Images that Inspire a Connection to Place
What's News and Exciting to Report
Traveling exhibit " Beauty and The Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change"
featured in Spring issue of Pacific Horticultural Magazine.
Contact us for a press release and to set up interviews
Kaiser Redwood City Medical Center opened on December 17th. Two years ago, Rob Badger and Nita Winter began a collaboration with Suzanne Frazer, owner of A.R.T. Consulting Services, to provide artwork for this upcoming Kaiser hospital. This unique art commission involved providing 34 images that were built into the architecture of this new seven story medical center. Seven images became 8 foot high x 20 foot wide translucent lobby dividers.
Another series of images became diptychs and triptychs up to 15 feet wide behind the nurses stations.
To promote healing, patients, staff and visitors will enjoy the colorful wildflower abstracts in each of 120 patient rooms. More installations.
Current Documentary Art Project Renewal:
Beauty and the Beast: Wildflowers and Climate Change ~
Rob and Nita's documentary art project: Beauty and the Beast: Wildflowers and Climate Change, sponsored by Blue Earth Alliance, has been renewed for another two years.
Blue Earth will again act as our fiscal agent during fundraising. Blue Earth provides a variety of support and networking opportunities to help us complete our project and get the best exposure possible. We are very excited to have been invited into this very prestigious group of documentary photographers who's work illuminates the important issues around the world.
Blue Earth Alliance's mission is: To educate the public about endangered cultures, threatened environments and social concerns through photography. By supporting the power of photographic storytelling, we motivate society to make positive change'.
Click link below to learn more about this project, and view a prototype of the beautiful and thought provoking coffee table book "in progress," without its planned essays.
IMPRESSIONS OF SPRING: Wildflowers of the West on Our Public Lands
Public Art Announcements:
2015 San Francisco Arts Commission: $9,000. Six of Rob Badger's nature and San Francisco Bay Area images have been selected by the San Francisco General Hospital Art Committee. They will be reproduced on aluminum by Magna Chrome for the new hospital.
2014 Alameda County (California) Arts Commission Award: $64,000. Rob was selected as one of 15 artists to create original, one of kind artwork for a new Highland Hospital building in the San Francisco Bay Area. The commission for a series of both wildflower portraits and landscapes of the East Bay are to be completed by September 2015.
Exhibits, Awards, Articles and Interviews:
***Rob Badger Selected For "50th Anniversary Wildlife Photographer of the Year" Book*** 2014
Rob Badger’s 2009 Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPY) award winning wildflower landscape (category: Wild Places) is one of 200 images selected to be included in their 50th Anniversary book. Sponsored by the British Museum of Natural History and the BBC Worldwide, the competition “provides a global showcase of the very best nature photography.” His photo was selected from a large collection of 50 years’ worth of award winning contest images.
***2014 Black and White International Spider Awards*** 2014
Honorable mention for "McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, Shasta County, CA". Three other images made it into the finals.
***Radio Interview at G2 Gallery exhibit: "Where the Wild Things Grow"*** 2010
G2 Gallery in Venice, California: March 23, 2010 – May 2, 2010.
For a full view of the G2 Gallery site visit: http://www.theg2gallery.com/exhibits/wild_things_grow/index.html
***"Wild Places" Award Recipient from Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPY) Competition sponsored by the BBC and British Museum of Natural History*** 2009
Rob's "50 Year Bloom in Peace Valley, Gorman, CA" is part of an international traveling exhibit featuring the 96 award winning images chosen from over 43,000 entries from 94 countries. Images can be seen at:
***Avanti Award Recipient of $10,000 Artist Award*** 2009
Awarded to Rob Badger to pursue his artistic passion in the field of photography. We are grateful to the Brucia Family for their generous support of the arts.
***Master Artist: Marin Independent Journal Feature*** 2008
Nita Winter is featured as the Master Artist at the Marin Art Festival at the Civic Center Lagoon in "Marin Art Festival: The face behind 'Faces' project" in Marin Independent Journal on June 11, 2008.
