The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts welcomes Oregon artist Kirk Jonasson from November 6-29 in the Runyan Gallery at the Newport Visual Arts Center. Jonasson’s exhibition, “Inner Landscapes,” will feature his collection of abstract photography shot on film at locations throughout the state. The First Friday artist reception for “Inner Landscapes” will be held on November 6, 5-7pm, at the VAC, and an artist talk is scheduled for 6:30pm during the reception.
Kirk Jonasson has been photographing Oregon for the past 38 years, beginning in Central Oregon. He captures images using a medium format film camera and presents the photographs un-cropped and un-manipulated in any manner. “This process imposes the discipline of seeing in real time, and has as its final reward the bringing home of the photographic experience of discovery,” Jonasson says. “This is image ‘making,” as opposed to ‘picture taking.’ It is the only way I know, outside of image manipulation, to create something original and unique while using an instrument that merely records what is in front of me.”
A self-taught artist, Kirk Jonasson was born in Portland and graduated from Beaverton High School. From there, he earned his BS in biology from Oregon State University. He moved to Bend, Oregon, and bought his first SLR camera. He went from shooting pretty scenics in color to making personal color abstractions of the built environment, which eventually led him into the gallery business. “With the printing resources for color imagery from film now evaporating,” he says. “I am frequently studying the varied environments in Central Oregon, the Willamette Valley and on the Oregon coast in black and white.
Just as Kirk Jonasson has traveled the state following his craft, audiences throughout Oregon have enjoyed opportunities to experience his work. Jonasson has participated in group and solo shows at the Attic Gallery in Portland, the Freed Gallery in Lincoln City, the Photozone Gallery and Lane Community College in Eugene, Davis & Cline Gallery in Ashland, the Triad Gallery in Seal Rock, the Riversea Gallery in Astoria, and the Axis Gallery in Florence, among other locations. The exhibit, “Inner Landscapes,” recently was on display at the Chessman Gallery at the Lincoln City Cultural Center, and the exhibition at the Runyan Gallery at the VAC represents Jonasson’s first showing in Newport.
“Whether working in color or black and white, I have always felt that compelling composition can lead the way to content in a photograph,” Kirk Jonasson says. “Particularly if one uses an intuitive, as opposed to a purely cognitive method of visualizing.”
The Runyan Gallery is open Tuesday-Sunday, 11am to 5pm.