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The Cultural Landscape: Part 14

K.B. Dixon's cultural-portrait series continues with black & white images of novelist Lydia Kiesling, actor Charles Grant, multidisciplinary artist Emily Ginsburg, photographer Thibault Roland, and writer/editor Margaret Malone.


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 novelist, an actor and director, a multi-disciplinary artist, a photographer, and a short-story writer.

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.


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Lydia Kiesling

Black-and-white photographic portrait of Oregon novelist and culture writer Lydia Kiesling. Phot: K.B. Dixon

Lydia Kiesling is a novelist and culture writer. Her first novel, The Golden State, was a 2018 National Book Foundation “5 under 35” honoree and a finalist for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. Her second novel, Mobility, a national bestseller, was named a best book of 2023 by Vulture, Time, and NPR, among others. It is also a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. Her nonfiction has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and journals, including The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker online, The Atlantic, The Paris Review daily and The Cut.


Charles Grant

Black-and-white photographic portrait of Portland actor and Portland Playhouse Producing Director Charles Grant. Photo: K.B. Dixon

Charles Grant is an actor and the Producing Director at Portland Playhouse. He has worked with various theater companies over the years including Portland Center Stage, Many Hats Collaboration, Third Rail, Fuse Theatre Ensemble, and Confrontation Theatre. As an actor, his performance credits include Redwood and Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Portland Center Stage); Bootycandy (Fuse Theatre Ensemble); and Jump (co-production with Confrontation Theatre and Milagro Theatre).


Emily Ginsburg

Black-and-white photographic portrait of Emily Ginsburg, Portland conceptual artist andchair of the BFA program at Pacific Northwest College of Art. Photo: K.B. Dixon


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Emily Ginsburg is a multi-disciplinary conceptual artist. She is Professor and Chair of BFA Programs at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) and Department Head of the  Intermedia Program. She has produced commissioned work for public art projects at Seattle City Light, Portland State University, Modera Buckman, and Cyan/Pdx. Recent exhibitions include hard&soft at Congress Yards Projects and New Ownership at Eutectic Gallery. She has been awarded various project grants through the Regional Arts and Culture Council and residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Caldera, East Creek Art, and SACI in Florence, as well as in London, Brazil, and Finland.


Thibault Roland

Black-and-white photographic portrait of Portland fine-art photographer and educator Thiebault Roland. Photo: K.B. Dixon

Thibault Roland is a fine-art photographer and educator specializing in black-and-white photography with a preference for landscapes, seascapes, and architecture. Originally from France, he learned film photography as a teen and became serious about it in 2009 as he was finishing a PhD in Physics. A large portion of his studies and subsequent work as a scientist focused on optics and microscopy. His art has always been tied to his scientific background. His work has been shown and received awards internationally and is included in private and public collections such as the Boston Athenaeum. It has also been published by Lenswork (USA), Chasseur d’Images (Fr), Landscape Photography Magazine (UK), Adore Noir Magazine (US), and The Municipal Art Society of New York (US). He is Sony Artisan of Imagery.


Margaret Malone

Black-and-white photographic portrait of Portland essayist, short-story writer, teacher, and editor Margaret Malone. Photo: K.B. Dixon

Mararet Malone is an essayist, short-story writer, teacher, and editor. She is the author of the story collection People Like You. She is the recipient of an Oregon Literary Fellowship, a finalist for the PEN Hemingway Award, and winner of the Balcones Fiction Prize. Her writing can be found or is forthcoming in BOMBThe RumpusThe Missouri ReviewPaper Darts, and elsewhere. She is a co-host of the artist and literary gathering SHARE.


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  • The Cultural Landscape: Part 13. Portraits of jazz drummer Ron Steen, multimedia artist Pamela Chipman, musical-theater leader Sharon Maroney, filmmaker Jim Blashfield, and author and environmentalist Allison Cobb.
  • The Cultural Landscape 12: Special Edition. Portraits of five trailblazing woman artists in Oregon: Lucinda Parker, Judy Cooke, Phyllis Yes, Sherrie Wolf, and Laura Ross-Paul.
  • The Cultural Landscape: Part 11. Portraits of visual artist Marie Watt, percussionist and musical conductor Niel DePonte, dancer and choreographer Oluyinka Akinjiola, poet and storyteller Brian S. Ellis, and actor/producer Lauren Bloom Hanover.
  • The Cultural Landscape: Part 10. Portraits of All Classical Radio President and CEO Suzanne Nance, poet Carlos Reyes, playwright and librettist Andrea Stolowitz, visual artist James Minden, and flutist and Aligned Artistry founder Amelia Lukas.
  • 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. Portraits of 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. Portraits of 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. Portraits of 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. Portaits of 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, and poet John Beer.

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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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