Barbara Rowland, 1948 – 2015

The photographer Barbara Rowland was such a talented presence in our art community.  I met her at the first Project Space, some years ago.  She walked around and around Salem taking photos, was never without a camera.  Because she was a wily photographer she was also good at avoiding being photographed herself…but I did get a few shots of her…here she is with Phil Krug on the mezzanine of the old Metropolitan store…site of two Project Space events.

PS 3 Barbara and Phil


PS 3

The very first year of Project Space I was doing a time-based project, mapping the sun’s passage over the course of the month.  Barbara often came by to check the progress and chat, and took my favorite photo of myself…

Barbara me

Barbara was talented, lively, funny, compassionate…I’ll miss her eye.  The Hallie Ford Museum of Art owns a few of her photos.  Barbara’s son Craig lives in Salem and has the photo archive of Barbara’s work.

After a long year struggling with lung cancer, Barbara chose to use the Oregon Death with Dignity option and left us two weeks ago, surrounded by her family.  I’ll miss her and her particular point of view.


  1. Bonnie, thank you for posting this lovely tribute to photographer Barbara Rowland. Her picture of you mapping the sun’s passage is priceless. We, who did not know Barbara, feel fortunate that you shared your pictures of her, at her work in this way.

  2. I was saddened to hear that Barbara had passed away. Jonathan and I were just talking about her work after seeing the movie Finding Vivian Meier. I had an opportunity to talk with Barbara at length a few years ago when I wrote about her work. She was a kind and tender soul who treated her subjects ( often who might be described as living on the margins) with the utmost respect. She was a gifted photographer with an eye for finding the artful in the everyday. She will be missed.

  3. Such sad news! I loved talking with Barbara at Project Space. Wonderful photographer and amazing person, I will miss her.

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