For those of you who are just stumbling upon this blog series for the first time, let me give you a brief overview: at the beginning of October, we started posting a weekly series spotlighting all of the artists represented in the 2013 Pacific Northwest Photography Viewing Drawers!
We’ll continue to preview 10 Drawers artists every week through Thanksgiving (aka: the beginning of holiday gift shopping season). Yes, all the prints in the Drawers are for sale! Email Amanda Clem at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (503) 225-0210 to inquire about prices and availability. Better yet, come to the gallery and take some time to look at the prints in person.
Blue Sky established the Pacific Northwest Photography Viewing Drawers program in 2007 to feature a juried, public archive of original prints by contemporary photographers based in the region. Our Drawers program has quickly become a favorite aspect of Blue Sky’s ongoing programming, available to approximately 25,000 visitors annually. For 2012—to coincide with the newly inaugurated Portland Photo Month (every April)—Blue Sky expanded the geographic scope of the Drawers program to include photographers from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia, and Alaska.
Let’s see what we’ve got this week:
Artist Statement: I strive for authenticity and emotion, but also playfulness in my photography. The use of alternative and historical processes-wet plate collodion, palladium, pinhole/Polaroid and gelatin silver prints, silhouettes, among others-is central to my photography. Not only do these processes tend to produce an antique, timeless effect; they also reflect, through their use and disuse, the passage of time within the art of photography itself. My silhouette series explores the in-between, the transition between life on earth and the afterlife. I approach this emotionally difficult subject from a childlike perspective using silhouette imagery to create narratives and fables to provide hope that there is life after life. My intention is not to convince anyone of a religious belief but rather to provide hope that death is not the end. I accomplish this through allegory and the impressions that I create with light.
From $300 – $700
Artist Statement: I use photographs to transform found objects into playful pieces of art. Fusing transparent figurative and family portraits with children’s toys and blocks, I create a playful tension between imagery and object. My work breathes new life into these found objects, yet they leave hints of the past in their lovingly worn appearances; the flecks of paint missing, and the soft corners worn down by tiny fingers and tumbling towers. These works depart from the formality of a frame as they are arranged on a table top or a shelf, often stacked or placed side by side to reveal narratives of family snapshots, or the complexities of the feminine allure. In combination, I give you a chance to visit these earlier playful times while drawing on memories, contemporary issues, and visual formality.
From $135 – $1800
Artist Statement: As an international adoptee born in Lima, Peru, and raised in the American Midwest within a multiracial family my work over the last 10 years has consistently explored identity and the desire to connect with ones’ personal ethnic lines. My recent project entitled STRAYS is the culmination of this work as I return to Lima, Peru, after 32 years, intent on documenting the Stella Maris orphanage where I was born and the now elderly nuns who still live and work there. A year later, my documentary project has transformed into a quiet metaphorical reflection on the meaning of motherhood, family, death, and home. The photographs themselves provide no easy answers as they oscillate between the world of the centenarian nuns, their archives- mostly old pictures of orphans awaiting adoption, and one hot Lima summer as I walked the streets- a tourist in my birth city.
Please inquire for pricing.
Artist Statement: “Abandoned in Whittier Series Photographs of the Buckner Building, Whittier Alaska” – These photographs imply that beauty exists in the decay of this massive fortress, damaged during the 1964 earthquake and abandoned by the military after WWII. As one writer said, it ‘looks like the world’s biggest haunted house.’ Abandoned in Whittier is a series of photographs of the Buckner building in Whittier, Alaska. The town of Whittier was created by the military, and chosen for its hidden location on Passage Canal, on the eastern side of steep mountains and glaciers. It would serve as a strategic fuel port for B-52 bombers during the Cold War. The Hodge and Buckner buildings housed the officers and troops that handled the Alaska operations. Once the largest building in Alaska, and called ‘a city under one roof,’ it was abandoned by the military in 1960, and badly damaged by the Good Friday Earthquake of 1964. The earthquake’s epicenter was 25 miles from Whittier. The quake propelled a tsunami wave through Prince William Sound and Wells Passage. The waves reached 43 feet in Passage Canal. In Whittier, 13 people died. Today the town of roughly 170 is mainly a fishing port. The Hodge building has been converted into condominiums, where the majority of the town lives. The Buckner building remains abandoned, a military modern day ruin; too expensive to demolish, and too large and damaged to repair. It sits forever unused. It is our history.
