Portland Opera The Marriage of Figaro Keller Auditorium Portland Oregon

The Cultural Landscape: Part 2

K.B. Dixon continues his photo series with portraits of ten more people who help define the shape of Portland's culture.


Text and Photographs by K.B. DIXON

As with the portraits in the previous installment 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—people whose work and various legacies are destined to be part of our cultural history.

My aspirations remain the same: to document the 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 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.


Kenji Bunch

Bunch is one of the country’s most engaging and influential composers. More than sixty American orchestras have performed his music. Recent works include commissions from and premieres with the Seattle Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Lark Quartet, Britt Festival, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Music From Angel Fire, Chamber Music Northwest, Eugene Ballet, Third Angle New Music, Grant Park Music Festival, and 45th Parallel, where he was composer in residence in 2020. His discography includes recordings on Sony/BMG, EMI Classics, Koch, RCA, and Naxos labels, among others. With dual degrees in viola and composition from The Juilliard School, Bunch was a founding member of the ensembles Flux Quartet and Ne(x)tworks. He currently serves as artistic director of Fear No Music and teaches viola, composition, and music theory at Portland State University, Reed College, and the Portland Youth Philharmonic.


Priti Gandhi

Gandhi is the artistic director of Portland Opera. She has served in similar positions with both the San Diego Opera and the Minnesota Opera. In her performance career she has sung with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Theatre du Chatelet, the Royal Opera House, Prague Estates Theatre, New York City Opera, Philadelphia Orchestra, and San Francisco Opera, to name a few.


Dan Murphy

Murphy co-founded Broadway Rose Theatre Company with Sharon Maroney in 1992, and is the managing director. An award-winning choreographer, actor, and director, Murphy has appeared in roles such as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray, Man in Chair in The Drowsy Chaperone, and most recently Narrator/Mysterious Man in Into the Woods. He has acted and directed throughout the United States. He sits on the boards of the Washington County Visitors Association, the Portland Area Theatre Alliance, and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre.


Victoria Frey

Executive director of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), Frey has been a longtime local and national arts advocate. Before joining PICA in 2001 she was the owner and director of Quartersaw Gallery. Taking over the directorship of PICA in 2005, Frey transformed the reach of the organization by partnering with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and establishing the Creative Exchange Lab, an international residency program in which regional artists work alongside artists from around the globe. She has served on numerous boards and commissions, working with Travel Portland, the Oregon Arts Commission, The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, and the Mayor’s Creative Capacity Initiative, to name a few.


Shaun Keylock

Award-winning choreographer, dancer, and teacher Keylock is the founder and artistic director of the Shaun Keylock Company. The company has been presented by On the Boards (Seattle); Dance Source (Houston); PUSHFest (San Francisco); and Ten Tiny Dances and New Expressive Works (Portland). Most recently Keylock was selected as choreographer for the United States debut of the chamber opera When the Sun Comes Out, presented by Portland Opera. He has served as a guest faculty member at the University of Oregon, Texas A&M University, Velocity Dance Center in Seattle, Columbia Dance, The Portland Ballet, NW Dance Project, and BodyVox Dance.

Chamber Music Northwest Orion Quartet The Old Church Portland Oregon


Zeljka C. Kekez

Kekez is co-founder with Mauricio Villarreal of PLACE, an Architectural Landscape and Urban Design Studio. She is managing principal and a curator of the on-site PLACE Galeria. PLACE has offices in Portland, Seattle, Bogota, Tokyo, Singapore, and Beijing. It was named 2019-2020 Landscape & Urban Design Firm of the Year by Architecture MasterPrize. The studio’s projects include Nike World Headquarters, Oregon Zoo, University of Oregon, Washington Park Master Plan, Reed College, South Waterfront Blocks, Lewis & Clark College, Edith Green Federal Building, and Oregon Health & Science University, to name a few.


Barry Pelzner

Pelzner is an artist and educator. A professor for many years at the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), he also has taught at Oregon College of Art and Craft and at Portland State University. His work is in many permanent collections, including the City of Portland, the City of Seattle, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, and the Portland Art Museum. Examples of his work can be found at Froelick Gallery.


Susan Moore

Moore is a poet, editor, and director of programs for writers at Literary Arts. Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry, The New York Times MagazineNew York QuarterlyPoetry Northwest, Willow Springs, and elsewhere. She is the author of two chapbooks from Dancing Girl Press (She Preferred to Read the Knives and How to Live Forever), and the winner of the Juniper Prize in Poetry for her full-length collection That Place Where You Opened Your Hands (University of Massachusetts Press).


Cal Scott

An award-winning singer-songwriter, musician, and composer, Scott has scored more than 50 documentaries and specials for PBS. He has toured and recorded with the great Irish fiddler Kevin Burke and was the musical director of The Trail Band for 25 years. He currently performs solo and with Scott, Baily, & Ross, a three-piece band that emerged from the pandemic lockdown with a new CD titled Chapter One, scheduled for release in the summer of 2022.


Kelley Baker

Baker is an author and independent filmmaker. His latest book is Dennis Barton Is a Bastard and Other Stories. He has written and directed documentaries, short films, and full‑length features. In addition to his own films, he has been the sound designer on six of Gus Van Sant’s feature films (including My Own Private IdahoGood Will Hunting, and Finding Forrester) and a Todd Haynes film, Far From Heaven. He also did the sound work on Will Vinton’s The Adventures of Mark Twain and several Claymation specials for CBS.

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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