Artist Biographies

Artist Biographies : Hiser, Cherie :

Cherie Hiser

Career Summary

Cherie Hiser began her study of photography after completing graduate studies in psychology in Hawaii in 1963. Her first workshops at the Portland Art Museum were with master teachers Minor White, Ruth Bernhard and Imogen Cunningham. She became impassioned with the medium and has become an internationally known artist, teacher, and “Photographic Evangelist”.

After moving to Aspen, Colorado in the mid 60’s to teach skiing, she worked as a newspaper photographer and married colleague David Hiser, who was soon to become a National Geographic photographer. In 1969 she founded The Center of the Eye in Apsen, one of the first and finest photography facilities in the country, which gained an international reputation as an alternative educational community in the arts. Through the barrage of prominent photographers who came to teach and participating students of those workshops, many of today’s finest artists and photographers are alumni of the Center of the Eye. In 1973, Cherie and her friend and neighbor, Paul Soldner, "the Minor White of clay", developed a joint program of photography and ceramics through an invitation from the Anderson Ranch Art Center in Snowmass, Colorado. Both Paul and Cherie have continued their association with the Anderson Ranch, including attending and celebrating it’s 25th anniversary of continuing inspiration.

Hiser served on Ansel Adams Friends of Photography Board of Trustees in Carmel, California for five years. Ansel recommended she become the first Director of Photography for the new Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Humanities in Idaho in 1974. She was responsible for designing the photography building and programs, fundraising, establishing a photography gallery, fulfilling the role of curator of the private collection and teaching.

From Sun Valley, Cherie went to Santa Fe, New Mexico to establish the Center of the Eye Collaborative and Gallery on Canyon Road. The center stayed active for some years after Ms. Hiser had returned to her hometown of Portland, Oregon in 1978. She is a third generation “Portlander” and began teaching photography at the college level as well as embarking on a career as a professional Mental health Therapist, working predominately in hospital psychiatric units before retiring as a Psychiatric Assessment Specialist in 2001.

In 1996, responding to a yearning to leave the “corporate setting” and embrace community again, Hiser founded PhotoWorks NorthWest, Inc. (PWNW). The PWNW was a non-profit community for photographers in Portland, a “god-child of the Center of the Eye’. The 2400 sq ft facility included darkrooms, studio, and gallery, resource center, meeting space and workshops for members and their guests.

In the fall of 2000, Photo Americas, Inc. a non-profit organization with an international orientation, and new to the Pacific Northwest, occupied the PWNW facilities. Cherie Hiser has been a Trustee of Photo Americas (now called Photo Lucida) since its inception and establishment in Portland in 1999, and has served as Chairperson of the Fine Art Auction in both 2000 and 2001, and is a frequent reviewer.

During 1997-1998, Hiser was one of the twenty semi-finalists in the United States for the 1998 Humanitarian Photographer of the Year Award. She is in demand as a curator, juror, consultant, teacher, innovator and visionary. She has exhibited and published her work and taught at universities, workshops, hotel lobbies and campsites throughout the United States, Mexico and Europe for more than three decades.

In January of 2000, Cherie was diagnosed with a neurological disorder, which seemingly changed all life plans and goals. The healing process is on –going and challenging. During long months at home she began photographing her beloved pet doves and pigeons, constant companions for forty years. This transformational experience offered her a new perspective and the opportunity and enthusiastic commitment to concentrate on her life’s work in photography. This last series is named “Birds of Pray” #1, 2000-2006.

Cherie Hiser has been described as “one of the most vital persons of our time” by Cornell Capa, Director of the international Center of Photography in New York. Now in her sixth decade, she truly is an “emerging photographer’.




Founding Director: The Center of the Eye, Aspen, CO

Director of Photography-Anderson Ranch Art Center

Director: the COE Collaborative

Director: Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Humanities

Auction Chairman: Photo Americas


Selected Solo Exhibitions

2007 Lane Community College, Albany, OR;

2006 Photographic Image Gallery, Portland, OR; “Serendipity Happens” 40 yr retrospective

1994 Riccirdi Gallery, Astoria, OR “Slight of Face” collaboration with writer Sandra Stone

1993 Portland State University, White Gallery, “The Odyssey of the Invisible”

Clatsop Community College Art Gallery, “Recent Works”

Columbian Café Art Space, Astoria, OR; Astoria Arts Celebration “Self Portraits since 1968”