***American Photo Magazine Feature*** 2007
Nita Winter and Rob Badger are featured green photographers in "Inside the Green Studio: Being eco-conscious can also be good business" in American Photo Magazine's September 2007 issue.
***Natural Home Magazine Feature*** 2007
Nita Winter and Rob Badger are featured green photographers in a two page spread: "Focus on Sustainability" in Natural Home Magazine's May/June 2007 issue.
***Marin Independent Journal, March 24, 2007***
Nita Winter and Rob Badger are featured green photographers in a
"Green Plan-it: Shutter Out the Pollution with Eco-friendly Photography"
"The Faces of ..." Series 1999-2002
"Faces of Novato"
by Deb Fellner for Teaching Tolerance Magazine Fall 2002 (web exclusive)
"The town of Novato, Calif., was long known to outsiders as a white, wealthy community nestled in the hills above San Francisco Bay.
Nonresidents may have missed the changes that communities like Novato have experienced in recent years ............"
by Deb Fellner for Photo District News (PDN) April 2000 issue (c)2000
Imagine you are four years old again – little, unsure and a bit shy. You live in a city that’s getting a bad rap from its neighbors. It’s too poor, they say. Too black. There’s too much crime, reports the local media. Given the circumstances, you feel quite small. Now imagine ........... (see full story below)
"Nita Winter Wins a Commission"
studioNOTES, the journal for working artists, issue no. 24, March - May 1999
by Benny Shaboy for Studio Notes
“NITA WINTER was looking through the Selected Opportunities section of studioNOTES last August. It's one of the first things she does when she gets her copy because "lots of times the deadlines are tight so you have to read it immediately. Otherwise you can miss something." A listing for the Utah Arts Council caught her eye………”
By Stephanie Hiller for the North Bay Bohemian
“When people come here, they fall in love." Jeannette Sotomajor has set aside her lunch to talk with me at the front desk in the Pickleweed Community Center in San Rafael, where she works as an administrative assistant. "Sometimes people ask me if it is safe here. But once they're here, they fall in love."
It's true… The Canal District of San Rafael ………..”
"The Faces of Marin City"(full version)
by Deb Fellner for Photo District News (PDN) April 2000 issue (c)2000
Imagine you are four years old again – little, unsure and a bit shy. You live in a city that’s getting a bad rap from its neighbors. It’s too poor, they say. Too black. There’s too much crime, reports the local media. Given the circumstances, you feel quite small. Now imagine seeing a 5-foot tall photograph of yourself. Your name is printed in bold letters across the top. The portrait is on display at your local shopping center, along with dozens of other photographs of people you know - your babysitter, grandmother and classmates. They seem larger than life. You feel larger than life.
Through her art, photographer Nita Winter is transforming the image of her hometown. Her project, "The Faces of Marin City," sheds light on an economically and ethnically diverse community within the affluent suburbs of San Francisco. To most people living outside of the Bay Area, Marin City would appear to be a haven of financial normalcy amid a sea of multi-million dollar homes and Land Rovers. Yet the town is mostly avoided or ignored by its neighbors. There’s only one shopping center, visible public housing, and (gasp) ethnically mixed families live there.
Winter moved to Marin City three years ago, at first attracted by the affordable housing. But it didn’t take long for her to grow attached to the town and its residents, and subsequently, become disheartened by its false reputation as a gang-laden, crime-ridden community. "The city had an inaccurate image that kept people away. It was unjust - and I wanted to change it." So, Winter mustered her professional skills and impenetrable will to create "Faces" - a photographic exhibit that’s breaking down stereotypes and bringing the community together.
Beginning in April 1999, Winter took more than 4,000 photographs of 500 of her neighbors over the course of five months. The images are now on display on storefront windows, outdoor light boxes and banners all over the one commercial center in town. Instead of movie posters, Blockbuster’s walls are adorned with images of local celebrities such as 80-year-old Nora Lee Condra, one of the city’s most famous quilt makers, and Mitch Woods, a blues musician. A banner of a 4-year-old girl, Janelle, flies 30-feet high from a light post in the middle of the parking lot. A portrait of the Pillado family - Sara, Carlos and 5-year-old Josephina, replaces one of eight, faded corporate images in a 4x4-foot light box outside of Long’s Drugs. There are 135 images in all with portraits of 300 people, plus dozens of 4x6 color prints displayed on the outside windows of Winter’s studio, a donated empty storefront.
