Dr. P.H. Martin’s Amazing Display of Harmonic Totality

by Jenny Joyce, 2010

Portland born and raised, Gary Ewing, aka Dr. P.H. Martin, is best-known for his late 1960s psychedelic light shows in San Francisco venues and in Portland at the Crystal Ballroom. Gary’s light shows were a kaleidoscope-like, trippy wonderland of color and sound. The tools of his craft were a combination of overhead projectors, colorful gel wheels, photo slides, stage lighting, and liquid projection. When these marvelous and visually stunning images merged with the band’s good vibrations, Gary called this state of unity “harmonic totality.” Jenny Joyce, the artist who created this piece, describes it as “a mixture of music, light, movement, and positive vibes that reached a form of ecstasy.”  

This tribute to Gary (1943-2008) features the artist at different ages, accompanied by his wife, Karen; daughter, Crystal (named for the ballroom) and son, Aaron, all encircling the Crystal Ballroom audience. Also woven into the painting are references to the San Francisco-based Family Dog concert promoters and the Grateful Dead’s legendary 1967 Crystal Ballroom performance.?