Photographer Cathleen Schaff –
Portland, OR artist Cat Schaff does not describe herself as a nature, color, black and white, or portrait photographer. Rather, she considers herself to be all of those things and then some.
Growing up between New York and Florida, Cat developed a love of photography early on and often carried an old 35mm Pentak K1000 along to chronicle her adventures. As both her skills and passion for photography strengthened, she began entering her work into local art shows. A working artist at twenty, Cat continued to challenge herself artistically and professionally. She started a small photography company in 2001, Soleil Luna, specializing in black and white work but soon found that her taste for adventure had taken hold again.
Cat spent the next ten years traveling across the United States before she finally settled in the Pacific Northwest. During this time, she had the opportunity to showcase her work in multiple artists’ venues including the Annual Winter Park Art Show in Florida and the Union and Walker Point galleries in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 2005, Cat earned a spot in the INOVA show at the University of Wisconsin with a series titled, “The Masks We Wear”, featuring sharp, black and white images of a woman repeatedly leaving her home wearing a variety of masks. Cat’s purpose of this series was to demonstrate how individuals adapt and present variations of themselves to the world.
Cat has published some of her work in a handmade photo book, available through the Book Arts collection in the Golda Meir Library at UWM – Milwaukee. Her book, “Zoe”, features a series of black and white images telling the tale of Zoe, a dragonfly who leaves home in an attempt to reach beyond seemingly stifling constraints only to discover the outside world isn’t quite so ideal. The book ultimately represents the artist’s own experiences of leaving home and traveling throughout the United States.
A Philosophy major in her undergraduate degree from Linfield College, seeks to find the profound in the everyday. She uses a philosophical approach with each subject, with the intent to reach beyond perceived limitations and breathe new life in to it. Cat is constantly challenging herself and others to see everyday things in new ways.
In the spring of 2010, Cat completed a symposium for her Alma Mater, Linfield College, in which the Buddhist philosophy of Impermanence was featured in a series of color photographs depicting ghost towns in Eastern Oregon.
Though Cat remains passionate about 35mm work, she recently began working with digital pictures as well. She is eager to combine new technology with her traditional technique. Currently, Cat is enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts program at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, CA and lives in Portland, OR with her husband.
Photographer Cat Schaff Official Website – http://www.wix.com/catschaff/Cat-Schaff
Photographer Cat Schaff Official Blog – http://eastbynorthwest.wordpress.com
Follow Photographer Cat Schaff on Twitter – http://twitter.com/evolutionofcat
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