Scavenger: Adventures in Treasure Hunting



On Display: December 7, 2013 through February 2, 2014
Opening reception: Friday, December 7th 6-9pm
Artist Lecture: Saturday, December 7th 1pm

Newspace Center for Photography is pleased to announce the exhibitions Scavenger: Adventures in Treasure Hunting by Seattle based photographer Jenny Riffle in our Main Gallery and in our Special Exhibitions Gallery a group exhibition featuring a collection of participants from our Summer Series Workshops with Amy Arbus, Henry Horenstein and Alan Ross.

MAIN GALLERY Jenny Riffle’s series, Scavenger: Adventures in Treasure Hunting documents a young man named Riley as he ventures out into the world on hunts to collect objects.

“Riley grew up in rural eastern Washington. As a child he read Mark Twain’s stories of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn and decided he wanted to be like those mythical boys. He wanted a life full of treasure and adventure. Riley started smoking a corncob pipe, wearing a straw hat and even went to school barefoot until he was told not to. He got his first metal detector when he was eleven and to this day he continues to seek treasure in the dirt, in sandy beaches or even looking through a handful of change for wheat pennies and real silver.”

-Jenny Riffle

Through the images in this exhibition we see that Riley is not just out hunting, he has assumed a persona that affects his daily existence and defines who he is as a person.  Riffle has chosen to focus solely on Riley’s identity as a treasure hunter and in doing so explores the line between documentary and fantasy.  This approach has created a body of work at once mythical and commonplace.


Jenny Riffle was born in Washington State in 1979. She received her MFA in Photo, Video and Related Media from the School of Visual Arts in 2011 and her BA in photography from Bard College in 2001. Riffle received the Aaron Siskind Individual Photographer’s Fellowship grant in 2013 and the juror’s award at Newspace Center for Photography’s 2012 juried show for her project Scavenger: Adventures in Treasure Hunting. She will be having a solo show at Newspace in December 2013 that will subsequently travel to RayKo Photo Center, San Francisco and The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins in 2014. Riffle is currently living in Seattle where she teaches at the Photo Center Northwest and exhibits her work nationally.


SPECIAL EXHIBITIONS GALLERY The series Slough, by Benny Wizansky is a visual exploration of the Columbia Slough.  This largely hidden and ignored waterway is part of the greater Smith Bybee Wetlands, among the largest urban wetlands in the country. The once pristine waterway now shares space with an array of industrial and commercial ventures.This clash of worlds is the primary focus of Slough. Benny shows us the natural beauty still present in the Columbia Slough but also the discord and coflict which arises from the continued industrialization of the area.

Today, the Slough is contrast defined – a forced meeting of airplane exhaust and misty fog, of eagle calls and lunch break whistles, and of spring raindrops and oil slicks.

-Benny Wizansky

Benny Wizansky was born in Boston in 1971. He received his BA in History from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. He attended the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and later went on to earn a professional photography degree at New England School of Photography in Boston. He had a solo exhibition at New England School of Photography after completing his studies there, including images from a series made in Fenway Park. A selection of his Fenway Park photographs appeared in Elysian Fields Quarterly, a journal of baseball. Benny relocated to Portland in 2004. He began volunteering at Newspace Center for Photography soon after. Slough is his first solo show in Portland.



Gallery Hours:
Monday through Thursday 10am-9:30pm
Friday, Saturday & Sunday 10am-6pm


Thank you to the Kinsman Foundation for your ongoing support of the Newspace Gallery.