Photos are all about art and some shopping
While browsing the grocery store aisles for a quart of low-fat milk, one of the most unexpected things to find is a collection of fine art photography displayed around the whole food bins of grains and dairy items in the freezer section.
Truckee native Kelly Barrett, 22, managed to find a way to incorporate his artwork entitled, “The Synesthetic Playground,” at New Moon Natural Foods in Truckee, where he also works as a store clerk, to introduce customers to a grouping of images illustrating his time spent wandering the downtown streets of Santa Cruz, Calif.
“It’s kind of a funny gallery,” Barrett said of the unique art setting. “People are usually eye-level going for the yogurt.”
Barrett said he stumbled across the word synesthetic that helped inspire his double-exposure photographs of various abstract objects. He combines off-beat elements such as basketball hoops with a starlit, supernatural background or a Virgin Mary figurine with a dagger on the opposing side.
“It’s a crossing of the senses,” he said.
Barrett gained interest in photography at Tahoe Truckee High School, took a few art classes at Cabrillo College in Aptos and started learning about double-exposure photography about eight months ago.
Most often he throws his Pentax 35 mm camera in his bag and heads outdoors, pausing to snap shots of dirt or asphalt, he said.
“I would go out shooting (photographs) down random alleys,” he said of the two years he spent by the beach.
Barrett said he received positive feedback about his artwork, selling a number of his pieces at Hide Gallery in Santa Cruz.
Using “really saturated colors” in his art and toying with a balance of life and death, Barrett said he wants people to be affected by his work “with more than their eyes.”
Taylor Parsons, New Moon Natural Foods store manager, said a different artist’s work is featured at the store every month. Barrett’s photographs have generated the most interest by customers in the two weeks they’ve been on display, he said.
“People actually get up close and walk down the aisles,” Parsons said.
Barrett’s photography prints are for sale for the price of $350 each.
Barrett returned home to Truckee to spend the summer with his family and friends and said he hasn’t decided if he wants to stay for the winter or not.