With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

Barbara Wiley of Riverview is an extraordinary photographer. Wiley showcases her photography through her creative and independent studio, Touch of the Islands. Wiley took up photography at a young age.

Wiley explained, “My interest in photography began when my father let me use his sacred Voiglander 35mm camera and a roll of film while sending me off to summer camp for a week. Looking through that view finder made me more aware of my surroundings. Unfortunately, every picture I took was of trees. My father was mad for a while, but did see my fascination and built a dark room in the basement for me where we developed black and white film, and I was able to be creative with my new found art.”

Wiley and her husband, Dave, travel the state and take vividly spectacular photographs of Florida’s natural beauty. Wiley said, “Growing up in the most beautiful states, my family spent a lot of time hiking and camping, so I learned to appreciate nature. Presently, when my husband and I have an opportunity, we love to explore what Florida has to offer. I try to capture the beauty I see before me in a photograph, preserving it so I am able to share what I see.”

Wiley still works full time. She looks forward to the day when she can devote more time to her art. Despite having to work full time, Wiley spends the fall, winter and spring showing her work at local art shows. Wiley said, “Since we are still working full time, I usually have one show a month during show season.”

This past March, Wiley took part in the 9th Annual Winthrop Arts Festival and Artisan Market, and she took first place in the juried show. Wiley said, “We have been concentrating on more local shows and decided to participate in the Winthrop Arts Festival. We were met with friendly staff and artists that made the event enjoyable.”

Wiley added, “To win first place at Winthrop Arts Festival was extra special for me since this is our home. To be appreciated and receive a prestigious award such as this from a community dedicated to the arts is truly humbling.”

For more information on Wiley and to view her photography, please visit www.touchoftheislands.com.

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