12 artists in my new Ryan Ao Gallery!

Here is an introduction for you to our 12 group show artists here at the Ryan Ao Media Studio & Gallery for the Grand Opening of the Gallery and our Street Photography theme (as well as several fine artists being displayed in Constance's healing space).

Meet Ben Z. Mund:

His art is a unique twist on the traditional definition of street photography...

...in that he does posed shots often with strobe lights all in a humorous way depicting Lewis and Clark "rediscovering Oregon". He's selling the whole series of 15 images in a 2015 calendar so if you haven't got your wall calendar for this year yet come get one! They are only $20 and filled with hilarious and interesting PDX and general dates to remember and interesting milestone dates of Lewis and Clark's journey.

Here's his artist statement:

"I’m a commercial lifestyle and sportswear photographer based in Portland, Oregon. My client base is mostly Nike, Accor, WebMD, and Freight Liner. I also work with fashion designers such as, Michelle Lesniak and Oscar Mendoza. My true creative inspiration comes from street photography. Pushing my comfort level and daring to put myself in possibly embarrassing situations in my street photography inspires creativity in my professional work.

Xander (Meriwether Lewis) and I became friends a few years ago at a group shoot organized by the PDX Strobist group on Flickr. Over whiskey one day we came up with an idea to shoot Lewis and Clark posing like you see them on so many road signs, Lewis is pointing off into the distance as if saying “Pull my finger, Clark.” After some trial shots, we found that pose to be somewhat limited and It was much more interesting to see involvement; for Lewis and Clark to have interaction with people and places, to meet the “natives.” Lewis and Clark began exploring Portland as it is now. Lucky for me, Xander and Alex (Clark) are natural beguilers. In fact, some of our best ideas came from interacting with our characters on location. For example; I had originally drawn an art board for Lewis and Clark Go Bear Hunting to be more of a bar fight but then Marlin, one of our “bears”, suggested he take his shirt off and play dead for us— way better."

Prints $125 | Calendars $20



Meet Chris McMurray:

My photography is a celebration of Portland, Oregon. I am attracted to architecture and also the beauty that I see in ordinary things, such as the tires on a train, the shapes at a power plant or the lines on a bridge. I view photography as an art and my art includes the literal and abstract, exploring line, shape, color and light.

All of the photos that you see were taken with an iPhone.

If these photos have a mission, it is this: Celebrate my environment and present it in a way that is interesting, allowing it the viewer to get to know me and stir up unexpected thoughts in the viewer. I was born in Portland in 1970 and have lived in the city all of my life. It is an honor to share my photography with you!

Frames $100 | 8x8 Prints (No Frame) $80 | 12x12 Prints (No Frame) $100

krizdj@gmail.com | 503.568.9580


Meet Kamee Abrahamian: 

Kamee comes from a long line of tailors, hustlers, witches, artists, lovers, and survivors. She was a born in Scarborough to an Armenian family by way of Beirut. Coffee. Garlic. Prayer. Song. Rugs. Boxes. Decay. Eat. Cry. Kiss. Pulled through an unrelenting state of re-orientation, weighed down by an unrequited sense of home & justice – in solidarity w/ others. Untangling ancestral memory from a kaleidoscope of the now — Kamee is a multidisciplinary producer/artist/whatever, working on a PhD in community/eco/liberation/indigenous psychologies and making art (Dear Armen, Alchemy of Waste, Lovelinest) work that unburies the inter-narratives and navigates through a millefeuille of intersecting notions that collectively disrupt the unmapped, the stagnant, and/or the socially constructed aspects of our communities, ancestries, and selves; demystifying current ways of being (in the world and with others) and re-mystifying the notions that surface from such experiences.

I grew up in Scarborough, Cairo, Montreal. Got a double major BA in film and political science at Concordia University, started a production company, let go of ‘home’, then pursued a masters in expressive art therapy from the European Graduate School in Switzerland – with a special focus on the integration of digital media into the field. The bedrock of my arts training is in classical ballet, theatre, and visual art. In partnership with fellow artists and allies, I have since layered upon this foundation by developing my skills and building on a body of work inclusive of film, performance, media art/design, and creative writing. My most recent work strives to blur the lines between artist/facilitator and participant, by intentionally making space for collaboration in story-building and storytelling, and to engage in dialogue on lost or silenced interconnecting and intergenerational narratives and her/histories.

