Beginning with an opening party this Thursday evening and continuing throughout March, the AIA/Portland's Center for Architecture is exhibiting "8xPDX: Photographs of Portland Architecture". I curated the show, which includes (as the name indicates) the work of eight photographers: Jeremy Bitterman, Chris Hornbecker Jeff Jahn, Shawn Records, Sally Schoolmaster, Susan Seubert, Michael Weeks, and myself.
Collectively, the 20 photographs portray not only local architectural icons -- such as the Wieden + Kennedy building, the Portland Aerial Tram, Memorial Coliseum, the Jackson Tower, Portland International Airport and the Lovejoy and Forecourt Fountains -- but also unfamiliar and less obvious segments of the urban fabric. There are simple representational images but also more abstract presentations. It was important for me that the show have both familiar and unfamiliar visual imagery. On one hand I love many of the city's well known local landmarks, but on the other hand the best designed thing in Portland is the totality of the city itself. What's more, I hoped some pieces, particularly the ones of less familiar portions of the city, would speak to the textures and colors of this place.
Artist bios (excluding my own) with a few extra personal notes are as follows:
Jeremy Bitterman is the owner of Bitterman Creative, providing architectural photography and art direction. He is also art director for Allied Works Architecture. I've known Jeremy for several years through his work at Allied. One of his photos in the show, of Memorial Coliseum, was taken as a favor to the Friends of Memorial Coliseum, the preservation organization I'm part of. The shot was taken during last summer's Rose Parade, which originates in the Coliseum.
Jeff Jahn is a curator, artist and cultural critic. His photography has appeared in Art News, NYArts Magazine, Willamette Week, and the Portland Mercury, among others. Jahn also publishes Portland’s most-read visual arts publication, PORT.
His two photos in this show portray the Holst Architecture-designed Ziba headquarters and the Portland Tram. Jeff, whose writings I've read for years, is also a cousin of the architect Helmut Jahn and seems to be ever-present in the local visual arts world, a testament to his drive and smarts.
Chris Hornbecker is a Portland based professional photographer who shoots portraiture, sports and fashion photography for commercial advertising, advertising agencies, editorial and directly for clients including as worked with clients including Nike, Adidas, Miller High Life, Comcast, Vonage, The Fader, Sports Illustrated, Ad Week, and Bust.
Chris is one of two photographers whose work I didn't know of before curating the show; he was recommended by Kristan Kennedy, who heads visual arts programming for the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. His contributions to "8xPDX" include an ethereal shot of the largely ZGF Architects-designed airport in fog, as well as a shot and one of my very favorite Portland buildings, on SW 10th Avenue downtown, familiar for its multicolored checkerboard-paneled facade.
Shawn Records is a Portland photographer whose work has been exhibited at the Castillo/Corrales Gallery in Paris and Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the Camera Club of New York, and the Pomona College Museum of Art, among others. Records was included in the 2006 Oregon Biennial at the Portland Art Museum. He earned an MFA in art and photography from Syracuse University in 2003 and a bachelor’s degree in photography from Boise State University in 2000.
I first became aware of Shawn's work through his collaboration with writer Matthew Stadler a few years ago on a series about Beaverton, which I reviewed for The Oregonian. Shawn's pictures in "8xPDX" are from the Portland Ground project, in which numerous local photographers participated. One of Shawn's shots in this show also features his son, Max Records, who recently starred in the Spike Jonze movie Where the Wild Things Are.
Susan Seubert regularly photographs for National Geographic Traveler, Geo Saison, and The New York Times, among others. The Portland-based photographer was also a 1999 recipient of Columbia University’s Alfred Eisenstaedt Award. Since receiving her BFA in photography from the Pacific Northwest College of Art in 1992, Seubert has exhibited continuously in the United States and abroad. Her work was included in the Portland Art Museum's 1999 and 2001 Biennials and the Tacoma Art Museum's 2009 Northwest Biennial. Most recently, Seubert received an International Photography Award for her piece entitled, "Nest". In the fall of 2010 Seubert will lead two expeditions for the National Geographic Society and is leading two expeditions through the Columbia River Gorge. I've long been a fan of Susan's work, and she's one of the only local photographers working simultaneously and successfully in both commercial and fine art.
The two photographs by Susan in "8xPDX" are from the recent book "Where the Revolution Began: Lawrence and Anna Halprin and the Reinvention of Public Space," edited by Portland Spaces editor (and former Oregonian architecture critic) Randy Gragg.
Sally Schoolmaster is chair of the photography department at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland. Her photographs have appeared in The New York times, Architectural Record, Wallpaper and many other publications, as well as the 2006 book "Architecture in the United States", published by Taschen. Schoolmaster received her BS from the University of Oregon and her MFA from Ohio University.
I've long been a huge fan of Sally's pictures of the Wieden + Kennedy building - the completed project by Allied Works, that is. What I didn't know about until meeting with Sally for this show was that she has just as many shots of the building before it was re-imagined and rebuilt. The photos of this former cold-storage warehouse are drop-dead gorgeous.
Besides one "before" and one "after" shot of W+K, Sally will also be exhibiting three small photos of temporary facilities designed by BOORA Architects for the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art's Time-Based Art (TBA) Festival.
Michael Weeks is a Portland photographer and owner of Weeksy Photographer as well as a student at Portland State University. I found his HD photograph of the Jackson Tower on Flickr and was blown away by it.