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This content was published: February 7, 2019. Phone numbers, email addresses, and other information may have changed.

Presenting PCC: Photography by Rachel Siegel, Ellen Regal, Smith Eliot, and Mike Riches

Southeast Gallery

The Southeast Gallery is pleased to share an exhibit highlighting four of our own photography instructors. Presenting PCC – Southeast’s Photography Programs On Display showcases the talent of the dedicated faculty who lead both academic and Community Education photography classes at the Southeast Campus.

  • Dates: February 6 – March 29, 2019
  • Meet the artists: Monday, February 18, 12-1pm in the Southeast Gallery
    • Come chat with the artists and learn about their work. All are welcome!
  • Gallery hours:
    • Monday – Friday, 7:30am-10pm
    • Saturday, 7:30am-5pm
  • Gallery location: Southeast Campus, Student Commons ground floor

Artist statements

Rachel SiegelSelf-portrait artistic image of Rachel Siegel

Rachel Siegel’s artistic work includes photography, digital illustrations, collage, artists’ books, moving images, and installation work. She weaves together her multiple interests, enjoying humor and playfulness to investigate issues that are significant to her: labor, family, natural environment, and feminist empowerment issues. The intention of her creative work is to socially engage, both by observing the universality of experiences and sharing stories that reveal a deeper understanding of our lives. Siegel has exhibited both nationally and internationally, and her work is owned by private and institutional collections. You can learn more about Siegel’s work and art projects on her website: rachelsiegel.net.

Siegel has taught photography and digital art at PCC Southeast for over five years. She is excited to share her work with the campus community and has taken this opportunity to create a new body of digital illustration to honor the people who are doing the important work of educating our community. Through her exhibit, Adjunct Portrait Project: For the Love of It, Siegel pays tribute and hopes to give visibility to her colleagues who are part-time instructors and do the majority of teaching here at PCC.

Siegel’s images for this exhibit are digital illustrations – each image began with a digital photograph of the subject, and then, through a process of layers, she created a digital drawing using Photoshop and Procreate software. She chose cartoon-style portraits to create playful and bright images that would celebrate and draw attention to these dedicated instructors.

Black and white image of treesEllen Regal

Ellen Regal has been exploring the world as a photographer since she got her first Polaroid camera in the eighth grade. She spent years immersed in the richness of the colors of Kodachrome 64 and the contrast of black and white film.

The slow, deliberate nature of using a film camera is still critical to her in this digital age. For most of Regal’s professional career, she has specialized in portraits. She works on location and only uses natural light to ensure her photos reflect the true nature of the person – to capture their soul, to evoke an emotion. For her, that is art.

Regal studied film and education in Massachusetts and Oregon. She has been teaching photography for over 25 years, working with students from age 8 to 80; she is currently in her 15th year teaching at PCC. Regal loves teaching and encourages all of her students to find their own unique perspectives.

Regal is showing a variety of her work in the Southeast Gallery exhibit, ranging from portraits to scenic images.

Woman moving her arms in front of her body - out of focus from the movementSmith Eliot

Smith Eliot is a visual artist and analog photographer with over 33 years of experience creating mixed media artworks. Eliot is recognized nationally; she has won numerous awards and has been featured in photography publications such as Diffusion Magazine, The Hand, Shots, and B&W Magazine.

After growing up in Germany and living in cities across the United States, Eliot landed in Portland in 1996. She currently teaches darkroom photography at both Portland and Clackamas Community Colleges.

Eliot’s current body of work is comprised of photographs and objects that position people as ghost ships, a phenomenon she first heard about last year while listening to a podcast called Lore, and that inspired the works in this exhibit. The notion of empty vessels, floating aimlessly in the ocean for years captured her imagination, as well as the fact that no one truly understands what happened to them.

All of her images in this exhibit were shot on film. Many of the visual artifacts – such as staining and speckling – are a result of chemical processes in the darkroom, though her photos are a mixture of both analog and digital processes.

Black and white image of people waiting in LaGuardia AirportMike Riches

Mike Riches grew up in the world of photography. His father was a professional photographer, and the entire family worked in the studio – by the age of 12, he was shooting and printing his own photos.

Riches’ early photography was inspired by anything that moved fast – cars, planes, surfers, runners. After high school, he joined the US Air Force, and his eyes were opened to the world of travel. He cultivated a deep love of travel, which gave him the opportunity to photograph a diversity of countries and cultures around the world, including Western China, North Africa, Central America, and Europe. Riches’ love of travel shines through in the current exhibit, which highlights images from some of his trips around the world.

When he moved to Portland, Riches had the opportunity to assist master photographer, Bill Odbert, with his classes at PCC. As the proverb goes, the rest is history – he has now been teaching at PCC for 26 years. Along with Kaia Cabana, Riches helped advocate for and design the permanent darkroom at the Southeast Campus. He takes great pride in teaching darkroom photography in this space and inspiring his students. The most rewarding part of Riches’ job is seeing the growth and successes of his students through their work.