Born and raised in Vallejo, California, Pearl Jones Tranter has been photographing the world around her since she was given a Rolleiflex camera by her husband, in 1953.
She went to university in Berkeley, which she remembers being very “American Graffiti” at the time, before the explosion of coffee bars and jazz clubs that turned the tide in Northern California, bringing a wave of Beatniks and then Hippies and Panthers with all the civil and political unrest that accompanied those respective movements.
“I remember Northern California being very integrated, even when I was a child,” she told me when we met at taoStyle Sponsor Salon X , where a show of her work entitled Commuting To Taos opens on Saturday. “It was very rural back then but very diverse and tolerant.”
Pearl still lives in Vallejo, in the house her grandfather, William A. Jones, an architect built a century ago. The house is in the town’s historical district and is a landmark heritage site.
She has spent the better part of her life honing her craft, both in San Francisco where she worked in the Art Institute’s lab for three years, and in Berkeley where currently she’s a member of a Digital Art’s Collective. Ongoing courses and classes have kept her on top of technology and trends.
In the 80’s she was the recipient of a Fulbright Grant for photography and writing, and the photographs she subsequently made in Italy (Rome, Venice and nine other cities) have been highly acclaimed.
Travel, like photography appears to be in her blood, in 2000 she traveled to Syria, Lebanon and Jordan photographing and videotaping all she saw.
This remarkable woman has more energy than most people half her age and has been driving from Vallejo to Taos and back annually for a decade.
The mother of four, one of Pearl’s children happens to be the very in demand Stylist, Heather Miro at Salon X. Hence her show in the stunning gallery space adjacent to the salon.
The show ( digital prints of her photographs) focuses on her commute back and forth between Vallejo and Taos.
“It’s a retrospective of my commute in thematic terms,” Pearl said. “These images are about chaos and order, also charm and beauty.”
“There are basically three parts: Road trip/National Parks/Nature, Dreams/people and social interactions, Taos memories.” She explained. “I make digital duets, trios, and solos.”
“Assemblage occurs in cyberspace – I used to write on and around my pictures, recording actual conversations I heard when I was taking that photograph in that location. I have not had the time or space to do that for quite sometime.”
“Maybe when I retire, I’ll do that again,” she muses. She says she might move to Taos then as well.
Pearl Jones Tranter’s show opens at Salon X this Saturday, July 11th with a reception for the artist from 5-7, Commuting to Taos is an 8 year retrospective of destinations and journeys.
For more on Pearl and her extraordinary work, please visit her website also listed below this post.
All images care of Pearl Jones Tranter