OrpheusPDX Portland Oregon

The Year of Living Crowdlessly

Nine months into shutdown, even introverts miss the bustle of the streets. A look back on the art of gathering.

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TEXT AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY K.B. DIXON


I don’t like crowds. I avoid them as much as I can, and when I can’t—as when I am working on a photographic project—I try to limit the amount of time I spend in them. So it has come as something of a surprise to find that now, after living for nine months without crowds, I have started to miss them—sort of. “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone?”

The photographs here are a look back at the not all-too-distant past, when we congregated with impunity. Each image has been contextually enhanced by a pandemical subtext. When will we ever be doing something like this again? We are all waiting for an answer to that question—some more patiently than others.


BASTILLE DAY, 2012



2 PARTIES NO VOICE, 2011



STREET FAIR, 2019



ART IN THE PEARL, 2019



TUBA FESTIVAL, 2019



DOG SHOW, 2018



MERMAIDS, 2019



SATURDAY MARKET, 2018



SCIENCE MATTERS, 2019



PRIDE, 2019



BEARD COMPETITION, 2013

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FARMER’S MARKET, 2017



TAX THE RICH, 2017



UFO FESTIVAL, 2017


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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