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Blue Sky: The Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts at 40

Oct 18, 2014 - Jan 11, 2015
1219 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR
General accessibility


Over the past four decades, Portland’s Blue Sky Gallery has risen from an upstart artists’ collective to a mature, nationally recognized nonprofit photographic space. This major survey exhibition of more than 120 works by artists shown at Blue Sky will demonstrate the critical role that the gallery has played in the reconsideration and establishment of photography as a fine art medium.

From the gallery’s start in 1975, Blue Sky’s founders endeavored to bring the most dynamic contemporary photographers working in the United States and eventually throughout the world to the Pacific Northwest. The gallery has introduced more than 700 emerging and established photographers to the region, providing a direct and immediate means to consider the latest in documentary, conceptual, and formal artwork. The Center’s early support of now-renowned photographers including Nan Goldin, John Divola, Mark Klett, Robert Frank, and Larry Sultan, among many others, established Blue Sky as a preeminent West Coast venue, where emerging photographers engaging with 21st- century technologies continue to find their voices and eager audiences.

An accompanying full-color catalogue features essays by Julia Dolan, Ph.D., the Museum’s Minor White Curator of Photography, and Todd J. Tubutis, Executive Director of Blue Sky Gallery, as well as an interview with the institution’s four surviving founders. The exhibition and publication demonstrate the gallery’s meaningful contribution to an international dialogue about the meaning of photography in modern society.

Organized by the Portland Art Museum and curated by Julia Dolan, Ph.D., The Minor White Curator of Photography.


Blue Sky Preview with Curator Julia Dolan


MAJOR SPONSORS: The Ford Family Foundation; Jim and Susan Winkler; Anonymous. SPONSORS: John A. and Lisa S. Pritzker; Al Solheim. SUPPORTERS: ESCO Foundation; The Kinsman Foundation; McGeady Family Foundation; The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation; Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust; Dr. Baron Barnett and Ms. Delia Busher; Elizabeth Leach Gallery; Kathleen Lewis; Scott Muramatsu; The Wyss Foundation; Stu Levy; Lane Powell PC; Bonnie Serkin and Will Emery; Tad Savinar. IN-KIND SPONSOR: Oregon Public Broadcasting.