Photography Brown Bag Talk: Brittney Cathey-Adams

December 18, 2019 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


As a fat-bodied person, I am told that I must operate under shame and shrink myself as much as possible. When I stood in front of my lens nude for the first time, it created a radical change in self-perception. I realized that for two decades I had apologized for my body. As my work began to develop, I photographed with one question in mind, “What does being in this body feel like?” I began to answer by taking up space, and making a body commonly seen as undesirable project power through vulnerability. It is essential to consider not just who is allowed to be photographed but how. Images play a pivotal role in forming our belief system and engrain biases awaiting confrontation. The first place I could start was by drawing a line of fear out in front of myself and ever so slowly, over the last ten years of my work, step over each one. The images serve as an open ended and complicated relationship built on the notion that there is no way to grow into someone I can love through hate.

About Brittney Cathey Adams
Brittney Cathey-Adams is a photographic artist currently located in Portland, OR. Her work includes themes of body politics, and fat representation that interrogates the histories of the male gaze and self-portraiture. Her work has been on exhibit throughout institutions such as the de Young Museum in San Francisco, CA, Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, CA and Colorado Photographic Arts Center in Denver, CO. Most recently, she was part of the 2019 Curatorial Prize at Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, OR. With a strong passion for photography and art education Cathey-Adams dedicates herself to image making as well as sharing visual language through teaching at Portland Community College and Clackamas Community College.

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Every third Wednesday of the month at noon, photography enthusiasts gather at the Museum to hear talks by regional photographers, gallerists, historians, curators, and collectors.

Free to the public.

Sponsored by the Museum’s Photography Council. Major support provided by Pro Photo Supply.


The Portland Art Museum is pleased to offer accommodations to ensure that our programs are accessible and inclusive. All spaces for this program are accessible by wheelchair. Assistive listening devices are also available for lectures. All restrooms have accessible stalls but no power doors. There are single-stall all-gender bathrooms available. Please ask staff for directions.

We will do our best to accommodate your needs when you arrive, however, we need 2-3 weeks advance notice for some specific requests. Please email requests to, or call 503-226-2811.

Brittney Cathey-Adams, Vortex, photograph, 2017
Brittney Cathey-Adams, Vortex, 2017