimm and The Librarians.

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Scott Kritzer

An internationally acclaimed classical guitarist, Kritzer has performed in concert halls around the world and in Portland with The Oregon Symphony. He has served as Artistic Director of The Third Angle Ensemble and was a faculty member at Lewis and Clark and Reed Colleges for more than 30 years. He has toured throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe with Janet Chvatal, coloratura soprano and star of European Opera.

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Rhonda Hughes

Publisher and Editor of Hawthorne Books, an independent press focused on literary fiction and innovative nonfiction.

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John Beer

An award-winning poet, Beer is the author of Lucinda and The Waste Land and Other Poems. He is the editor of Poems 1962–1997 by Robert Lax; a one-time theater critic; and the Director of Creative Writing at Portland State University.

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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One Response

  1. Great selection of John Beer. He is our son and we are most proud of him. In addition to his skills as an artist, he is an incredibly thoughtful and compassionate person who is a great citizen of Portland and most concerned about those less fortunate. He is totally committed to his students and his art. Well deserving of any accolades he receives!

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