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Points of Interest
Aaron Johanson

Mykolaiv — Aaron Johanson, 2023, silver gelatin print, 8" x 10"

Aaron Johanson’s solo show revisits some 40 photographic images shot between 1980 and 2007, many never before printed, and all altered to reflect the artist’s current perspective on events and experiences in his past. Each image is individually manipulated and printed in a traditional, wet darkroom. The black and white silver gelatin prints on fiber-based paper are uniquely altered during the developing process to obscure select elements, resulting in compositions of striking formal beauty that carry an air of mystery and, often, an emotional wallop.


Johanson has traveled widely, frequently in the role of elections supervisor or monitor. Mykolaiv, titled after the major port city in southern Ukraine, was shot on such a trip and captures the vast, empty fields of pre-war Ukraine. Johanson’s reinterpretation of past places and events is meant, he says, as “a visual metaphor for our subjective, imperfect recall of past experiences.” In this case, it also provides an eerie commentary on current realities in Ukraine.


Sphere of Influence 
The Artist Union presented by Alice Christine Walker

A Preservation of Character 19 — Megan Sinclair, inkjet print from 4x5 negative, 20" x 30"

The Artist Union proudly presents Sphere of Influence, a group exhibition at Blackfish Gallery. Formed in 2020 amidst the Covid crisis, The Artist Union has grown to amplify underrepresented voices in Portland's photography scene. This exhibition showcases the diverse perspectives of nine photographers, celebrating the power of community to nurture creativity. Each photographer brings a unique approach to the medium, expressing an individual voice and creative process.

Participating Artists:

Lauren Beck • Josh Coen • Noyel Gallimore • Hannah Garrett • Dorothy Glenn • Tom Kay • Megan Sinclair • Alice Christine Walker • KC Weimann


Closing Reception, Saturday, August 26, 3-6pm

Gather with the Portland Photography community and connect with the artists about their work.


Free Community Activities, Sunday, August 27, 12-4pm

There will be a “Photo Zine” tutorial that starts at 12pm. Come and learn how to self publish your own photo series with “at home” materials. In addition, there will be first come, first serve photo project reviews and artist statement reviews until 4pm. These events are at no cost to all.

Please contact Alice Christine Walker for more details at


Text/Object  Merridawn Duckler

Make One They Don't Last — Merridawn Duckler, 2023, mixed media sculpture

In the art world, distinguishing between a creation of human intelligence or artificial intelligence (AI) is getting murkier. Some people are appalled, some are intrigued. Conceptual artist and poet Merridawn Duckler is interested in what language brings to the showdown. Object/Text considers and contrasts the mechanically-produced smooth, reproducible surface created by AI with human creation in all its unique flaws.

The wrong turn, the mistake, the screw up, each one is an essential part of creative life, Duckler asserts: “From the mistakes—of which Freud said there are none—to TV art instructor Bob Ross’s ‘happy little accidents,’ to the cracks that let the light in [variously attributed to Leonard Cohen, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rumi or the Mishnah], we artists work in the realm of a beautiful wrongness that may not be built into robotic learning systems, but is an essential part of ours,” Duckler contends. “We can program a system to learn from its mistakes but not to embrace them—yet.”

Duckler’s cunning combinations of text and object explore their shared life in metaphor and evoke questions and insights on a key issue of our times.

We are delighted to welcome and introduce our new
Director of Public Engagement, Kendra Roberts!

Blackfishers Doing Cool Stuff

See what Blackfish Artists are involved with outside the gallery this month.

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