COLORADO SPRINGS, CO.-
The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
presents Coalascence: Photography by Barbara Sparks on view Dec. 17 Feb. 19, featuring a luminous glimpse into the landscapes and cultures of Nepal, Turkey, Italy, Guatemala, New Mexico, and Colorado.
This exhibition is part of a 75-year commitment to the medium of photography that began in 1936, our founding year, with a major retrospective of Laura Gilpin, said Sam Gappmayer, the FAC President and CEO. Gilpin was a contemporary of Ansel Adams and was best known for her images of the Southwest and of the Broadmoor Art Academy (the FAC predecessor).
For Sparks, a Colorado Springs native, the camera has become an essential part of her experiences traveling throughout the world. She makes photographic decisions based on her emotional response to a scene.
I have photographed unique cultures in unique geologies, said Sparks. In the Himalayas, I was interested in the unique geology and the overflow of Tibetan culture into northern Nepal. In Cappadocia, Turkey, I was in an area that was already settled at the time of Christ; then it became home to a large monastic community and 2,000 years later remains a fertile farming region. It was a unique geology and a unique culture. I did the same thing by going to Guatemala and photographing the Mayan villages there.
This exhibition features over 60 photographs.
Sparks studied photography with Myron Wood, Bernard Plossu, Marie Cosindas, Howard Bond, and Chuck Henningsen. In fact, Wood, a next-door-neighbor, taught Sparks how to use a darkroom.
Sparks has taken photographs for various books on the Colorado Rocky Mountains, like Spanish Peaks: Land and Legends, Colorados Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and Aspen: Blazon of the High Country.
Barbaras photographs exemplify one of the greatest traits of Coloradans; we love to travel, Blake Milteer, FAC Museum Director and Curator of American Art. These images are an embodiment of Barbaras profound experiences travelling the world. As with each of us these experiences have helped define Barbaras life at home in Colorado.
The way Barbara combines majestic landscapes with her interactions with various cultures is reminiscent of classic photographer and Colorado Springs legend Laura Gilpin. These photos are timeless.