Write Around PAM: Catherine Opie

Image description: Untitled #1 (Yosemite Valley), Catherine Opie, pigment print. A portrait oriented, color photograph of a distant waterfall and mountain range framed by evergreen trees. The photograph is out of focus, giving it a painterly quality. At center is a waterfall emanating from a mountain ridge near the top of the image. The colors are faded beiges and white. Evergreen trees flank both sides of the waterfall. Beginning at top right and continuing on a slant to near center bottom, a block of dark evergreen trees creates a deep V shape framing the waterfall and continuing in a wispy fashion on the left edge of the photo. A pale blue sky completes the composition.
Catherine Opie , Untitled #1 (Yosemite Valley), 2015 Photograph, pigment print 2018.2220, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Stephen D. and Susan W. Paine Acquisition Fund for 20th century and Contemporary Art, © Catherine Opie, Courtesy of Regen Projects, Los Angeles and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong. Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

How can we bring new understanding, new light to something we already know so well? Catherine Opie’s Untitled #1 (Yosemite Valley) offers us a place to start. Opie’s photography gives us new ways of seeing iconic landscapes. We invite you to spend some time today writing with this photograph and discovering what comes up for you. Experience this work in person when you visit the Ansel Adams in Our Time exhibition, on view now through August 1. 

We have 2 prompts to help you get started. As always, you can use one, both, or write whatever else comes. Just set a timer for 12 minutes and keep your pen or pencil moving.

You can’t tell by looking… / In the valley…

Writing in community is powerful. We are grateful to our longtime partner Write Around Portland for the writing prompts and inspiration. You can revisit past Sunday posts and look for continuing weekly posts through the summer with a focus on Ansel Adams in our Time during May, June, and July. Please share your work with us! @writearoundpdx @portlandartmuseum #RespectWritingCommunity #WriteAroundPAM @csopie

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