"My family tree is right there in the middle of the city!" noted Condra, who’s lived in Marin City for 50 years and has five generations of family there. "Now when other folks look at all these faces - black and white - they see we are all human just like they are." Condra is one of the many town elders featured in Winter’s exhibit, carefully selected to reflect the town’s diversity and to teach newcomers about its history.
Marin City was established in the 1940s to house the Marinship shipyard workers during WWII. Many blacks from the South were recruited to build ships, and Marin City became the first racially integrated federal housing development in the U.S. When the shipyards closed after the war, the black families were expected to return to the south but many blacks remained in Marin City and raised families there. What has resulted is a community filled with generations of warm, Southern-hearted people such as 94-year-old Flossie Berry.
"I had seen a picture of Flossie in the newspaper and fell in love with her," recalled Winter. "I always wanted to photograph her." Berry looks not a day over 75 in her portrait. She is wearing a floral suit and matching hat. Her wide smile reaches the rims of her eyeglasses.
"Nita has captured the essence of Marin City," remarked Wyna Barron, whose father, Theo, a former ship worker, is also featured in the exhibit. "She conveys a kind of aura of acceptance of all people." Not only did Winter enlist residents as subjects, she involved the community in all aspects of the production.
During shoots, local middle school kids helped Winter interview subjects and select pictures for the window display. Four elders from the local grandparents support group, including Condra, created quilts using photo transfers of the portraits. Residents organized bake sales and pizza parties to spread the word about the project. Winter herself went door-to-door to churches, schools and community centers to find subjects. To select the final portraits, San Francisco Examiner photographer Kim Komenich, fine art photographers Keba Konte and Rob Badger, her partner, helped edit hundreds of images down to 135. Such involvement brought the community, newcomers and long-time residents alike, closer together.
"It’s easy to block out your neighbors," remarked Sara Pillado, 36, who has lived in Marin City just three years. "But the photos don’t allow for it. Even though I don’t know many of these people, you become friends because you see their faces every day."
Winter could not have completed the exhibit without the support from local businesses. Financial and in-kind gifts from area shop-owners, individuals and the Marin Arts Council helped fund the project, which ended up costing $62,000. "Don’t take ‘no’ just because you hear ‘no,’" said Winter on her fund raising strategy. Her persistence paid off earlier this year when the Marin Community Foundation boosted its initial grant from $5,000 to $20,000. San Francisco-based The NewLab also donated resources from its new digital division, Creatis, to make scans for the 94-inch banners. To print them, Winter turned to Los Angeles-based Imagic. Digital Color Imaging of Berkeley and Professional Color Lab of San Francisco created the electrostatic prints for the light boxes and 79 C-prints, respectively.
"Faces" is Winter’s largest public exhibit to date, yet much of her work reflects her commitment to challenged communities such as Marin City. She’s documented children and families in San Francisco’s inner city and volunteers and clients at a local soup kitchen for two past projects, "The Children of the Tenderloin" and "In the Soup."
"Nita is one of those people who doesn’t just say she believes in community. She shows it," remarked Sharon Farrell, Winter’s neighbor featured with her partner, Sue, and son, Kyle, in “Faces.”
"I choose communities that need the positive press – the ones where there can be the greatest sense of achievement," said Winter.
Starting this spring, selections from "The Faces of Marin City" will travel throughout Marin County, first to the Falkirk Cultural Center in San Rafael, and then to the Marin Community Foundation and Jewish Community Center. Winter says the original exhibit was scheduled to end in March, but residents and local business owners are enjoying the outdoor display so much, nobody wants the photographs to come down.
Until then, and hopefully thereafter, the residents of Marin City - young or old, black or white - will continue to see themselves larger than life.
Contact Nita Winter at 415-339-1310 for permission to reproduce this article.