Next month, Oregon Art Beat presents a one-hour special exploring Oregon’s remarkable and groundbreaking relationship with photography. “Darkroom to Digital: An Oregon Art Beat Special” airs Thursday, October 16 at 8 p.m. on OPB TV.

Photography in Oregon has a rich history—from documenting the grandeur of the west to staging some of the earliest exhibitions in the country of photographs as works of art, and pushing the boundaries of what a photograph can be.

“From the first daguerreotype to the most recent cell phone snapshot, photography has evolved from a science experiment to a fine art,” said Jessica Martin, executive producer, Oregon Art Beat. “In many ways, Oregon has been on the leading edge in fostering the great potential of photography as an art form. But with modern technology, and our constant drive to document ourselves with it, what is the state of the art today?

“Darkroom to Digital” profiles a range of established and emerging photographers who share their perspectives about the current state of the art of photography and insight into the history of photography in Oregon. The program includes interviews with:

  • Julia Dolan, Ph.D., Portland Art Museum’s Minor White Curator of Photography.
  • Christopher Rauschenberg and Craig Hickman, two of the founders of Blue Sky Gallery in Portland.
  • Jim Lommasson, Portland photographer, author and winner of the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor prize from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

Sculptor Lillian Pitt, musicians Thomas Lauderdale, Darrell Grant and others make appearances in the program as well. Art Beat also travels to Corvallis for the first mobile photography gallery exhibition in the state, and stops by Blue Moon Camera and Machine in St. Johns, an all-film photography supply shop—and hotbed of photographic creativity.

Join Art Beat as it explores what the future holds for photography by investigating its history, getting to know the artists, witnessing the implications of technology and asking the question, is a picture still worth a thousand words?

Art Beat’s “Darkroom to Digital” special will air concurrent to the Portland Art Museum’s October 18 opening of a special exhibition BLUE SKY: The Oregon Center for Photographic Arts at 40. It features more than 120 works demonstrating the critical role that Blue Sky Gallery has played in the reconsideration and establishment of photography as a fine art medium.

OPB has partnered with the Art Museum to host a photo contest on social media celebrating Blue Sky’s impact on photography. Individuals can enter to win by uploading a photo that captures a special “Oregon Moment” using the hashtag #OregonMoment to Twitter, Instagram or Oregon Art Beat’s Facebook wall. For more information about the contest and prizes, visit

For more information about the Oregon Art Beat “Darkroom to Digital” special, visit


Press Images

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Craig Hickman


Christoper Rauschenberg

Christoper Rauschenberg

Christoper Rauschenberg


Christopher Rauschenberg

Christopher Rauschenberg

Christopher Rauschenberg


Portland's Blue Sky Gallery.

Blue Sky Gallery

Portland’s Blue Sky Gallery.