1992 Photographic image Gallery, Portland, OR: ““The Odyssey of the Invisible”

Columbia Art Space, (Permanent Acquisition), “Meals with Movie Stars and Other Friends”

1987 Corvallis Art Center, Corvallis, OR “Recent Work”

1986 Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY “Work in Progress”

1983 Anderson Ranch Art Center, Aspen, CO “Visions of Life after Aspen”

1980 Portland Community College, Rock Creek Center; “Photography and Pholiage”

(Photos with live pholiage under glass)

Creative Arts Center, Winter Park, FL; “Self Portraits”

1979 Portland Community College, Northview Gallery; “Private Realities and inner Landscapes”

Camerawork Gallery, Portland, OR; “I Am Not a Tourist, I Live Here”

Northview Gallery, PCC, Portland, OR ”One of a Kind”

1978 Gulf Coast Photographic Gallery, Tampa, FL; “Self Portraits”

1976 Sun Valley Center Gallery, Sun Valley, ID; “Recent Work”


Selected Group Exhibitions

2003 Gallery Sink, Denver, CO; “Collective Memory”

2002 Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, CO “Go Fish”

2000 Blackfish Gallery, Portland, OR; “Skin! The Human Fabric” (also curator)

2000 Photographic Image Gallery, Portland, OR “Photo America Best Foot Forward”

1998 Blackfish Gallery, Portland, OR “Friends at Work”

1997 Observations and Invention: Oregon Women Photographers 100 Years after the Photo-Secession Marylhurst College, The Art Gym, curated by Terri Hopkins

Elizabeth Leach Gallery Invitational “The Big Apple” Images of New York City

University of Oregon 22nd annual Photography at Oregon Auction-Invitational

1995 Portland Art Museum Biennial, Portland, OR; curated by Director of New Orleans Museum of Art

1994 Marylhurst College, Portland, OR; Photographers and Writers Collaborate.”

The Orlo Foundation; “Common Ground”

Gallery 4141, Seattle, WA; “Tangents: My Students and Me”

1993 Anderson Ranch Art Center, Aspen, CO; “Center of the Eye—Revisited”

Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; “Vision at the End of the Trail”

The History of Oregon Photography, curated by Terry Toedtmeier.

1992 Photographic Image Gallery and ACLU, Portland, OR “Uncensored”

Galleri 8, Portland, OR; “Nude Show”

1991 Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; “Oregon Biennial” curated by director of Hirschorm Museum

Willamette University, Salem, OR; Sesquicentennial Alumni Invitational Exhibit

Centrum Gallery, Oregon School Arts and Crafts, Portland, OR “Group Portfolio Show”

1989 Portland Community College, Northview Gallery; “Faces: The New Portraiture”

Renshaw Gallery, Linfield College, McMinnville, OR

Sesquicentennial Invitational, curated by Diane Kornberg

Portland Art Museum Biennial; curated by Mary Jane Jacobs

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

1986 Photographic Image Gallery, Portland, OR “Instructors show”

1985 Photographic Image Gallery, Portland, OR “The Nude Show”

1985 Boulder Center for the Visual Arts, Boulder, CO; “Naked” exhibition

1983 Anderson Ranch Art Center Aspen, Colorado “Center of the Eye Revisited”

1981 Portland State University, Portland, OR; White Gallery “Portraits”

1980 Creative Art Gallery, Winter Park, FL

1980 Portland Art Museum, Portland OR; “Eight Portland Photographers” curated by Rachel Rosenfeld

1978 Wall Street Gallery, New York, NY

Marcuse Pffiefer Gallery, New York, NY

1975 Boise Museum of Fine Arts, Boise, ID; “4 From the Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Humanities

1971 Anderson Ranch Art Center, Aspen, CO; “Me and My Friends”

(Potters, Poets and Photographers)

