"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Saturday, May 31, 2014

"conversation on troost" opening

Last night was the opening of my show with painter Harold Smith. It was wonderful to be among such a diverse, lively and interesting group of people. Thanks to all of you who attended. I hope you enjoyed the work, as well as the fried catfish.

My friend Mark, who is pictured above with his cameras, just sent me his shots form the opening. They are fabulous! You can see them here. Thank you, Mark!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


One of the best things about being a photographer is learning about new people and their situations. The barber shop project has been the perfect project for doing just that. I have enjoyed every minute of talking with the customers and barbers and making photographs in their spaces.

Onnie is one of the oldest working barbers in Kansas City. He doesn't look it, but he's almost 70. He's a lovely man, and I've become rather fond of him. If you come to the opening Friday night at the EthnicArt Gallery (5930 Troost, from 6 - 9 PM) you'll see photographs of him, his shop and customers and read a bit about his story. You might also get to meet the man himself, one of the most recognized and beloved barbers in the area. He promised me he'll be there.

Monday, May 26, 2014


The pool season has opened, and I've parked my camera by the front door so I'll always be ready. Hope to capture some nice images now that summer has officially begun! Here's one of my pool shots from last week.

Saturday, May 24, 2014


I'm having trouble falling asleep tonight. I just came in from the balcony, where I'd been sitting for quite a while. My chair was pointed northward, and I was I trying to catch a glimpse of the meteor shower. Either the meteors were a no-show or the intermittent cloud cover was doing a good job of covering things up, because there wasn't any kind of shower going on at all.

My thoughts turned to the wee ones. If Henry and Clara lived in Kansas City, perhaps we could have wrangled them away from their loving parents for a night 'o grandparent fun this evening. The loving parents would have gone out for a long, leisurely dinner and then a movie, while we had a fun swim in the condo pool, then pizza and gelato from our favorite nearby pizza joint. Bath time, then jammie time, then story time, then let's-head-outside-to-see-if-we-can-find-any-shooting-stars-in-the-sky time. Never mind that the latter won't begin til 11. We're grandparents. We get to let the kids stay up late.

But they're not here in KC, and tonight, as on many nights, I've had to resort to looking at photos the loving parents send us (thankfully, they send lots!).

In these latest pictures I noticed that something has really changed. Instead of a picture of Clara and then a picture of Henry, these are pictures of the two pups together! It's as if they have just kind of recently discovered each other, and it looks like they are enjoying the fact that the other exists. It's very sweet!

You'll see that they love to look at books. And that Clara likes to pretend she's a cat every now and then.


Thursday, May 22, 2014


Martin and Tiny, 1980's

Mary Ellen, Martin, Tiny and Tiny's first baby

Mary Ellen at a recent exhibition of her work

Mary Ellen Mark is one of my photo heroes. I studied with her for a couple weeks both in 1997 and 1999 in Oaxaca during two of her fabulous workshops and have stayed in touch with her over the years.

Even Mary Ellen, who is one of the most highly recognized and beloved photographers of our time, has had to use Kickstarter, along with her filmmaker husband Martin, to fund a dream project: an updated film and body of photographs about Tiny.

She met 13-year-old prostitute Erin "Tiny" Blackwell in 1983 when she was sent by Life Magazine to document the rough and tumble life of street kids in Seattle. The resulting book - and Academy Award nominated film (by Martin) - was called "Streetwise." That first shoot in Seattle was the beginning of a long, loving and photographically productive relationship. Mary Ellen has continued to photograph Tiny every couple years since 1983, and the two have been major forces in each others' lives. She has unflinchingly documented Tiny’s life, portraying her struggles with poverty, substance abuse and abusive partners and family.

I backed the project and continue to receive info about the work. When I do, I find myself taking another look at the photographs of Tiny from over the years. Tiny now has 10 children and is a grandmother. Her life continues to be fraught with challenges.

Mary Ellen is not only one of my photo heroes; I am happy to also call her my friend.

Watch Mary Ellen and Martin's Kickstarter video and then enjoy some of my favorite early images of Tiny.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

new work: hope you can make it to the show!

photographs by Gloria Baker Feinstein
paintings by Harold Smith

opening reception
May 30th
6 - 9 PM
EthnicArt Gallery
5930 Troost
2nd floor
Kansas City, Missouri

exhibition continues through June 20th
gallery hours: 12 - 6 

conversation with the artists: 
June 8th
2 PM

Monday, May 19, 2014

harold smith and me

"Barber Shop in the Black Belt."  by Edwin Rosskam for the Farm Security Administration (c. 1940)

The work for my show at the Ethnic Art Gallery has been selected by the curators Anna-Maria and Ron, and now I begin the task of framing. There will be a small group of recent Uganda pictures, but the show will consist mostly of work I've been making at barber shops in Kansas City.

I'll be doing an email blast with all the pertinent information in the next couple days. If you don't think you're on my distribution list and would like to be, please send your email address to gbfeinstein[at]gmail[dot]com.

Harold Smith will be showing with me. He does wonderful abstract impressionist paintings. I think you'll really enjoy the show.

As for the image at the top of this post… I wish I'd been around then to have made it!

Friday, May 16, 2014


When I was in Kentucky recently spending time with my 93-year-old father, I looked through scrapbooks at old pictures of him (like I always do when I go home). Around the same time, I came across this stunning time lapse by Czech photographer Jan Langer.

Langer photographed nearly a dozen Czech centenarians and juxtaposed those images with older photos of the subjects in their younger years to create this body of work entitled "Faces of Century." 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


The kidnapped Nigerian girls is a sad and terrible ordeal. It is scary on every conceivable level. On my own small level, it makes me worry about our girls in Uganda. I've been thinking about them - and all the girls worldwide who are in danger. The sea of faces that I glimpse on the nightly news morphs into the girls I've come to know and love.