Gloria Baker Feinstein: I Hope You Find What You’re Looking For
“For me, photography has become a mindful and meditative process. I’ve used many different cameras over the course of the last six decades, and my love affair with the medium has never waned, but I have understood only recently that the practice of photographing is my way of connecting people and places to my heart.”
I met Gloria Baker Feinstein almost two decades ago at a Review Santa Fe Portfolio Review. I knew her work from SHOTS Magazine and was already a fan. I was new to portfolio reviews and didn’t have many photographer friends and she took me under her wing, invited me to dinners and ultimately became a long time friend. One of her beautiful photographs hangs right outside my office and I am comforted by it each day. I have so admired how she sees the world and her knowledge of this industry. At one point she owned a gallery and then shifted to create her own work. After a trip to Africa in 2006, Gloria established a non-profit organization to assist Ugandan children who have become orphans due to HIV/AIDS and civil war, called Change The Truth. Gloria raised funds for the orphanage through donations, fundraisers, and by selling art and jewelry made at the orphanage. She not only changed the truth, but changed lives.
Today I share her fundraising efforts for a new monograph, I Hope You Find What You’re Looking For, a book of meditative photographs, essays, and poems having to do with the natural world and our connection to it. Gloria shares about the book:
There are many talented and well respected people who are helping make this book a reality. Oregon’s former poet laureate, Kim Stafford, has written poems to accompany some of my pictures. Kim’s work is consoling as well as impassioned. Douglas Beasley, photographer, teacher and owner/publisher of Shots magazine, has contributed a beautiful essay on mindful photography.
Julian Anderson, writer, editor and book reviewer has edited the text. Maine-based photographer/designer Sally Ann Field will design the book. The overall size will be in the 12″ x 10″ range. It will be approximately 90 pages. Printing will be done at VeronaLibri; the images will be printed as duotones and the binding will be hardcover.
At a time when our spirits are depleted, our hearts are broken, and our sense of normalcy challenged, I Hope You Find What You’re Looking For is tonic for the soul. Please consider supporting her Kickstarter.
Gloria Baker Feinstein is a fine art and portrait photographer based in Portland, Oregon. Her work has been included in exhibitions across the country and can be found in the collections of the Portland Museum of Art, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the High Museum of Art, the University of Kentucky Art Museum, and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, to name a few. Gloria’s photographs are published regularly in Sun Magazine and New Letters Magazine. Her published book titles include: From the Heart: A Mosaic of Memories, Among the Ashes, Convergence and Kutuuka. She has had recent solo exhibitions at Spiva Center for the Arts, Joplin, Missouri, Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, Kansas City and the Baldwin Art Center, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Currently her work can be seen in a group exhibition entitled “Visage” at Cassilhaus. I Hope You Find What You’re Looking For will be Gloria’s 5th book. It will include 55 black and white photographs, as well as poems by Oregon’s former poet laureate, Kim Stafford.
A camera teaches you how to see without a camera.
Often, when I’m out wandering with my camera, some kind person will help me with directions, then call out as we part, “I hope you find what you’re looking for!” It’s a wish that lingers in my mind, challenging me. It seems that since my childhood I have been looking for something. Am I hoping always that the next great face or place will be my best picture? Will I ever locate what I’m after? Maybe I should just confess, Thanks, I may not find it. I’m not even sure what it is.
Yet, if that is true, what keeps drawing me out with my camera? The answer, I think, is the process itself. The camera, my constant and faithful companion, has taught me how to look, and, as Dorothea Lange would wish, how to see even when it is not raised to my eye. Now even without it, I seek out those moments that might be taken for granted and linger on them, finding in them their resonance and power. And aren’t we all looking for something? Sight itself allows access to a wellspring of feelings. Perhaps the object of our quest lies not only in the magical world as we see it but also within ourselves as we contemplate it, experiencing it in ways as varied and infinite as life itself. Maybe next time I will answer, Thanks, I always find what I’m looking for, because I’m looking for the looking itself. My passion is not to capture a thing but to enter, through it, all the mysterious, wonderful, troubling and complicated places the world opens in the heart.
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