1970 Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT, Boston, MA; “Be-ing Without Clothes”

curated by Minor White. Catalog published by Aperture Magazine 1971


Public Collections

Coupeville Art Center, Coupeville, WA

Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR

Galleri 8, Portland, OR

Photographic Image Gallery, Portland, OR

University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID

Sun Valley for the Arts and Humanities, Sun Valley, ID

Aspen Center for Visual Arts, Aspen, CO

University of Colorado Archives, Boulder, CO

Hawaii Volcano National Art Center, Hilo, HI

Visual Studies Workshops, Rochester, NY

University of Vienna, Far Eastern Studies, Vienna, Austria

Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona at Tuscon

Harry Ransom Institute collection, University of Texas in Austin Texas


Selected Private Collections


Jim Laser, Hansville, WA

Janss Collection, Sun Valley, ID

Charles Gatewood, San Francisco, CA

Ansel Adams Estate, Carmel, CA

Judy Dater, San Anselmo, CA

Guy Swanson, Portland, OR

Anthony Hernandez, Los Angeles, CA

Jerry Uelsmann, Gainesville, FL

Donna Ferrato, New York

Lee Friedlander, New York, NY

Ezra Mack Fine Art Photography, New York, NY

Mary Ann Lynch, New York City

William Parker, Gainsville Florida

Nathan and Jean Lyons, Rochester’ NY

Guy Swanson, Portland, OR



Selected Grants-Honors and Awards

1998 Humanitarian Photographer of the Year Awards and Exhibit semifinalist, Portland Art Museum

(One of 20 semifinalists in the United States) portrait of Thomas Hart Benton

1996 Portland Art Museum: Purchase Award for “Krystyne, 1984”

1994 Portland Art Museum: Purchase Award for “Self portrait with David Hiser 1968-1988”

1989-92Coupeville Art Center, Board of Advisors, Coupeville, WA

1982 Seattle Arts Commission, Seattle WA; purchase award for “Four Women”

1979 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Advanced Visual Studies Documentary

“Biennale 79” Vienna, Austria, official photographer

1976-9 Polaroid Foundation-Three Year Study-Photography as a Therapeutic Modality

1974-9 Board of Trustees for Ansel Adams’ Friends of Photography, Carmel, CA

Artist in Residence/Visiting Artist

1993 Art Center School of Design, Pasadena, CA; Visiting Artist

1986 The Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY; Artist in Residence

1983 Sitka Art Center, Neskowin, OR; Artist in Residence, winter term

1972 University of California at Irvine; Visiting Artist


Select Lectures, Workshops and Teaching


2005 SPE National Conference, Portland, OR “Passage: One Sex to the Other” Panel discussion

2002 The Ansel Adams Gallery, Yosemite, California; “Edges and Intersection: Evolution of Change” Panel Chair

1999 SPE National Conference-Las Vegas

1998 Coupeville Art Center, Coupeville, WA “Creative Renewal” with Bill McMillan

1995 Photographic Image Gallery, Portland, OR; “Photographing People” “The Nude Salon”

1994 Photographic Image Gallery, Portland, OR; “The Fine Art Portfolio”

Clatsop Community College, Summer Arts Festival, Astoria, OR Photographing the Nude”

Western Oregon State University, Department of Natural Sciences; “The Power of Creativity”

1993 Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA; “Educational Strategies-Old Critiques

Society of Photographic Education, Regional Conference, Boulder CO

Anderson Ranch Art Center, Snowmass, CO

1992 Panel of Personal Remembrances of Imogen Cunningham, Portland, OR

1990 Speaker for the Society of Photographic Education, Southwest Regional Conference

Prescott, AZ, “Philosophy of Vision, Using Photography”

Ketchikan Art Center, Ketchikan, AK; “Photography for Love and Money” with David Hiser

1989-98Coupeville Art Center, Coupeville, WA

1999 “Invitational Site Salon” with Walter Chappell, Mono Lake and Death Vallery, CA

1988 Pacific NW College of Art, Portland, OR “Speaking of Art”

1985 University of Colorado in Boulder, Society for Photographic Education Conference; Featured Artist

1988 Ketchikan Museums, Ketchikan, AK “Art Through People”

1982 Portland Art Assn, Portland, OR “Visual Anthropology and the Subject Within Yourself”

1981 “For Spacious Skies”, Symposium, Grand Canyon, AZ

Creadle Art Center, Winter Park FL, exhibition & self-portrait workshop

1980 “The Autumn Eye”, Telluride CO

1978 Hawaii Art Center (with Paul Caponigro), Hilo, HI

1976 Goddard College, Asilomar, CA; Residency Program

1975 “Womanview” workshop,University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

1975 University of California at Irvine; “Photographers on Photography”-Visiting Artist

University of Arizona Society of Photographic Education (with Minor White, Frederic Sommer, Judy Dater, Bob Heinecken, Jack Welpot, Peter Bunnell, et. Al.

