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1220-B Linda Mar

Pacifica, CA 94044


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Barbara Ramos, An Observant Eye features mostly black and white photographic images taken in the 1970's and new works initiated during the pandemic, curated by Alida Bray. The exhibition will open concurrently with two additional shows including Bay Area Basket Makers, Diversity, and a group show, Sitting Pretty, by members of the Art Guild of Pacifica. All three new exhibitions will open with a reception in the galleries on Friday, February 24, from 7 to 9 pm, with live music by Vivace.

Barbara Ramos, energetically connected with her photographic practice throughout the 1970's, recognized she needed to make a conscious decision about how to make a living and raise a family. She determined that the active way in which she engaged with photography, "every waking minute, obsessed by looking, by exploring the world" wasn't going to be possible for her to continue. Thinking that photography was part of her "former younger self" she initially began to throw away her negatives 45 years ago — to fortunately have then retrieved by her husband — and instead packed them away in boxes.

Special Event Sun, Mar 26
3:30 pm Artist/Curator Talk

An unanticipated silver lining to pandemic shelter-in restrictions was the opportunity of time to re-engage with her negatives. An intention to review, edit and digitalize what was in the trove of boxes, also created a means to share the newly formatted photographic images on social media, where Barbara received admiration and encouragement.

Barbara Ramos was born in New York City, moving with her family at the age of six to Los Angeles. Her father worked in the film industry and it was exciting to walk through the sets with him. The black and white stills on his worktable didn't actively draw her in, though subconsciously they likely set the foundation for her future work. In 1969, she moved to San Francisco to attend the San Francisco Art Institute, where she studied with Imogen Cunningham, Richard Conrat, John Collier Jr., Jerry Burchard and Margery Mann, and received her BFA in photography. Her MA in Creative Arts Interdisciplinary, from San Francisco State, was achieved in 1973.

Barbara Ramos' earlier works were primarily street images, documenting with intense curiosity what she saw around her, freely preserving the people and artifacts of the times from North Beach and Chinatown to Market Street. Her current work continues this focus, from walks in the Inner Richmond District and other neighborhoods. And, she's discovered joy in taking nature photographs, stemming from time outdoors, again during the pandemic, in San Mateo and Marin Counties.

A blending of vintage photographs form the basis of the exhibition juxtaposed with new images taken over the past few years. Ramos notes, "It's heartening to know that I've not lost my passion to photograph even though I've not photographed for decades. Knowing that so many people have responded to both my vintage and current photographs is uplifting."

For additional insight into the artist and her work, come to the Artist/Curator Talk on closing Sunday, March 26 at 3:30 pm.

Sanchez Art Center is located at 1220 Linda Mar Blvd in Pacifica, about a mile east of Highway 1. Following opening night, the galleries are open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 1–5 pm, and by appointment, through Mar 26.

The opening, talks, and gallery visits are free as part of the center's focus on "Creating Community through Art".


Upcoming Exhibitions: Click here to see the 2023 schedule