Artist-in-Residence Joseph Rafferty Focuses on “Artists and Americans” in Fall Exhibition Oct. 17-Nov. 23

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Jamella_F_Dallis photography by Joseph Rafferty

WILSON, N.C. — October 3, 2022 — Barton College welcomes Artist-in-Residence Joseph Rafferty with a series of public events featuring the artist and his work. His exhibition, “Artists and Americans,” will open in the Barton Art Galleries on Monday, Oct. 17, and run through Wednesday, Nov. 23. An Opening Reception for the artist and his work will be held on Thursday, Oct. 20, from 5-7 p.m. in the Barton Art Galleries, with a gallery talk by the artist at 6 p.m. The reception and lecture are open to the public at no charge, and the community is invited to attend.

Rafferty will be in residence through October 29 and will host two Saturday community workshops on Oct. 22 and 29, from 10 a.m. – Noon. The Seeing the Unseen” workshops will provide participants with an opportunity to learn how to see ambient light and how to manipulate it for gorgeous portraiture of loved ones utilizing iPhones (smartphone) cameras. In these workshops, Rafferty will also share layers into his print titled Napa, CA (2018) from his “iPhoneography” exhibition at The SE Center for Photography in Greenville, S.C., in 2018.

Participants are asked to bring their phone cameras or digital cameras. No prior experience is necessary to participate. Space is limited; reservations must be made in advance. The Saturday workshops are $20 per attendee, and free for FOVA members. For more information and to register for a workshop, contact Maureen O’Neill, director of exhibitions and educational programming, Barton Art Galleries, at moneill@barton.edu or 252-399-6476.

“Coffee & Chat” programs will also be held from 4-5 p.m. on Wednesdays, Oct. 26 and Nov. 9, hosted by O’Neill. Enjoy a cup of coffee while she provides guests with a personalized tour of the exhibition. There is no charge for this opportunity.

For more information about all of these programming opportunities, contact Maureen O’Neill, director of exhibitions and educational programming, Barton Art Galleries, at moneill@barton.edu or 252-399-6476.

About the Exhibition —

In Rafferty’s artist statement, he shares that “Artists & Americans” is a documentation project of individuals creating in North Carolina, focusing on how their unique artistry has inspired the cultural transformation of this state.

“One of the most wonderful things about this project has been the collaboration that is occurring between myself and those that I encounter,” Rafferty shares. “There is an experimental element to each shoot, containing ideas and input from each participant. Thus far, the artists who have participated in the Art World Creatures project include Jamella F. Dallis, William Paul Thomas, ShaCarol Stewart, Maylassa Lipscomb, “Dalek” James Marshall, founders of The Mothership (Katie DeConto, Megan Bowser, Krista Anne Nordgren), Thomas Sayer, Edith Gray, Jeff Bell, Peter Marín, Nate Shaefer, Tamar Harris Warren, Damola Akintunde, JoRose, SeRah Lenea, Louis St. Lewis, Paul Seli, Madeline Greco, Jaclyn Bowie, Orvarkki Crosby, Roman Gabriel, Tennis Rodman and Matt McConnell. More are scheduled to participate.

Rafferty explains that each participant in this project was provided with an audio recorder and asked a series of questions: What moves you? What is your current project titled? Why is it this title? If you had to describe the project in one sentence, what would you say? If you were commissioned to take anyone’s portrait, alive or dead, who would it be? If music is the ultimate form of abstraction, what type of ambient music or sounds do you create to?

He further notes that “Artists and Americans” documents these North Carolina creatives with experimental surrealism portraiture film stills through analogue cameras with color negative film. “My current studies at The International Center of Photography in the Creative Practices have catapulted the project by facilitating introspection and strengthening my awareness of the connection between my own life experiences and the art that I create, concerned photography,” he adds. “It is through that introspection that I have learned to draw upon my archive, utilizing that energy to uplift the underexposed artists around me. The project is designed to bring recognition and to amplify the unique voices of artists in this area. It has created opportunity for collaboration, dialogue and a greater understanding of perspectives that I would not have otherwise known. Only through acknowledgment, validation, and recognition can true cultural transformation begin.”

A native of San Francisco, Rafferty served in the United States Navy from 1995-99, working at the Naval Special Warfare Center at Coronado Island, Calif. Following his honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy, he studied at San Diego City College in California and completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. He also completed graduate work at the North Carolina State University College of Design.

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