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Bearing Witness, the Photography of Nell Campbell

Local artist's exhibit at Channing Peake Gallery

Nell Campbell photo of Mono Lake in California from 1999.
Nell Campbell photo of Mono Lake in California from 1999. (Photo via Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture )

The Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture will present Bearing Witness, a new exhibit featuring the photography of Nell Campbell at the Channing Peake Gallery, in the county Administration Building, 105 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara.

Produced by the County Arts Commission, the photography will be on display July 6 through Dec. 1. A reception for the artist will be held 5-8 p.m. July 6 in the gallery during the 1st Thursday art walk.

In her solo exhibition, Santa Barbara-based artist Campbell presents a selection of black-and-white and color images of rural and urban scenes from California to Cuba.

Documenting stunning landscapes and dynamic parades in cities such as Santa Barbara and New Orleans, Campbell creates a moving narrative of the celebrations and daily struggles of people living in disparate geographic regions.

The exhibit will be held concurrently with About Face: The Photography of Nell Campbell at UCSB’s AD&A Museum.

Bearing Witness is an intimate rendering of Campbell’s firsthand experience as a citizen of the world. Campbell was born in Biloxi, Miss., and spent her childhood in New Orleans and Lake Charles, La.

Much of Campbell’s photography addresses her native state, including a six-year documentation of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and panorama landscape photographs of the wetlands of southwestern Louisiana.

Her work covers Louisiana after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita; and includes Duck Blinds: Louisiana, a 15-year project capturing the unique handmade hunting blinds on the Calcasieu River of southwestern Louisiana.

Campbell has worked for some 40 years in documentary photography.

Her photos often depict cultures and social-justice movements in the U.S. and abroad, including the United Farm Workers Union and anti-war protests, as well as the streets of Havana, and campesinos in Cuba's Pinar Del Rio and Valle de Los Ingenios regions.

Campbell’s photographs have been exhibited at galleries in California, Louisiana and Maine.

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Wildling Museum of Art & Nature and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art have shown Campbell’s work and hold her photographs in their permanent collections.

The county's Office of Arts and Culture is a division of the county’s Community Services Department, serving as the local governmental umbrella for arts and culture projects and programs within Santa Barbara County.

The office represents a longstanding partnership between Santa Barbara County and the city of Santa Barbara.

— Gina DePinto for Santa Barbara County.


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