Artist, photographer and music lover Barbara Barefield has been documenting performing arts and music since the early 1970s. A graduate of the University of Michigan College of Architecture and Design, her love of photography was developed in the darkrooms at U-M, and then honed and expanded when she was the Art Director of the Detroit Free Press Sunday magazine in the late 1970s. There she was mentored by the Director of the Photo Department, Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Spina, who taught her the traditional art of hand-tinting photos. Barefield's photos have appeared in numerous galleries, books, news media, websites, records/CD covers. Jazz Space Detroit, Photos of Black Music and Dance, a book of over 90 of Barefield’s [née Weinberg) photos with a history of Detroit jazz narrative by Herb Boyd was published in 1979 by the Jazz Research Institute with the support of the Michigan Council for the Arts and the E. Azalia Hackley Collection, Detroit Public Library. An expanded and updated version of the book is slated for 2019. Barefield is a winner of the Knight Foundation Artist Challenge to create the JazzSpace Detroit archive that will be in the permanent collection of University of Detroit Mercy. Thousands of photos and images Barefield created over the past 40 years of photography are being organized, digitized and archived so that it will be accessible online and in the UMD Library's physical archive. Barefield has also devoted herself to presenting hundreds of concerts and musical experiences both locally and internationally with her husband, jazz guitarist composer A. Spencer Barefield. Highlights include the 1979-1992 "Creative Music at the DIA" series at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Day of Discovery concerts at the Detroit Jazz Festival, and the 10-year Palmer Woods Music in Homes concerts in Detroit mansions and historic homes. This has given her a unique opportunity to intimately document and know her subjects. Barefield's work is presently in the permanent collections of the Detroit Public Library E. Azalia Hackley Archive, the Greystone International Jazz Museum Archives, Rosetta Reitz Papers at the Duke University Library, and in many private collections. Eight of her photographs are included in the current exhibit "Sonic Rebellion: Music as Resistance" at MOCAD (Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit ). A new archive, which will include 40-plus years of Barefield’s photos and artwork — Creative Arts Collective/Barbara & A. Spencer Barefield Collection — is being created at University of Detroit Mercy.
Barbara's ArtPrize Entries
These are Barbara's official ArtPrize entries from this year and past years.