In my work, I blend architecture, urban details, and fleeting moments which combine to tell a richly layered story. I have always been fascinated with these city features wherever I have lived and traveled. Now I capture these elements with my camera: a retro neon marquee, the facade of an iconic theatre, a beloved local eatery, grand bridge crossings, and even an odd pile of bicycles. I see this all as expressions of human creativity, the essence of what I am trying to capture in my work. When I combine many photographic images, I can envision spatial connections along with location, cultural, and historical synchronicities and see how all these can be connected and juxtaposed in a single, coheasive, and meaningful scene. With my etchings, I use a polymer photogravure technique to translate photographic elements into printed form and then combine several plates into a single scene. The composite scenes build a narrative that represents how I experience the world in an attempt to create a feeling of nostalgia, a sense of place, and community.
Beth Kerschen is a multi-disciplinary artist using photography and printmaking to express a unique vision. She graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Her education focused on photography, digital art, and printmaking. After college, she moved to Boston and worked for Polaroid using her extensive photographic and digital imaging knowledge. She worked for 10 years as a graphic designer with several creative firms in Boston, eventually moving to Portland, Oregon in 2008. Backed with this variety of experience, she has returned to her fine art roots from college and is now creating photomontgage scenes. In 2015, she was awarded a Professional Development Grant from Portland’s Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) and a commission for a large format, public art installation for the Portland International Airport for 2016-2017. Her work is in a number of corporate and city collections including the Visual Chronicle of Portland’s Regional Arts & Culture Council Collection where her artwork is being used in the Mayor’s Office. The theme and motivation of much of her artwork is to record the images of an area’s cultural landscape in order to inspire a sense of pride and community.
Here is a interview produced by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone and Tommy Pittenger. The focus is about Kerschen’s path to becoming an artist. It also highlights a part of her printmaking process.