Poet Diane Corson

I did this fantastic project roughly titled The Poet Photo Project where I would photograph Poets in their creative space that was making work in Portland, Oregon during Sept 2015 – April 2017. One of the last portraits I made for the project was my 25th Poet, Diane Corson.

To learn more about The Poet Photo Project visit my fine art portfolios at www.artintheclouds.com.

Poet Portrait Project Group Reading

Upcoming Event

Poet Portrait Project Group Reading

December 4th, 2016 7pm
The Pigeons Studio and Gallery
7325 N Alta Ave, Portland, Oregon 97203
Business Hours: 1–7pm

In celebration of the show, The Poet Portrait Project: New Work by Erica J Mitchell, a selection of the poets photographed will read their work.

Featured writers will include: Shayla Lawson, Brandi Katherine Herrera, Zachary Schomburg, & A.M. O’Malley

Facebook Event https://www.facebook.com/events/556493157880639/

Photo by Erica J Mitchell

Fine Art Project Show: The Poet Project | November & December Showcase

Upcoming Event

The Poet Portrait Project: New Work by Erica J Mitchell

November 10th – December 31st, 2016
Opening reception: Thursday, November 10th, 6-8pm, artist talk 7pm
The Pigeons Studio and Gallery
7325 N Alta Ave, Portland, Oregon 97203
Business Hours: 1–7pm

Join us for the opening reception Thursday, November 10th, 6pm-8pm, with a talk by the artist starting at 7pm. Show runs through the end of December.

Facebook Event https://www.facebook.com/events/1740805169507689/

Gallery Event http://thepigeonsstudioandgallery.com/the-poet-project-show-november-december-showcase/

Poet Portraits by Erica J. Mitchell


About the Project

As part of her BFA in photography and design, Erica J Mitchell is working on a photography project focusing on the identity and creative spaces of Poets currently (or recently) creating work in Portland, Oregon. This show features highlights from that ongoing body of work. Featured poets include: Shayla Lawson, Liz Mehl, Coleman Stevenson, Brandi Katherine Herrera, Jeff Alessandrelli, Carl Adamshick, Zachary Schomburg, Dao Strom, Megan Elizabeth Saint-Marie, Veronica Martin, A.M. O’Malley, Stephanie Adams-Santos, Grant Gerald Miller, Drew Swenhaugen, & Hajara Quinn.

Mitchell says of her work:
“Curiosity has always driven me to explore new subjects. For a new portrait project I wanted to focus on a particular subculture, and was drawn to the world of poets living in Portland, Oregon. Using my photographic study I was interested to discover the inner workings of this different creative culture, and see how these poets’ processes compare to my own. Through this project I’ve learned a lot about this different medium, and learned that across genres all artists share many more methodologies and processes than I’d previously assumed.
As an artist, I’ve found that I like to surround myself with objects or create diorama-like spaces for inspiration. I approached this project wanting to learn more about the spaces each writer was drawn to when creating, and capture how these spaces reflect each poet’s interests and motivations, thus informing their work.”

photo by Erica J Mitchell

About the Artist

Erica J Mitchell is a fine art and commercial photographer originally from the sandy beaches of Santa Cruz, California. She has lived in Portland, Oregon, since 2009. As a freelance photographer, she specializes in on-location photography for business professionals seeking marketing tools to grow their businesses and stay competitive in the marketplace. As an artist, Mitchell believes that innovation is key to success. Her fine art work focuses on the details of lived lives, in particular the ways objects hold symbolic meaning in people’s lives. Her 2014 show, The Patriarch, focused on object portraiture, while her recent portrait work merges the lives of humans and their objects. http://ww.ericajmitchell.com/

(text source: http://thepigeonsstudioandgallery.com/the-poet-project-show-november-december-showcase/)

Fine Art | The Fishermen

Group Exhibition “Two by Two”

I was selected to participate in the group exhibition “Two by Two” at the Steven Goldman Gallery in the Pearl District, 1122 NW Davis St. Portland, OR. The show will run the entire month of November, 2014.

