Ai LIVE: Faculty Spotlight with Taylor Bareford
In this episode of Ai LIVE, host E. Vincent Martinez sits down for the first Ai Faculty Spotlight with Taylor Bareford, an instructor in photography at The Art Institute of Atlanta. The two talk about Bareford’s current roles at The Art Institute, how he got his start in photography, and future projects on the horizon.
Bareford’s main role is that of an educator. He teaches photography covering the intro classes to the portfolio classes, preparing students to enter the commercial world of photography by giving them the tools and skills for success. He is also responsible for the equipment cage for the photography students, making sure it’s all there and operational. Whenever an art show comes through the campus, Bareford coordinates all the displays.
Creativity was something Bareford had in his life from an early age. His mother frequented craft shows, and his brothers had strong drawing and painting capabilities. While Bareford wanted to emulate his brothers, his hand wasn’t as steady as theirs, resulting in drawings Bareford calls “awful.” However, his father came up to him with a book of photography by Sally Mann, and it was there that Bareford finally found the artistic foothold he’d been looking for.
While photography for most individuals means capturing a moment to share with other people, for Bareford, it’s not about the duplication of life; it’s about showing how he personally sees things. This drive led him to historical processes, particularly tin-types and wet-plate photography. He gets great satisfaction in the finished pieces of his art, especially in the singular nature of his finished pieces. He likens his work to an oil painting, how duplication is possible, but there will still be the singular original.
One project Bareford worked on was a collaboration with him and host Martinez’s non-profit organization, Doggies on the Catwalk. The fashion and photography departments came together to produce Beyond the Catwalk, a book highlighting both the fashion students’ garments and dogs. Thanks to the hard word of everyone involved, this particular book sold out, and Bareford eagerly looks forward to future collaborations.
Another photography project Bareford worked on was West Side, South Side, a series of photos highlighting immigration, social disparities, and other things of that nature. Many of the photos on display were from students from the Atlanta campus of The Art Institutes. This project was spearheaded by Nolan Williams, and this series turned into an arts show. It was featured in cities such as Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Atlanta.
Photography captures many facets of reality, and Bareford enjoys putting his work out there, not just in the hopes of being spotted by a gallery, but also for an educational purpose as well. His Instagram account, @barefordphoto, showcases his current projects, but also encourages others to investigate and learn the process for themselves.
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