The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts presents “In the Mist” in the Runyan Gallery at the Newport Visual Arts Center from February 5-28. The exhibition will include images from Russell J Young’s 2015 debut art book of fine-art photography prints as well as literary broadsides from the seven esteemed poets included in the collection. A reception for the “In the Mist” is scheduled for Friday, February 5, at the VAC, and an artist talk will be held at 6:00pm during the reception.
“Throughout the creation of this collection [In the Mist], my interest was drawn toward a language that seemed to exist in the absence of sound,” Russell J Young says. “I could hear a subtle voice in the shifting grace of the mist.”
Based in Portland, Oregon, Russell J Young has photographed in over 30 countries, drawing influence from various art forms in the process. His photographs have been exhibited in Luxembourg’s Abbaye de Neumunster in collaboration with photographer Scott Eastman, as an official project of the European Union Cultural Council. Young has exhibited work at the Sibiu Interational Theater Festival, and his first book on theatre, Teatro del los Muertos, was an artistic exploration of the Day of the Dead theatre in collaboration with artistic director Olga Sanchez.
“Russell J Young’s book is the fusion of two elements, photography and poetry. It’s both,” says Paulann Petersen, Oregon’s Poet Laureate Emerita and a contributor to In theMist. “Russell’s creation is the marriage of two elemental art forms, and I’m honored to be one of the poets with work on its pages.”
As a photographer, visual and oral storyteller, director, scenic and lightning designer, and fine-art printer, Russell J Young has collaborated with various artists in theater, film, visual arts and poetry to experience how each can shape his artistic vision. For In the Mist, he chose poetry as “an appropriate expression to illuminate this faint voice within the silence.”
“When I read the poems that the poets had crafted based on my images, I felt humbled,” Russell J Young says. “It was as if they had been there, standing beside me and together, we crossed that threshold each time the shutter fell.” Poets in the collection include Paulann Petersen, Margaret Chula (2010 Poet Laureate for Friends of Chamber Music), Cindy Williams Gutierrez (Poets & Writers Magazine, top ten 2014 Debut Poets), Diane Holland (The Hand Stayed From Its Desire), Andrea Holland (finalist, Oregon Book Award for Poetry), Donna Prinzmetal (Snow White, When No One Was Looking) and Penelope Scambly Schott (winner, Oregon Book Award for Poetry).
“I invite you to wander in the mist, to experience what the mist evokes for you,” Russell J Young says. “To find a poem that resonates with a photograph, or a photograph that resonates with a poem.”
Russell J Young’s creative works have appeared worldwide in museum exhibitions such as “Romania, Cultures and Tradition,” at the Maryhill Museum of Art in Goldendale, Washington; “Between East and West,” at the Mingei International Museum of Art in San Diego; and “Romania Today Photography,” at the Romanian Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden. Most recently, Young’s work was included in the exhibition, “Seeking Silence,” at the Bush Barn Art Center in Salem, Oregon, as well as at the Washington County Museum in Hillsboro, Oregon.
Russell J Young is represented by agencies in London, Stockholm and Seattle.
The Runyan Gallery is open Tuesday-Sunday, 11am to 5pm.