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 sculptor, two musicians, an actor, and a 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 again 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 this encounter with character that animates the image.
Songwriter, musician, and founder with wife Rindy Ross of the band Quarterflash. Over a decade the band released four albums, garnering gold and platinum records and tours with Elton John and Linda Ronstadt. In 1991 the Rosses formed Ross Productions to create music for Northwest audiences. Their first project was a musical based on diaries of immigrants on the Oregon Trail. From that project came The Trail Band and nine CDs. Ross’s second play, The Ghosts of Celilo—a Broadway-styled musical featuring Native American music and culture—was presented in October 2007 by Artists Repertory Theatre at The Portland’5 Centers for the Performing Arts. The Rosses’ latest album, released in July 2020, is A Better World.
Singer, saxophonist, songwriter, musician, and founder with husband Marv Ross of the band Quarterflash and later the production company Ross Productions. The Rosses’ latest album, released in July 2020, is A Better World.
A sculptor, performer, and artist who works on paper, Eckard is Department Head & Associate Professor of Sculpture at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA). He has shown work both nationally and internationally, and was the subject of a single-artist exhibition at The Art Gym. He is the recipient of multiple fellowships and awards including the Individual Artist Fellowship (RACC), the Hallie Ford Fellowship in the Visual Arts, and the Bonnie Bronson Fellowship. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Flash Art, Art in America, Artnews, and Sculpture.
Porter is an actor and the Managing Artistic Director of Third Rail Repertory Theatre. As a core company member she has a long list of credits including The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Noises Off, and The Gray Sisters. Other credits include Bright Half Life with Profile Theatre; Or, The Whale with Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble; The Taming of the Shrew at Portland Shakespeare Project; Crooked at CoHo Theatre; and No Exit and Betrayal at Imago Theatre. Her New York credits include Wet at the SPF New Works Festival; School for Scandal, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Feign’d Courtesans with The Queen’s Company; and As You Like It with the National Shakespeare Company.
Schultz is a writer and a Professor of Psychology at Pacific University. He has published three books, each a psychologically focused study of an artist: Tiny Terror: Why Truman Capote Almost Wrote Answered Prayers; An Emergency in Slow Motion: The Inner Life of Diane Arbus; and Torment Saint: The Life of Elliott Smith. He edited Oxford’s Handbook of Psychobiography and curates the publisher’s Inner Lives series. He has written for Huffington Post, Poetry Foundation, Slate, Salon, the Spectator, Seattle Weekly, and Bookish, and he blogs for Psychology Today. He is a recipient of the Erikson Prize for Mental Health Media and a Shearing Fellow at the Black Mountain Institute in Las Vegas. His latest book is The Mind of the Artist.
Earlier in the Series:
- 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.