Street Photography: My father gave me his 35mm Ricoh Singlex II Camera when I was 16 years old. The back kept popping open, so I duct-taped it shut. I had no idea how to use it. A year later, I took the darkroom photography course at my high school, then went to Armenia for the summer and shot six glorious rolls. Life has been pretty nomadic since then. I’ve been collecting old (and mostly soviet-era) cameras from the markets in Yerevan, and have dabbled in both medium-format and digital photography. The Ricoh is still my go-to, my baby-love, to this day. I like to photograph people, they have been both strangers and good friends to me over the years, and I’ve found film photography to be the most intimate format to work with, particularly when I’m on ‘the streets’. Both the subject and I have no choice but to hold our gaze until that quite-right-moment, when they let their guard down and I find my focus. New York City, New Orleans, Montreal, Armenia, Brazil, Toronto, Bolivia, France, Japan, Reno. I’m deeply grateful for all the folks who let me share these moments with them over the last ten years. Hope you enjoy the collection.

Sliding scale pricing: small $50 - $100 | large $100 - $150



Meet Cheryl Borgens: 

Hello my name is Cheryl Borgens I'm a native Coloradan, I moved to a small town south of Portland where I was raised, this is where I found my love for photography of landscape, my first camera was a pin hole made from an oatmeal box. I would set it up in woods behind my house. As a young adult I moved to Portland where I became mesmerized of the movement of the city. As a photographer of landscape I found it interesting as I walked around the city and realized that not many people in Portland have curtains, so in the spirit of keeping Portland weird, I ask my neighbors for permission to take photos of them living in their fish bowls through a years time. I feel I have captured the essence of street photography in these photos called urban voyeurism.

11x14 prints (ask for price if you want frame too) $75 | Custom prints and frames available

facebook.com/Cherylborgens444 | 503.705.1534


Meet Julia Rosen: 

I am a photographer, but I am also a journalist, an adventurer, and a scientist. While completing my PhD in geology, I had the privilege of visiting Greenland numerous times to study its shrinking ice sheet. During my travels, I fell in love with the island’s stark beauty and sweeping landscapes.

The last time I went to Greenland, in the summer of 2015, I sailed aboard an icebreaker into the narrow sliver of water between Northwestern Greenland and Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic. I took these photos while accompanying a team of researchers who hope to understand how climate change will impact one of Greenland’s largest glaciers. What they learn may help scientists predict how quickly global sea levels will rise.

As you can see, I found no streets in the Arctic. And in the remote locations where we went, we saw no people either, save other scientists. However, at its core, street photography is about the chance encounters — the scenes, perspectives, and textures — that we experience while traveling through the world.

As I wandered around this remote corner of the Earth, I was struck by the way that glaciers often evoke the man-made environment. For instance, sometimes, they looked like vast highways, weaving between rocky summits. Other times, their sheer, towering walls remind me of buildings. Still others, the shapes and textures of ice conjure images of industrial surfaces like asphalt and leaded glass. Always, the scenery of the Arctic inspires awe and humility.

Come in gallery to see pricing.



Meet Liza Gershman:

Liza is an award-winning photographer and writer, and seasoned world-traveler. Passionate about food, people, and culture, Liza has had the opportunity to photograph in more than 37 countries and 46 U.S. States during her career. The Wild West holds a particular appeal for Liza, as it stirs up a deep connection with people, land, and animal in a raw and true way.

These images were taken in Wyoming's Star Valley, near the Preston Ranch, one of the oldest working ranches in the West.

Large Frame $250 | Small Frame $100



Meet Ryan Ao:

Ryan’s journey to his beloved passion of photography and videography began in a most unusual way. While studying Law in 2005, his solace from legalese came in the form of Nature. Hikes amidst the greenery in the outskirts of San Francisco ignited Ryan to pick up a camera and share these moments of raw beauty with his community through his photographs.

Within the year, ever guided by his heart and contagious spirit of joy, Ryan set down the Law and picked up the lens. By 2007 he had not only become a professional photographer, but also created the award winning documentary, “Within Reach”, following Ryan’s bike powered quest for sustainable community across North America....and back! Some of the photos you see here were captured on that journey.

After visiting nearly every nook and cranny of the mainland, Ryan felt compelled to do nothing other than fulfill a dream 12 years in the making: to move to Kaua’i and bask in the island’s beauty. Shortly after the move, Ryan fell in love and married his soulmate, Constance. The proud couple welcomed their first daughter, Anastasia, while living on Kauai for a 2.5 year stay. Now they are open for business in the beautiful lush Portland Oregon area (often called a sister area to Kauai) and enjoying being back in an area where they both used to live and have many family and friends.