Artist Statement: This is a selection of photographs that are described by light, color and gesture. It is a record of the scenes that I have experienced. This is how the world looks when one pauses long enough to “see”. Sometimes I step out of my house, where I have lived for 30 years, into the night when you can barely make out the landscape of the garden, and in that soft summer air an immense sadness overcomes me; too soon this will not be here anymore; too soon I shall pass. Photography helps me to remember moments of light, gesture, color and expression. I want to remember the taste and smell, the joy and despair, the poetry of the multi-layered complexity of life. Every day I take my camera with me. Photography gets me into places in the world where I would not normally go and encountering people whom I would not normally speak to. Photography has expanded my experience of the world. What catches my eye? Why press the shutter? The answer has to do with the inner working of the photographer and his relationship to the external world. It is a process that will not fit into a neatly labeled box. “Life of a Photograph”, a book by Sam Abell, propelled me along this path, this life of seeing. Sam has taught me to “make” a photograph, to look for the complexity of visual and psychological layers from corner to corner of the viewfinder. He has taught me to look for poetry in a scene and to look for beauty in the commonplace. I am trying to see the shape of that phenomenon. I am looking us different and the same. At the small spaces, faces and gestures that make.
Artist Statement: “Portrait of Faith” is a testament to the Easter Holy Week processions of Marsala and Trapani, Sicily. Being a “Recovering Catholic,” I’ve always been fascinated and mystified by (and a bit envious of) the intensity of faith exhibited in the Old World Latin Cultures. In the time-honored documentary tradition, my goal in making these images was to witness, record, and possibly experience this intensity first hand. The processions were filled with passion, death, tears, and candle wax, served up by widows dressed in black and accompanied by the funereal dirge of the brass bands, filling my senses with visions of Don Corleone, cannoli, Armani suits and Gucci shades, tiramisu, children with wings, cell phone cameras, and doves. If ten o’clock Mass at Pius X had been anything like this, I’d still be a practicing Catholic today.
Artist Statement: Amateur Physics is an exploration of the interface between art and science. It bridges 19th and 21st photographic technologies. The photographs are made with a camera, computer software is used to create the final negative, and the image is printed using the Van Dyke Brown Process invented by Sir John Herschel in 1839. I chose to print the portfolio as Van Dykes because it gives the right feel to the theme of the portfolio. Work on the portfolio was started almost three years ago and it now consists of 22 images. The photographs tend to be inspired by a scientist or an experiment.
Artist Statement: These images are part of my ongoing project documenting the Portland cityscape through panoramic photography. Observing and appreciating the urban environment is a big part of my daily life. I spend a lot of time running, walking, biking and driving through the neighborhoods and thoroughfares of the city, carefully taking in its sights. Noticing the details of my surroundings is my way of focusing and being in the moment. In photographing my subjects I am attempting to depict familiar locations with new perspectives. Seeing becomes something of a treasure hunt for hidden beauty to be revealed through the photograph. These photographs were made in panoramic format, by blending multiple frames together using special software. I favor the panoramic format because it can offer both the detail of a close up and the larger context of a subject, all within the same image.
Artist Statement: You don’t have to suffer to be a poet; adolescence is enough suffering for anyone. ~John Ciardi. Quite Normal continues my artistic explorations of the age of adolescence. For this series, I have photographed students at school, and returned a week or two later with large prints of my portraits. Students were then given time to sit with the print, and offered complete freedom to write about their lives, based on whatever my portrait inspired in them. This freedom to express themselves often led to surprising revelations, from family and relationship troubles to fears of ostracism and death. It also revealed in some students a sharp wit and humor. And this is the crux of my experience with adolescents: my frequent surprise at the depth of their pathos and humor in the midst of an often confusing and bizarre time of life. Photographs in this series are original, unique prints, limited to an edition of 1 each.
Artist Statement: Photographs taken by U.S. military personnel during deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan; the photographs were given to me for the traveling exhibition, “Exit Wounds: Life After War – Soldiers’ Stories,” and my handmade book, “I wouldn’t Wish War on My Worst Enemy.” (A quote from a twice-deployed Marine to his mother.) Photos by: Eddie Black, Jake Meeks, Arturo Franco, Ash Woolson, Jan Critchfield, and Kassie Babib.
Thank you for taking a peek! Come by the gallery any day (Tuesday through Sunday) to look through all of the other photographs at your leisure.
Amanda B. Clem,
Membership & Gallery Manager