Photographer James H. Barker has created deeply personal images for more than 50 years, capturing beauty and emotion as he documented life and work. His extensive portfolio from Southwest Alaska is the core of his body of work. Rarely without a camera, he photographed almost everything he participated in, from steam bathing to Russian Orthodox Slaviq, from salmon processing to public meetings. Prints emerged from his home darkroom to create a visual story in books, homes, museums, galleries, public service flyers and state buildings. In 1987, after 14 years in Bethel, Barker, his wife, Robin, and their young son moved to the Interior. There, he became an integral part of the Fairbanks arts community, teaching photography at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
In 2022, Barker became the first photographer to receive the Foundation’s Distinguished Artist award. Watch a mini-documentary about how Barker became an award-winning photographer and learn about all of the Distinguished Artists.