Worthy of Exposure
A Work in Progress
Portraits by Genevieve Willson Barnhart
August 11—September 17, 2006
I make photographs, but do not consider myself a photographer. I have worked mainly as a sculptor and a jeweler, using the medium of photography to record images of people in the arts here in Sonoma County, many my friends.
As the title of this show might suggest, Worthy of Exposure: A Work in Progress really is the exposure through photographs of just a few of these people, both past and present.
I have taken these photographs for many years. More often since one day in mid-life I realized that some of my friends were leaving the County, that others had died, and I had no record of them.
I have not attempted to look at people in an "artistic" way, but instead to see how they look and are at a specific moment when to me I see who they are through my own eyes.
With these images I remember. Perhaps you will too.
—Genevieve Willson Barnhart
"Self Portrait", silver gelatin print, 2006
A solo Exhibition of Genevieve Barnhart's wonderful collection of black and white photographs of Sonoma County artists will open at Quicksilver on August 11th. Continuing through September 17th, this Show includes images of many Sonoma County artists in their studios and their homes, with their families and friends, and with their artwork
Worthy of Exposure: A Work in Progress is both a historical and a present day collection of photographs taken by Barnhart over the years. She began chronicling her artist friends with her camera in the 1970's.
Genevieve in her Studio (Self Portrait), 1968
"My photographs are of artists," she says. "But they are also my friends. I make photographs, but I do not consider myself a photographer — I am a sculptor and a jeweler. I have taken pictures for many years and even more often recently since I realized that many of the artists I have known here in Sonoma County were moving away or had died. I wanted a visual memory of them all. With these portraits, I remember."
Barnhart, who works in black and white and then develops her portraits in her home studio, has created a carefully annotated collection which offers a wonderful window into the history of Sonoma County art through the many local artists she has captured on film.
Raymond & Genevieve Barnhart, 1968
WORTHY OF EXPOSURE
A Work In Progress
Genevieve Willson Barnhart
is dedicated to the memory of Raymond Barnhart
The making of art has been the major force that has formed my life, from the copying of a brilliant autumn leaf in the first grade, on through to my recent garden pieces. As a practical youth I envisioned a future as a commercial illustrator, but my eventual exposure to college studies in the history of art along with visits to art museums gave me an awareness of the true art world "out there."
Concurrently with my college and art school classes, I met and worked with some great master — teachers. These latter contacts fortunately set my ambition to become an art teacher myself. This was a most rewarding direction to take because I was able to pass on the making of art to many other young people, to continue my own art production and - modestly enough — to earn a living.
Since my retirement as Professor at the University of Kentucky in 1968 — leaving studio teaching while I still loved it — I have had the privilege of working solely on my own pursuits. Choosing the North Bay Area was fortunate — I have had the privilege of associating with numerous creative artists. So I feel that I have spent my life with art most happily.