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First Look: Hayley Barker's "Cathedrals"

Local artist Hayley Barker‘s first show at the Charles A. Hartman Fine Art Gallery was two years ago when she showcased “Chimeras,” a series of paintings very well received by local publications. Today, she’s back at the gallery presenting “Cathedrals,” a new series of illuminating and beautifully ethereal works inspired by sites in the young poet Opal Whiteley’s diary.

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Hayley Barker: Cathedrals

Opal Whiteley is a mystery to many Oregon historians. She grew up in Oregon’s logging camps in the early 1900s and gained international fame when she published a diary she said she had written when she was 6 years old.  The beautiful and sometimes haunting writings in her diary caused some people to consider her a genius and others to perceive her as a fraud. However, it’s clear that for Hayley Barker, Opal Whiteley has been an incredible source of inspiration. 

“I just kept seeing these images of nature and thought, ‘I want to see this, I want to visualize this somehow.’ And that is what I really tried to do with this work,” says Barker. 

Her paintings are currently on display at the Charles A. Hartman Fine Art Gallery through June 30.


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To learn more about the young naturalist and poet Opal Whiteley, visit the Oregon Experience website.


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