Ryan’s love for his family blends effortlessly with his work as a photographer as you can see in these street photography photos. With his studies in photojournalistic style photography at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, and his inspiration drawn from great street photographers like Henri Cartier Bresson, Vivian Maier, Graham Nash, and Lee Freidlander, he’s perfected the art of being a fly on the wall, waiting patiently for that “decisive moment” to capture people and his environment’s true essence. His deepest joy is illuminating the love shared by people coming together, in union and as community, under the twinkling stars of this magical world!

Come in to Gallery to see prices.



Meet Whimsy Chicks Angela Sipp & Kristine Grenz

We were both born and raised in Oregon we became friends when our kids attended preschool together here in St. Johns. Seven years later we realized our mutual love for creating funky décor would be a lot more fun if we did it together. Six months later Whimsy Chicks hatched!

As artists our family, friends and beautiful state inspires us to create pieces that look and feel full of life, love and home. Using everything from reclaimed wood to old metal fixtures, we try hard to preserve the nature patina while discovering their beauty in new and unexpected ways. We breathe new life into every piece we create with the hope, that it brings joy to the home of each owner.

Come in Gallery to see prices.




Meet Samuel Jones:

I find my inspiration in moving away from a two dimensional canvas to three dimensional objects. I use acrylic and enamel on everything from rocks and wood to glassware and metal. My scope of subject matter is unlimited from rock stars and cartoon characters to landscapes, sports teams, and abstract. As a St. Johns native I often find myself doing St. Johns bridge related pieces and incorporating the nature and scenery of the northwest into my work.

Come in to gallery to see prices.

You can view my recent work and request custom pieces at: facebook.com/ArtOfSJ


Meet Alshiref:

I am an illustrator, graphic designer, and photographer, living and working in Portland, Oregon. I specialize in apparel design, as well as logos and designs for print.

I illustrate, design, and print everything in my studio in St. Johns, Portland. I use fabric-specific, water-based, eco-friendly inks, which are then heat-cured, permanently establishing the ink in the fabric. All apparel is safely washed and dried.

My diverse background and multicultural experiences have greatly influenced my design. Growing up on the coast of the Red Sea in Egypt, I became a scuba diver and fell in love with all aspects of life in the sea. In my early twenties I moved to Switzerland and spent my time there exploring European culture. In my late twenties, I headed to the United States, first to New York, then to California, and finally to Portland, where I have made my home with my wife, daughter, and son.

I am also available for commissioned design and printing, as well as logo design, and other print-based graphic design.

Come into Gallery to see prices.

Alshiref's studio open by appointment www.alshirefdesign.com | contact@alshirefdesign.com | 503-954-3705


Meet Alan Pérez:

Alan started creating art out of love for the process in which different mediums are integrated; the time it takes to create his artwork is part of the experience that he enjoys. Experiencing time more intimately is a vital part of the process that he enjoys and is a way for him to appreciate the world around him.

His unique experiences culminate in studying a broad array of influences from Aviation, Graphic Design, Architecture, Printmaking, and Spanish; combining all of these fields of study into a unique display of art.

As a student of Spanish, Alan finds grammar an integral part of the conversation. Punctuation marks can help ideas move forward or slowdown, and it is in this idea where he hopes his art can find its place by enticing viewers to get closer and spend time with small, intricate and colorful pieces. Balance of color and space are also common themes in his work and are important to his personal appreciation of art as part of, or pauses within, the artistic conversational experience. Alan utilizes woodblocks, etchings, pen and ink, and occasionally AutoCAD to manifest these ideas into intimate pieces that can find there place amongst other artists work. It is the variety of styles that he finds that art has its most profound conversation.

Come into gallery to see prices.

Alanperez84@gmail.com | Instagram: brm2pdx


Meet Dakota Cross:

Listen up children, and I'll tell you a tale -- naked frolickers, roofs of grass, and a society headed straight for derail. (I was this close to bragging about what type of martini I am. This close -- consider yourself lucky.)

A little background: I was born on a co-op commune in the southern state of Louisiana; my parents were part of the Back-to-the-Land movement. No "Kumbaya" campfire sing-a-longs and poisoned Kool Aid-- just normal everyday people mowing their lawns. The community eventually disbanded, but we managed to uphold many of its core ideals while growing up.

Today, I'm a network administration and arts major. I'm equally content as I am busy, but I'd love to meet anyone with as sharp a mind as their tongue. Let's start WWIII and then go for ice cream! I could never decline. Please, be my downfall?

I am of Haitian and Native American descent.

I believe one day there will be peace on earth.

I live my life through my art, through the art of love and this is how the world is seen through my eyes.

Well, this has been a rather revealing 10 seconds, hasn't it?

Come into gallery to see prices:



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