University of Portland is hosting “The West Behind Us” exhibit with photos by Bobby Abrahamson and interviews by Lisa Wells through Friday, Oct. 17. The exhibit, in Buckley Center Gallery on campus, 5000 N. Willamette Blvd., is free and open to the public. An artist’s reception will take place in the gallery from 5-7 on Friday, Oct. 10.
The exhibit documents four small rural towns in Oregon (Fields, Mitchell, Long Creek and Halfway) and investigates the challenges faced by rural communities in an age of increased urbanization and economic depression. In the tradition of WPA era collaborations like Walker Evans and James Agee’s “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,” this exhibit combines black and white documentary photographs by Abrahamson with interviews and text by writer Wells to weave a lyrical narrative. The result is two independent, complementary visions of life in rural America on the cusp of the urban millennium.
Abrahamson is a Portland-based documentary photographer, filmmaker and media educator with 25 years experience producing documentary work. He has six published books of his work, and has been featured in 14 solo shows, and numerous group exhibits in the U.S. and Europe. His work is included in the permanent collections of many institutions including the Portland Art Museum, the RACC Portable Works and Visual Chronicle Collections of the city of Portland, the Oregon Jewish Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia. Abrahamson has taught photography and media literacy in the Portland metro area to both adults and children for the past nine years, at institutions including the University of Portland, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Mount Hood Community College, Clark College, Oregon College of Art and Craft, the Portland Art Museum, Newspace Center for Photography, Saturday Academy and Open Meadow Middle School.
Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 8 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. For more information contact the performing and fine arts department at (503) 943-7228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.