1974-5 The Friends of Yosemite Workshops (two with jack Welpot, Imogen Cunningham, Judy Dater)

1970-81Mazatlan Photographic Society, Mexico

Selected Curator-Juror

1994 Oregon State Fair, Photography Judge

1994 Photographic Image Gallery, Portland, OR; “Emerging Artists-Nude Exhibition”

Mt. Hood Community College; “1st Annual Photo Exhibition,” Juror

1993 Columbia Council-Annual Awards, 11 Western States-Juror

1992 Colorado State Fair, Pueblo, CO; Fine Art Photography-Judge

1991 Larson Gallery, Yakima, WA; National Photo Competition-Judge

1989 Portland Community College, Northview Gallery; “The Established & the Emerging”-Curator

Oregon School of Arts and Crafts, Portland, OR; “New Work by Old Friends”

(Uelsmann, Nettles, Heinecken, Caponigro, Chairenza, Friedlander, Dater, Uris,

Lyons et al)

Timberline Lodge, Mt. Hood, OR; “Mountain High VII”-Curator

1987 Northwest Artist’s Workshop; “Erotica”-Curator

1987 1994 Oregon State Fair, Photography Judge


Portfolios and Special Editions


2001 Photo Americas Great Northwestern Portfolio (Denny Ray II ) Portland, OR

1995 Special Edition-“Clover”, 1972; Photographic Image Gallery, Portland, OR

1994 Special Edition-“Krystyne”, 1984; Photographic Image Gallery, Portland, OR

1993 Special Edition-“Little Orphan Annie”, 1968; Photographic Image Gallery, Portland, OR

Portfolio-III “The Tangents”

1991 Portfolio II-Oregon School of Arts and Crafts, Portland, OR

1989 Portfolio I-Oregon School of Arts and Crafts, Portland, OR

1986 “Naked”, published by University of Colorado, Boulder, CO with Jock Sturges, Heiniken, et al

1975 “New Mexico Photographers”, Published by The Center of the Eye Collaborative, Santa Fe, NM






Selected Publications


2002 Book published by Aspen Museum of Art

1997 “The Odyssey of the Invisible” featured photographer Women in the Arts PANIC MAGAZINE, Tattoo Review Magazine, Collaboration with Nolan

VISUAL ART “In Celebration of Photography-This is Cherie Hiser Month in Portland”, The Oregonian by Barry Johnson

1996 “Secrets,” cover photograph and portfolio, a book published by Left Bank Press

1993 “The Sixties Revisited”, the Aspen Magazine by James Baker

1992 “The Art of Motherhood” Portland Oregonian, Portland, OR by Randy Gragg

1991 “Two Tattoo”, Shots Magazine

1991 “Back at the Ranch” Northwest Magazine Portland, Oregonian by Ann Wall Frank

1990 “Women in the 90’s-Posessing Passion” Portland, Oregonian by Beverly Butterworth

1984 ‘Cherie Hiser’ Multnomah Monthly, Portland, OR Deby Barnhart and Ed Blatter

1983 “The Center of the Eye”, compiled by Alex Sweetman, Exhibition Catalog published by

Aspen Museum

1983 “Cherie Hiser Returns to Aspen”, Aspen Times

1979 “Camera chief aid for therapist”, The Oregon Journal, 1979

1974 “Insights: Contemporary Female Self-Portraiture.” book published by David Godine

1973 “Photography: Source and Resource,” book compiled by Steven Lewis, James McQuaid and Daivd Tait-Turnip Press, State College, PA. (This was one of the earliest attempts to gather information sources on ‘Photography Workshops”


Professional Highlights


2000-7 Photo Americas Board of Directors

2000-3 Photo Americas Auction Director

2002 Yosemite National Park, Ansel Adams 100th Birthday Celebration “Edges and Intersections” panel chairperson with Ted Orland, mrtha CasaNAVE, Jerry Uelsmann, et al

2000 Photo Americas (changed to Photo Lucida in 2004), Portland, OR International Portfolio Reviews

1997 Ansel Adams Gallery at Mono Lake, California: Artist-in-Residence Program Development Committee Chairperson

1996 PhotoWorks NorthWest, a non-profit photographer’s community and workshop-Founding Member and Director

Director, Founder, Center of the Eye workshops, Aspen Colorado

Portland Community College Sylvania Campus/Rock Creek campus 4 years

Portland State university Art Department 7 years

Oregon College of Arts & Crafts 6 years, including director of Photography Program