Animated fishermen wax figures greet tourists at the entrance to the John Steinbeck Wax Museum in Cannery Row. December 7th, 2013. Monterey, California.

The Story

The beauty found in “The Fishermen” is the complexity of its simplicity. At first glance the scene of two mariners standing seaside dress in the robes of their professions feels like a million other pieces of decor found in wharf gift shops and causal-dining seafood restaurants located in every anywhere U.S.A town that one can recall from any childhood journey that started out with parents looking to have big fun without big spending. But what of their catch; the lady in between them behind the net? Dividing a seemingly connected sequence in two resides a character both in place and out of place . Splitting this bright scene is a figure devoid of the charm on either side, giving the entire showing an ominous feel. Is this the story of two men fighting for the affection of one woman? Is it a reflection of past, present and future? Does the net intertwine them, or is it all coincidental? Is the net what seems to make two or three separate scenes join into one, capturing the character as it captures the viewer? Though stark in contrast, the out of place portion of the picture may be the central focus holding it together, with the two main focuses simply becoming bookends to the art; two separate men tied by fate to the same webbed rope.

Editor: E. A. Brown

Opening Reception for New Fine Art Series “The Patriarch”

The Patriarch — Erica J Mitchell

Exhibition Dates
October 26th – November 29th, 2014

Opening Reception
Saturday, November 1st, from 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Cup Coffee Company, 7540 N Interstate Ave, Portland, Oregon 97217
The opening reception will feature a talk by the artist, including a reading of her poems inspired by the series.

Facebook Event Page


The Patriarch
by Erica

The Patriarch has died
His soul has left
but the patterns of his life can be read
in the wear marks of furniture and daily recorded notes
Still and quiet, his identity is preserved


Two days after his passing, the ending of my Papa’s (Grandfather’s) patterns. Seaside, CA, March 28th, 2014.

About this show

This series is both a record of a life and a discovery of new characters and symbols in the objects one leaves behind. Erica J Mitchell likewise transforms her own image and that of her mother beyond ordinary portraiture, casting them as characters in a greater myth of familial progression and the lives of objects. As Joan Kron tells us in the article “The Semiotics of Home Decor,” “the furnishings of a home, the style of a house, and its landscape are all part of a system — a system of symbols…Possessions speak a language we all understand, and we pay close attention to the inflections, vernacular, and exclamations.” In The Patriarch, Mitchell’s objects speak for themselves, with all their varying inflections and exclamations. One is reminded of the Raymond Carver story “Why Don’t You Dance?” in which a young couple stumbles upon what they assume is the yard sale of a man who has reassembled the entire contents of his house outside on the front lawn. They move around through his “rooms,” testing out and ultimately purchasing his life. With this series, Mitchell offers viewers a chance to help her honor an important figure in her own life, but also to locate something resonant, something personally symbolic, in the objects she lets live newly on their own.

Artist Statement

On March 26th, 2013, my Mother called me, crying, to tell me, my Papa (grandfather) had just died at the age of 71. I can count how many times my Mother has cried to me on one hand, which meant the news was catastrophic. I rented a car and drove 12 straight hours to my mother in Seaside, California, to the house where my Papa had lived, the house my mother was raised in and I was born into. The house where, after his divorce from my grandmother, his wife of 22 years, my Papa stayed, alone. The house where after retiring at age 55 he began a quiet, simple life. The house he dominated with his singular presence.

This house and my Papa have been stable points throughout my life. I moved around through parents, families and states. I always knew no matter how many years went by or how many things in my life changed that when I would return to his house he and it would be the same.

When I arrived in California, my mother and I began a long process of understanding, accepting and letting go. These photographs are my exploration of this process, an archaeology of the house, the things, my mother, and myself. I knew that in time my mother would remove his things and assert her own identity throughout the house. Over the next 8 months I would photograph our experience, recording the patterns and habits that remained before change would finally come.

I found the evidence of myself in framed reflections of the empty rooms. Seaside, CA, March 28th, 2014.