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The Cultural Landscape: Part 7

Photographer K.B. Dixon continues his series of portraits with singer & actor Susannah Mars, violinist Tomás Cotik, Native arts leader Lulani Arquette, sculptor Ben Buswell, and multidisciplinary artist Fuchsia Lin.

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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.

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.

I have altered the visual approach in this installment. I have introduced the vestiges of context, giving the viewer something additional to ingest and the photographer something additional to work with compositionally.

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Susannah Mars

Mars is a singer, actor, and voice-over artist. She is the recipient of six Portland Drama Critics Awards and two Portland Area Music Theatre Awards. A resident artist at Artists Rep, she has performed in numerous productions including the eponymous Mars On Life. Other venues include Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre (Sunday in the Park with George and Company), Portland Center Stage (Gypsy and Fiddler on the Roof), Portland Opera (Sweeny Todd), and Portland Playhouse (Scarlet). She has also appeared in both movies and television including The Librarians; The Fugitive; and NBC’s Grimm, in which she played Dr. Richet, the psychiatrist. Her recordings Call It Home: The Music of Richard Gray and the MAC-nominated Take Me To The World are available on iTunes in addition to her podcast, Adventures In Artslandia

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Tomás Cotik

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Cotik is an internationally recognized violin soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. He has performed hundreds of recitals and chamber-music concerts across the globe. He was a first-prize winner at the National Broadcast Music Competition in his native Argentina in 1997 and the winner of the Government of Canada Award for 2003-2005. He has recorded seventeen CDs for Naxos and Centaur Records. These recordings include Schubert’s complete works for violin and piano, Mozart’s complete sonatas for violin and piano, and two Piazzolla albums with Cotik’s own arrangements. Pop music collaborations include recordings with Natalie Cole, Gloria Estefan, Barry Gibb, and George Benson as well as performances with Smokey Robinson, Donna Summer, Bobby McFerrin, Chick Corea, Dave Grusin, Frank Sinatra, Jr., and Take 6.

He was a member of the acclaimed Amernet, Delray, and Harrington string quartets and a rotating concertmaster of the New World Symphony. He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Miami and is Professor of Violin at Portland State University.

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Lulani Arquette

Sponsor

All Classical Radio James Depreist

Arquette is the President and CEO of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, a national nonprofit located in Portland, Oregon, dedicated to advancing equity and Native knowledge with a focus on arts and cultural expression and to helping support American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native artists, organizations, and communities.

A theater artist herself, Arquette has performed in stage productions and been an executive producer of film projects. She has served on numerous boards, including Grantmakers in the Arts, and is currently a board member of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals. She received the United States Artists 2021 Berresford Prize, which honors cultural practitioners who have contributed significantly to the advancement, well-being, and care of artists in society.

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Ben Buswell

Buswell is a sculptor who works in a variety of media, including ceramics, metals, resins, and more. He is a Hallie Ford Fellow in the Visual Arts and a two-time recipient of grants from the Oregon Arts Commission and Ford Family Foundation. He has had solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, Seattle, and in Portland at Upfor, The Art Gym, and Tilt Gallery and Project Space. His work has appeared in two Oregon Biennials (Disjecta, Portland Art Museum) and is included in the permanent collections of The Portland Art Museum, Portland Community College, Western Oregon University, The University of Oregon, and Oregon Health and Science University. He is chairman of the Art Department at Portland Community College Rock Creek.

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Fuchsia Lin

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Lin is an artist, costume designer, choreographer, and filmmaker. She’s a graduate of Parsons School of Design and the University of Michigan, and her work—much of which is centered on environmental concerns—has been performed and exhibited at numerous national and international venues, including here at Portland Center Stage, Oregon Ballet Theatre, and the Portland Art Museum’s Northwest Film Center. Her newest film, Future Cosmos Flow, is scheduled for release in Summer 2023. “Hers is a voice and vision to be reckoned with.”–Paul Harrod, Designer, Art Director, Director, Production Designer of Isle of Dogs.

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EARLIER IN THE SERIES:

  • 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.

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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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