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. This project was influence by the personal project, The Patriarch.
Mitchell says of her work:
“Curiosity has always driven me to explore new subjects. For a new portrait project I wanted to focus on a particular subculture, and was drawn to the world of poets living in Portland, Oregon. Using my photographic study I was interested to discover the inner workings of this different creative culture, and see how these poets’ processes compare to my own. Through this project I’ve learned a lot about this different medium of art, and learned that across genres all artists share many more methodologies and processes than I’d previously assumed.
As an artist, I’ve found that I like to surround myself with objects or create diorama-like spaces for inspiration. I approached this project wanting to learn more about the spaces each writer was drawn to when creating, and capture how these spaces reflect each poet’s interests and motivations, thus informing their work.”
A small preview of images from the project are shown below.
Poets (not all shown):
Shayla Lawson, Liz Mehl, Coleman Stevenson, Brandi Katherine Herrera, Jeff Alessandrelli, Carl Adamshick, Zachary Schomburg, Dao Strom, Megan Elizabeth Saint-Marie, Veronica Martin, A.M. O’Malley, Stephanie Adams-Santos, Grant Gerald Miller, Drew Swenhaugen, Hajara Quinn, Amanda Cochran Helstrom-White, Christopher Corbell, Mari Shepard-Glenn, Paulann Peterson, Diana Corson, and Greg Gerding.
While documenting the removal and restructuring of my grandfather’s estate for artistic therapy to help cope with the loss I took the following portrait of my much younger sister. Sitting alone in a room that will never be filled with the same presence, physically or spiritually she did what I had so many times at her age years ago; explored the hidden treasures of a toy chest. It made me reflect on the circular nature of life. I was able to reconnect with myself through her actions and ponder on the sameness of it. My moment of reflection revived the moment of past, made it fresh, and made the unfamiliar refamiliar. All at once the past, present and future combined as a reminder that our connections are not with people, places or things but are instead with passions, perceptions and thoughts.
Selected work for Portland Squared Gallery Show at Pro Photo Supply, 1112 NW 19th Ave. Portland, OR. August 2013
On May 17 and 18, more than 70 photographers converged on Portland for a 24 hour period to document a randomly assigned portion of four square miles. They used planes, cars, boats, and their own two feet as they captured our city from every possible angle. This gallery show displays the work and creativity that went into documenting the people, architecture and landscape of downtown Portland on that day.
All photography enthusiasts are invited to an opening reception, which will be held during First Thursday in the Wide Format gallery at Pro Photo Supply Thursday, August 1st, from 6pm-8pm. Snacks and beverages will be provided!
For more details, visit www.asmporegon.org.
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!
By EA Brown
It’s easy to look down,
Natural in shape and form, following the curvature of our spine,
This is who we are, how we are designed,
We bend and bow to those above, and follow, so as not to be left behind…
It’s easy to look down,
Following the footsteps of those who have passed before,
Attempting to reach an already open door,
Wishing not pursuing but wondering still if we can offer more…
I’ll press myself above,
By keeping my focus on the things out in the sky,
The shapes, colors, and patterns that sit atop my world on high,
The dreams and scenes of in betweens that become a distant savior’s lullaby
I’ll pull your eyes above,
Share with you the things that inspire me,
To pursue the things that others think can truly never be,
To teach the world that in the expanse above is where our minds are truly free!
A documentary study of a space lived by others.
The exploration of a persons identity through their things.
Location: San Dimas, California
Date: December 28th, 2013