Last fall I received an email from David Paul Bayles, who was a member of my class at the time. The email read, in part:
Recently The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley (third largest special collections library in the U.S.) created The David Paul Bayles Photographic Archive to create a home for my life’s work.
I am driving down to meet with them on Monday to place a large number of prints and oral history audio files into the Archive.
Whoa. How cool is that? A major institution deemed David’s work worthy of saving forever – all together under a single roof.
After peppering David with questions, I knew that his was a story that needed to be shared with you.
I have been concerned about artists’ legacies and what artists are doing to prepare themselves and their loved ones for their passing. What happens to the work and the records after they’re gone?
In this episode of the Art Biz Podcast, David tells us what his professional archives consist of, including his photos, writings, records, and audio files.
He also gives us insight into the process of negotiating with the Library – fascinating stuff. And, yes, it includes lawyers.
Of course, we also talked about his art and why he chose to focus on photographing trees throughout his career. A better way to frame the question is how the trees chose him.
And we ended with a discussion of David’s next big goals. What comes after finding a permanent home for your entire life’s work? For David, it’s an artist residency and a traveling exhibition.
As you listen, pay careful attention to all of the people David has connected with along the way. His story is one of finding and nurturing connections.
And it all started with a fire …
About My Guest
David Paul Bayles has been a working photographer since the 1970s.
His photographs have been published in numerous magazines and his prints included in the collections of The Portland Art Museum, the Santa Barbara Art Museum, and The Harry Ransom Center, among others.
Mentioned in the Interview
This episode of the Art Biz Podcast is brought to you by my Big Table Art Retreats, which are coming up in Santa Fe (May 5-6) and Lancaster, Pennsylvania (June 7-8). Each retreat has its own personality but they all center around a core concept: That when I fill a small room of ambitious artists and we stay focused on the needs within that room for two days, we can get a heck of a lot done.
This online thing is necessary and can be helpful, but in-person retreats are career-changing. There’s nothing like being together and connecting face-to-face. So much is accomplished when everyone is present for the same purpose: to grow their businesses.