WESTAF Shoebox Arts

The Cultural Landscape: Part 6

Photographer K.B. Dixon continues his series of portraits with theater leader Josh Hecht, art school dean Jen Cole, opera singer Hannah Penn, novelist Tony Ardizzone, and film prop and effects artist Christina Kortum.



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 writer, a college administrator, a theatre director, an opera singer, and an effects artist.

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.


PCS Clyde’s


Josh Hecht

Hecht is the Artistic Director of Profile Theatre. At Profile he has directed In The Wake and the rotating repertory productions of Water By The Spoonful and The Happiest Song Plays Last. A Drama Desk Award-winning director, his productions have been seen in New York at MCC Theater; The Cherry Lane; The Duke on 42nd Street; New World Stages; Culture Project; and internationally at the Dublin Arts Festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and elsewhere. His collaboration with Ping Chong and Company was commissioned by and premiered at The Kennedy Center.

He was the director of playwright development at MCC Theater, the director of new play development at Women’s Expressive Theatre, and has worked at most of the play development centers across the country. He is also an alumnus of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab. He has served on the faculty of the New School for Drama MFA Directing program, the Fordham University MFA Playwriting program, and Purchase College SUNY’s BFA Dramatic Writing program; and has been a guest artist at The Juilliard School, NYU’s Dramatic Writing MFA program, Carnegie Mellon’s MFA Playwriting program, and others.


Jennifer (Jen) Cole

Cole is Jordan Schnitzer Dean of the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) @ Willamette University. She was previously Executive Director of Programs and Public Affairs at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University and was the founding director of The National Collaborative for Creative Work. Prior to her position at ASU she served as the Executive Director of the Metro Arts: Nashville Office of Arts and Culture, where she spent nearly a decade as Nashville’s Chief Cultural Officer. She also served as a board member of Americans for the Arts, chaired the U.S. Urban Arts Federation, and currently serves in a variety of advisory capacities with national arts and policy groups including Creative Youth Development Network, ArtPlace America, Creative Capital, Grantmakers in the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. 


All Classical Radio James Depreist


Hannah Penn

Penn is an opera singer and teacher. She has sung operatic roles with Glimmerglass Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Portland Opera, Tacoma Opera, and other companies. She has been featured with orchestras around the country, including several appearances with the Oregon Symphony, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, and the Sunriver Music Festival. She has sung Bach Cantatas with the Leipzig Bach Festival and concerts with Third Angle, Fear No Music, and OrpheusPDX. As an educator she has held faculty positions at Portland State University and Willamette University as well as lecture positions at Portland Opera and Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.


Tony Ardizzone

Ardizzone is the author of five novels and three short-story collections. His newest novel, In Bruno’s Shadow, will be released by Guernica Editions in Spring 2023. His work has appeared in dozens of literary journals and magazines including The Georgia Review, TriQuarterly, Ploughshares, Agni, Prairie Schooner, Chicago Review, Mississippi Review, and Quarterly West. He has received, among other honors, the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, the Chicago Foundation for Literature Award for Fiction, the Pushcart Prize, an Oregon Literary Fellowship, the Virginia Prize for Fiction, the Milkweed Editions National Fiction Prize, and two Individual Artist Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.



PCS Clyde’s

Christina Kortum

Kortum is an award-winning make-up, prop, and effects artist. She is the founder and owner of Ravenous Studios. Her work can be seen on shows such as Grimm, Portlandia, Leverage, The Librarians, Star Trek Discovery as well as in numerous independent feature films.



  • 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.

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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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