Text and Photographs by K.B. DIXON
As with the portraits in the previous installments of this series, I have focused on the talented, dedicated, and creative people who have made significant contributions to the art, character, and culture of this city and state—in this case a broadcaster, a poet, a playwright, a visual artist, and a musician.
My aspirations have remained the same: to document the contemporary cultural landscape and to produce a decent photograph—a photograph that acknowledges the medium’s allegiance to reality and that preserves for myself and others a unique and honest sense of the subject.
The environmental details have been 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. It is character that animates the image.
Suzanne Nance is the President and CEO of All Classical Portland (Oregon), the nation’s premier classical music station. She is an award-winning broadcaster, soprano, actor, and arts ambassador who has produced and hosted dozens of radio and television programs and documentaries. Before joining All Classical Portland (Oregon) in 2015, Nance was a producer and host at WFMT Chicago and the voice of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s internationally syndicated radio broadcast series. Nance was also the host of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra radio series (nationally syndicated) and producer and host of Salt Bay Chamberfest, Grant Park Music Festival, and Bravo! Vail radio series. As a singer she has performed on operatic, concert, and recital stages around the world.
Carlos Reyes is a poet, publisher, and teacher. The author of numerous collections, he describes himself, in short, as a “poet of place.” He has occupied writing residencies in the United States, Ireland, Spain, France, and India. In 1971 he founded Trask House Books, a small independent press that published poets such as Robert Duncan, Marvin Bell, Jane Hirshfield, Tess Gallagher, and Peter Sears. Reyes has taught Spanish and Italian at Portland State University and writing workshops throughout Oregon, Washington, and Nevada. His latest collection of poems, Wrestling the Mistral, is due out in 2024.
Andrea Stolowitz is a playwright and librettist. She splits her time among New York, Portland, Berlin, and Ireland. She is a three-time winner of the Oregon Book Award in drama. Her plays have been developed and presented nationally and internationally. Her recent work, ELEGY PLAY, was a commission from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in collaboration with New Dramatists. It received an Irish Arts Agility Award in 2022. Recent Unsettling Events, a commission from Artists Repertory Theatre, was the 2020 winner of the American Blues Theater Blue-Ink Festival and the 2020 Portland Civic Theatre Guild’s New Play Prize. The Berlin Diaries was the recipient of the NYFA/NYC Mayor’s Award for Theater, Film, and TV and was produced at English Theater Berlin/International Performing Arts Center in Berlin, Germany, and in Portland, Oregon, by Hand2Mouth Theatre. Knowing Cairo had its world premiere at the Old Globe Theatre and earned San Diego’s Best New Play Award and an LA Times Critic’s Pick. It was published by Playscripts, Inc., and continues to be produced nationally and internationally. Stolowitz has served on the faculties at Willamette University, University of Portland, Duke University, UC-San Diego, and NUI-Galway.
James Minden is a painter and a native of Portland. He was one of the organizers of the city’s ArtQuake festival in its early years. He lived in New York City in the 1980s, where he worked as the operations manager of the New Museum of Contemporary Art and was one of the founders of the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition. He returned to Portland in 1991. Since then he has concentrated on painting; drawing; printmaking; handmade specular or abrasion reflection holograms that he calls light drawings; and hologram and acrylic hybrid paintings. His works are included in museums and private and corporate collections across the United States. He is represented by Augen Gallery in Portland, Muriel Guepin Gallery in New York, and Guthrie Contemporary in New Orleans.
Amelia Lukas is a nationally and internationally acclaimed flautist. Recent engagements include solo appearances with Chamber Music Northwest, Makrokosmos, United for Ukraine, Fear No Music, March Music Moderne, the Astoria Music Festival, and Music in the Woods. She has performed at the Willamette Valley Chamber Music Festival, the Oregon Bach Festival, Portland Piano International, TedX Portland, the Oregon Music Festival, and with the Bridgetown Orchestra. While in New York her career included membership in the American Modern Ensemble and performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the New Music New York Festival. She holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music (London). She is a board member for Chamber Music Northwest and is the principal/founder of Aligned Artistry, a public relations and consulting service for Portland artists and arts organizations.
EARLIER IN THE SERIES:
- The Cultural Landscape: Part 9. Portraits of illustrator and educator Kate Bingaman-Burt, visual artist Dan Gluibizzi, novelist and nonfiction writer Cecily Wong, essayist and journalist Aaron Gilbreath, and choreographer and Oregon Ballet Theatre artistic director Dani Rowe.
- The Cultural Landscape: Part 8. Portraits of writer and Portland Parks Foundation leader Randy Gragg, playwright/director/photographer Lava Alapai, mixed-media artist Erik Geschke, writer Erica Berry, and dancer/choreographer Samuel Hobbs.
- The Cultural Landscape: Part 7. Portraits of singer/actor Susannah Mars, violinist Tomás Cotik, Native Arts and Culture Foundation leader Lulani Arquette, sculptor Ben Buswell, and artist, costume designer, choreographer, and filmmaker Fuchsia Lin.
- The Cultural Landscape: Part 6. Portraits of Profile Theatre’s Josh Hecht, Pacific Northwest College of Art leader Jennifer (Jen) Cole, opera singer and teacher Hannah Penn, novelist Tony Ardizzone, and make-up, prop, and effects artist Christina Kortum.
- The Cultural Landscape: Part 5. Portraits of musicians Marv and Rindy Ross, artist David Eckard, actor Maureen Porter, and writer Todd Schultz.
- The Cultural Landscape: Part 4. Oregon Symphony’s Scott Showalter, Renegade Opera’s Madeline Ross, theater leader Michael Mendelson, poet Genevieve DeGuzman, roots music legend Lloyd Jones.
- The Cultural Landscape: Part 3. Reser Center Executive Director Chris Ayzoukian, Shaking the tree Theater Artistic Director Samantha Van Der Merwe, Oregon Public Broadcasting President and CEO Steve Bass, photographer and head of Pacific Northwest College of Art’s photography department Teresa Christiansen, choreographer and interim artistic director of Oregon Ballet Theatre Peter Franc.
- The Cultural Landscape: Part 2. Musician and composer Kenji Bunch, opera leader Priti Gandhi, actor and theater director Dan Murphy, contemporary art leader Victoria Frey, dancer and choreographer Shaun Keylock, landscape and urban design leader Zeljka C. Kekez, visual artist Barry Pelzner, poet and editor Susan Moore, musician and composer Cal Scott, writer and indie filmmaker Kelley Baker.
- The Cultural Landscape: 11 Portraits. Theater leader Marissa Wolf, musician Darrell Grant, museum film leader Amy Dotson, Red Door Project leader Kevin Jones, bookstore owner Emily Powell, philanthropist and art collector Jordan Schnitzer, visual artist Jef Gunn, actor and singer Ithica Tell, guitarist Scott Kritzer, publisher Rhonda Hughes, poet John Beer.