“I want to create a perception of ponder and magic that goes past each day lifetime,” artist Debra Barnhart mentioned. “I do not want to make art that is just decorative. I want to encourage assumed and discussion.”

The artist spends a great deal of her time creating photos that provoke assumed, established with uncommon strategies. As a substitute of canvases and brushes, she has put together images with pc plans and filters.

Barnhart has a degree in portray from Montclair Point out College. She just lately attended the Penland University of Crafts in North Carolina where she begun working in photography. The blend of images and digital artwork turned a fascination for her.

“Making art on a pc is not just a issue of urgent a button,” Barnhart reported. “I tweak the digital file endlessly, enjoying all over with filters and cropping right until I arrive at what I contact an ah-ha second. Each electronic painting has its individual distinctive approach, so there is not a established formula. Usually, I really do not know what outcome I want to reach right until I see it on the pc display screen.”

One particular overall body of perform in this strategy is a assortment of African-themed photos which proved really well known with collectors.

“But I required to do a little something edgier, a thing with a message,” Barnhart mentioned. “By edgier, I suggest considered-provoking. I am now performing on a series of pictures about women of all ages.”

This pursuit of “edgier images” presents Barnhart ample option to produce Magical Realism as she tells tales with her operate.

Just one of the women in her collection of pictures is her granddaughter. The impression is titled “Seeing the Light.” The woman stands with her arms outstretched, mild seeming to ignite from her hands.

“The pandemic and the deficiency of social get hold of has freaked me out a little,” Barnhart stated. “I originally believed of this picture as an image of energy. I experienced this perform hanging outdoors my studio, and as I passed by it every working day. As the pandemic wore on, I began to see it as an graphic not of Power but of Security. The way she is keeping her arms up now looks like she is defending herself. In this pandemic, we have gone from concentrating on electrical power to concentrating on security.”

The pandemic also affects her planned perform about females.

“I was on the lookout at masks on Amazon. I was wondering about photographing women in masks. When you set on a mask, you set on a unique persona,” she stated. “The masks conceal our faces and folks cannot tell who you are. The embellished masks can build a whole diverse character for the wearer.”

The pandemic has also authorized Barnhart time to collaborate with her buddy Donn Inexperienced, an completed photographer himself. “He facilitates my creativity,” she stated.

Barnhart is also one particular of the host of artists with a studio at Tannery Row, the place she 1st arrived as a choose for one of their activities.

Help Community Journalism

Now, extra than ever, the world requires reputable reporting—but great journalism isn’t cost-free.

Please guidance us by subscribing or creating a contribution nowadays.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and general public relations marketing consultant specializing in the arts. E-mail her at [email protected] mindspring.com.