Craig Hickman

January 1, 2004 - January 31, 2004

Craig Hickman

One of the founding members of Blue Sky 28 years ago, Hickman has been tirelessly photographing throughout the Willamette Valley for over 30 years. He currently teaches in the Art Department at the University of Oregon. His densely rich color images explore the quiet corners and small towns along I-5, elevating the everyday moments we pass or never even see to saturated captured abstractions of life.

Of his work he writes, “I have made the drive between Eugene and Portland on I 5 hundreds of times. I have a confession to make. It had been my impression that the Willamette Valley consisted of the freeway and the towns attached directly to it: Eugene, Albany, Salem, Woodburn, Portland, etc. I didn’t think too much about the rest, but I assumed it was “farm land.” When I lived in Washington and California, I spent a lot of time exploring the surrounding area and photographing, but for various reasons I didn’t do that here–that is, until about two years ago. First I played it close to home: Eugene, Springfield, Creswell, Cottage Grove, Junction City, etc. Then it was on to Harrisburg, Shedd, Brownsville, Sweet Home, and Lebanon. Then to more distant locals like Corvallis, Salem, Molalla and Roseburg. I visited many wonderful smaller towns like Oakland, Oakridge, Blue River, Lyons, Mill City, Monmouth, Fall City, Lorane, Tri-City and Drain. While I always returned home at the end of a day of photographing, I consistently had the feeling that I had really been somewhere. My travels had both the feeling of the familiar and nostalgic, and of the exotic and new.”