For over three decades, Deb Stoner’s art making practice has included making jewelry, designing eyewear, and photographing the world around her. An ongoing project has involved growing plants to cast in precious metals as a way of freezing a moment, a routine mirrored in her current still life photographs. Deb’s botanical portraits magnify and reveal details within the natural structures of the plants she photographs. Her process of making images is a slow and deliberate arranging and composing of flora and natural insects. Up close, one is able to examine the parts of subjects that may reveal surprises. 

          Deb earned a BS in Geology from UC Davis, and then after many years of bench work as a jeweler learning technical skills, went on to earn a MFA in Jewelry/Metals from San Diego State University, working with esteemed mentors Arline Fisch, Helen Shirk, and photographer Walter Cotten. An Artist-in-Residency position at the Oregon School of Arts and Crafts in 1989 brought her to Portland, Oregon, where she still lives, teaches, and works her artistic practice every day. Deb’s work has been supported by grants from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, a fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission, and a broad range of generous collectors who continue to delight in her artistic explorations. Deb’s teaching experiences have allowed her to travel internationally, sharing ideas at some of her favorite places, including the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine (where she served as a Trustee on the Haystack Board from 2001-2010), Penland School in NC, Arrowmont in Tennessee, the National College of Art and Design in Ireland, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, among many others. Her deep exploration into the design and making of eyewear brought praise from the fields of design, fashion and art, and continue to inspire.

Good news! (ok, time to switch to first person...)

I received grant funding from the Regional Arts and Culture Council to participate in the Medium Photography Review and Lecture Series in San Diego, this October, 2016. Over the years, I've received funding for travel to New Zealand to teach (1995), and to attend conferences in San Francisco (2003) and Seattle (2011). Each event was career building, and supportive in the sense that someone out there believed in what I was doing. Portland is truly fortunate to have such an organization to nurture artists at every phase of our careers. Thank you RACC!

For an interesting peek into my past as a photographer, check out the Getty's online magazine, The Iris, for an insightful short history. 

I am a finalist in the photography competition called Critical Mass 2015. It's sponsored by Photolucida, which is "an arts nonprofit with a mission to provide platforms that expand, inspire, educate and connect the regional, national, and international photography community."

The Society of Photographic Educators Regional Conference was in Portland, Oregon November 5-8, 2015, and I was a presenter. I showed my working process in an artist's demo, along with a slide show that detailed my long history with analog photography that led up to my current work.

If you'd like to listen to an interview on KBOO's Art Focus radio show, hit the audio player below. It's a quick half hour of me responding to some really great questions that got me to reveal much about my working process in making the work for the "Channeling Karl Blossfeldt" exhibit at Camerawork Gallery.  Big thanks to Kathleen Stephenson for such a thoughtful interview! And applause due for the background music from 3 Leg Torso, my favorite band.

Garlic harvest from a few years back...

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