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Poster marks jazz festivals 25th year

Photographer Steve Terrill also did poster in 1994 and 1995
by: Steve Terrill, Steve Terrill designed the 25th Mt. Hood Jazz Festival poster.

If the third time's a charm, Steve Terrill's new Mt. Hood Jazz Festival poster has all the makings of a classic.

The celebrated Oregon photographer has wowed his audiences with Jazz Festival posters before - once in 1994 and again in 1995 - but his latest creation, which was unveiled Tuesday evening at the Yoshida's Fine Art Gallery in Portland's Pearl District, celebrates the festival's 25th birthday.

'I think this could become a classic,' commented Mary McSwain, president of the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival Association. 'Steve's work is some of our most popular. His 1994 poster sells for $450, unframed.'

Terrill, a somewhat shy man whose images of Oregon have gained him national recognition, said he was pleased to be chosen as the artist for the Jazz Festival's 25th anniversary poster.

'When I received the call, I was quite honored,' Terrill said. 'The chance to do something like that … it's heart warming.'

Terrill drew applause from the private crowd on Tuesday after he lifted the orange velvet covering from the new poster, revealing a spectacular shot of Mount Hood, draped in fog and swathed in the golden glow of a setting sun.

'I spent a couple months trying to get that shot,' Terrill said. 'It's taken from a place called Last Chance. There's a low pass there with an overlook. I took this one in the late evening and the lighting is all natural.'

The photograph swims in gold and grey, and while Terrill's work may be all natural, designers Karen and John Wippich, with Dotzero Design in Portland, have digitally manipulated the lake in the poster's foreground to resemble a grand piano with the classic 'jazz' spelled out in the piano's legs.

The effect is understated and classic and depicts a maturing jazz festival, says Sue O'Halloran, treasurer for the festival's board of directors.

'I just love the warmth of this photograph,' O'Halloran said. 'It reminds me of a perfect summer evening.'

That's what festival organizers are hoping for, of course, when the 25th annual Mt. Hood Jazz Festival kicks off at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4, at the future site of the Gresham Center for the Arts in historic downtown Gresham at the corner of Second Street and Hood Avenue.

The 25th anniversary poster will be unveiled to the public at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 20, at the future site of the Gresham Center for the Arts.

Terrill's poster will be available at the festival, and later, at Beard's Framing stores, for $28 unsigned and unframed and $50 signed and unframed.