Featured Projects

The Poet Photo Project

As part of her BFA in photography and design, Erica J Mitchell created a photography project focusing on the identity and creative spaces of Poets currently (or recently) creating work in Portland, Oregon.

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Sky: Perspective Changing

Sky: Perspective Changing is an Erica J Mitchell series where she asks the viewer to look into the sky for hidden beauty. People often look into the sky for objects, but rarely take the time to observe it for it’s pure artistic integrity. The images found here remind the viewer that the open expanse of a cityscape can itself be a canvas, where clouds paint their reflections on windows, buildings offer symmetrical breaks in the wild formations of aerial spacing, and man-made items like power lines and chemical emissions add their own evocative layers to an otherwise natural canvas.

Enjoy these pictures from a wildly different perspective!

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The Patriarch

About the Project
This project is both a record of a life and a discovery of new characters and symbols in the objects one leaves behind. Erica J Mitchell likewise transforms her own image and that of her mother beyond ordinary portraiture, casting them as characters in a greater myth of familial progression and the lives of objects. As Joan Kron tells us in the article “The Semiotics of Home Decor,” “the furnishings of a home, the style of a house, and its landscape are all part of a system — a system of symbols…Possessions speak a language we all understand, and we pay close attention to the inflections, vernacular, and exclamations.”

In The Patriarch, Mitchell’s objects speak for themselves, with all their varying inflections and exclamations. One is reminded of the Raymond Carver story “Why Don’t You Dance?” in which a young couple stumbles upon what they assume is the yard sale of a man who has reassembled the entire contents of his house outside on the front lawn. They move around through his “rooms,” testing out and ultimately purchasing his life. With this series, Mitchell offers viewers a chance to help her honor an important figure in her own life, but also to locate something resonant, something personally symbolic, in the objects she lets live newly on their own.

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