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Ward Shortridge: Beauty That Thrives Under the Ravages of Time

February 3 - February 26

In a black and white photo, one individual sits on a bench and holds another while they lean into their lap, reading a book.

Blue Sky is pleased to announce a special memorial exhibition to honor Portland photographer, Ward Shortridge (American, 1960 – 2019). This retrospective exhibition, Beauty That Thrives Under the Ravages of Time, comprises work spanning a 20-year period, including the series Washington D.C. Portraits (1999-2004), Portland Portraits (2009-2014) and Portland Houses (2018-2019).

Shortridge was born in 1960 in the Washington, D.C area. At the age of 6 he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. Shortridge earned a master’s degree in social work from American University in the early 1990’s and started a career as a social worker soon afterwards. About the same time he began shooting photos of people he met around Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. He moved to Oregon in 2009 where he continued his social work and photography. Shortridge passed away in December 2019 at the age of 59.

Shortridge said of his photographic process, “The best photographs, like the best therapy, occur when I don’t talk too much, when I engage my subjects with unconditional acceptance and love, when I let go of my desire for a particular result and take my direction from the life that is presented to me.”

The exhibition is organized by Bobby Abrahamson, a Portland-based documentary photographer, who was a close friend and photographic colleague of Shortridge. Abrahamson currently holds Shortridge’s photographic archive.

There will be a panel discussion on Saturday, February 5 from 1:30 – 2:30 PM at Blue Sky. Please visit our website to register for this free event. Space is limited.

Blue Sky will hold extended hours on First Thursday, February 3, from 5 -7 PM. Proof of vaccination and masks are required to enter the gallery.


Blue Sky


Wheelchair accessible
Image Alt Text for Screen Readers
A black and white photo of two individuals. One person is nestling in the other's embrace while holding a book. Their faces stay closely to each other.
Event Type
Exhibition, Gallery, Visual Art
Pandemic Info


Blue Sky
122 NW 8th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209 United States
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