Featured Artist Betty Stone

“I am drawn to subjects for their color, texture, the quality of light or shadow that washes over them, the context in which I observe them, the feelings they inspire, the stories they tell.”
I am a photographer who is drawn to “experienced things” — well-worn objects that display the scars of a life of use. How, and more interestingly, why, do some things survive in our lives and others fade into insignificance? What energizes and strengthens our relationship to the stories of the “survivor items?”
On my website, you can find examples of What She Touched that Touches Me (2020), which is a personal exploration of family memory and its vivid connection to the present. Iconic 1913 Arlington Town Hall (2019) explores sense of place through the history, details, and everyday 21st century uses of historic 1913 Town Hall of Arlington, Massachusetts. A 32-year career as an educator of linguistically and culturally diverse adult immigrants and experiences living and working outside the US have nourished my fascination with other languages and cultural perspectives. In early 2020 I volunteered to photograph Syrian and Iraqi chefs and the delectable meals they prepared for fundraising dinners sponsored by Lex RAP, an organization that assists refugee families. My recent work celebrates the joy of “bringing back the color” in our life.
I have taken critique courses with Emily Belz (2015-2016, 2018 – 2021), workshops with Sue Anne Hodges, and I was a member of the 2012 Photography Atelier16 with Karen Davis and Meg Birnbaum at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester.
Do I have a well-honed workflow that leads me efficiently from the creative spark of an idea to a successful final project? Not so much. I meander. I am drawn to subjects for their color, texture, the quality of light or shadow that washes over them, the context in which I observe them, the feelings they inspire, the stories they tell. I use iPhone photos to “audition” a subject with the intention of returning later with my “real” camera. I don’t always return, but my phone pics are a visual note-taking system. I make many images of the same subject and I do minimal post-processing. I amass many photos that please me and then let the photos talk with each other to see what emerges. A key part of my creative process is regularly sharing work in progress with a small group of trusted “foto friends” and a mentor in a critique group. We all benefit greatly from the generous support and candid feedback among our group.
I have exhibited my photographs in juried shows and small group exhibitions at a variety of eastern Massachusetts venues including Arlington Center for the Arts, Arlington Town Hall, Cambridge Art Association, Griffin Museum of Photography, Plymouth Center for the Arts, and recently, in virtual exhibits. The Town of Arlington acquired ten Town Hall images which are on permanent display in the Town Manager’s Office. While on 2017 and 2018 service trips to Lusaka, Zambia, I developed and co-led a basic workshop for children who had never touched a camera, culminating in photo exhibitions of the young Zambian photographers’ photos. I also exhibited and sold my photographs at fundraising concerts to support the work of Communities Without Borders.

Textured Trunk, Arnold Arboretum, Archival Inkjet Print

Fiddleheads, Arnold Arboretum, Archival Inkjet Print

Spent Petals on Broadway, Archival Inkjet Print

Orange & Blue on Highland, Archival Inkjet Print

Forsythia on Marathon, Archival Inkjet Print

Are you a local artist? If you would like to join other artists of all disciplines for support, mentoring, and camaraderie, please reach out to ArtLinks Arlington via email here!