Light and Air: The Photography of Bayard Wootten
Roanoke Island Festival Park invites the public to view their latest exhibit, “‘Light and Air’: the Photography of Bayard Wootten.” A New Bern native, Wootten was a pioneering female photographer and artist working in the early to the mid-1900s, whose photographs are still displayed and renowned today. This free exhibit will open on Friday, March 2nd from 6-8 p.m. and will coincide with the Outer Banks Community Quilt Show’s opening reception. The exhibit will continue to run through May 31st and is open daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The Light and Air exhibit will feature Wootten’s work capturing the lifestyle of rural communities in North Carolina. Friends of Wootten say that her personable demeanor gave her access to these private corners of the south. She is most recognized for her artistic point of view and for overcoming and thriving despite the challenges she faced in her professional and personal life.
As a single, divorced mother and artist, Wootten picked up photography in 1904 as an additional source of income to support her family. She found success selling postcards and later went on to become the Chief of Publicity at Camp Glen, making her the first woman in the North Carolina National Guard. Wootten was also the first woman to take an aerial photo and is credited as the designer of the Pepsi logo that she sketched for her neighbor and founder of the company, Caleb Bradham.
“We are thrilled to be able to showcase Bayard Wootten’s photography during Women’s History Month. She was a true pioneer and her work and life continue to inspire today,” says Kim Sawyer, Executive Director at Roanoke Island Festival Park. The Light and Air traveling exhibit is provided by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries. Wootten’s photographs are part of the North Carolina Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Wilson Special Collections Library. For more information about the exhibit, call (252) 475-1500 or visit roanokeisland.com.
Roanoke Island Festival Park is part of N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR), the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susi Hamilton NCDNCR's mission is to improve the quality of life in
our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development. NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.