A work of mine is included in the exhibition Blue Sky – The Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts at 40 at the Portland Art Museum from 18 October 2014 to 11 January 2015. Untitled Explosion #2-CN4, 2009 is one of two works acquired by the museum after they were exhibited at Blue Sky Gallery in 2012.

The exhibition is accompanied by a substantial catalogue published by Washington University Press, with a history of Blue Sky penned by current executive director Todd Tubutis, an essay by curator Julia Dolan, and interviews with surviving founders. To quote from the catalogue description: Founded in 1975, before photography was embraced widely as a meaningful fine art form, Blue Sky’s founders endeavored to bring the most dynamic contemporary photographers working in the United States, and eventually throughout the world, to the Northwest. The Center’s early support of now-renowned photographers, including Nan Goldin, John Divola, Mark Klett, Robert Frank, and Larry Sultan, established Blue Sky as a preeminent West-Coast venue. The gallery remains a vital location where emerging photographers engaging with twenty-first century technologies continue to find their voices and eager audiences.

It  is fascinating that two not-for-profit photographic institutions with similar ambitions originated almost simultaneously on different sides of the Pacific: Blue Sky in Oregon in 1975 and PhotoForum in New Zealand in 1973, and both are celebrating forty years of continuous operation with historical survey exhibitions and publications. PhotoForum, of which I am the current director, mounted the exhibition History in the Taking – 40 Years of PhotoForum at the Gus Fisher Gallery in June, and the accompanying book PhotoForum at 40 – Counterculture, Clusters, and Debate in New Zealand by Nina Seja was published by Rim Books.


One thought on “Portland Art Museum Celebrates 40 Years of Blue Sky Gallery

  1. Thanks Geoff, A link can be made to formation of Australian Centre for Photography also All best, John

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