“A is for Agave, B is for Belize” photo exhibit begins Sept. 2

A is for Agave: Agavaceae Agave Latela by Barbara Schaefer. (COURTESY PHOTO)

B is for Belize: Friends by Barbara Schaefer. (COURTESY PHOTO)

“A is for Agave, B is for Belize” is a photographic walk through all of the letters of the alphabet, on display at the Waimea Arts Council’s Firehouse Gallery from Sept. 2 through Oct. 2.

Artist Barbara Schaefer selected images spanning 35 years, six states and five countries for this diverse display of her work. The public is invited to meet her at a reception at the gallery on Friday, Sept. 11 from 5 to 7 pm.

Schaefer sees photography as a method for capturing moments, preserving a particular view of history at a specific time. Some of her moments are timeless representations of form and color.

The first moments she captured were with a Kodak folding camera when she was in grade school heading off to summer camp. With her mother’s camera and some instruction from her dad, she began her journey to record bits of history as she encountered and experienced them.

Schaefer eventually graduated to a Pentax SLR camera after beginning her first full-time job supporting astronomers at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona. Kodachrome color slide film was her media of choice at that time, rendering the colors of nature in their richest hues.

In 2007, Schaefer finally made the step to the latest technology – digital photography. One of her friends told her she would never go back to film after shooting digital photos and, indeed, that has been the case.

About her photography Schaefer says, “My profession in the astronomy field has afforded me opportunities to be in amazing places during special times, seeing views and conditions others seldom have the opportunity to experience. I’ve also been fortunate to travel the world, capturing images of distant places and cultures. My goal is to see and gather images of places and experiences in a different light, to notice details others might miss. Sharing these images, giving others the opportunity to also see, experience and enjoy them, is, for me, the most rewarding part of photography. A photograph is successful if it captures and communicates the sense of place and feelings the photographer is experiencing or if it sets the viewer’s imagination free to roam, wander and wonder. The craft of photography is getting the exposure, focus, and composition as planned in an image.”

Now retired from her astronomical career, Schaefer has had time to pull together what she describes as an “eclectic alphabet-soup” of photographic images. For this showing, she has chosen to display her images fused onto aluminum, a relatively new way to vibrantly display photographs. The public is invited to vote for their favorite image, and at the end of the show a winner will be randomly drawn to receive their chosen image.

The Firehouse Gallery located at 67-1201 Mamalahoa Highway near the main crossroads in Waimea, is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with extended hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

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