Spotlight on Silent Auction Artist Barbara Tyroler

Barbara Tyroler is a fine art image-maker using photography in collaborative multi-media art projects that address social and cultural issues. Founder of the ArtsCenter’s original Photo Co-op in the 1980’s, Barbara coordinated the Art School’s first photo program, a series of darkroom classes and public exhibitions in the early days of Carr Mill Mall under Jacques Menache. Now an environmental and commercial portrait photographer, she produces site-specific creative portraiture for corporations, universities, and health-oriented nonprofits.

With an M.F.A. in digital art and M.Ed. in special education, Tyroler served on the University of Maryland art faculty teaching Lens-Based Critical Theory and Studio Lab in Digital and Traditional Photography. The recipient of over 25 arts and community development grants, she founded the university Photographic Arts Outreach Program providing students with grant-funded field placement opportunities throughout the DC metro area. Now living in Chapel Hill, NC she teaches an independent masters level photography class and offers workshops with Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies. She is the founding member and Outreach Coordinator for the Franklin Street Arts Coalition where she administers the Community Outreach Program, the non-profit arm of the FRANK Gallery. She is the founder and co-director of the Triangle Photo Consortium and festival, now in its 4th year.

Barbara is a portrait photographer. As an educator and visual artist, her work blends fine art and humanitarian work that is central to her art practice. Her aquatic portraits are presented as semi-abstracted imagery and always reference her subjects and their stories. Her latest project, Rockin’ the Spectrum, is an award-winning public arts commission, photographed with the Adapted Aquatics program in Chapel Hill, NC. A fusion of documentary and abstracted imagery, it portrays the intense struggles and joy experienced by children with Autism Spectrum Disorder as they navigate the underwater environment while learning to swim and to trust those who guide them.

Although her work is more frequently exhibited in traditional gallery venues, she often shows in alternative spaces such as aquatic centers and spas. She enjoys sharing the experiences and participating in speaking engagements in health settings, schools, and research centers.

Barbara has generously donated an original work to The ArtsCenter’s Silent Auction, on display throughout the month of June in the Nicholson Gallery.   To place a bid for this photograph, a non-composited single-image photograph on 100% cotton rag with archival pigment inks, in a custom frame donated by Dave Summer of The Framer’s Corner in Carrboro, visit our box office  or call us at (919) 929-2787.  Bids starting at $250 will be accepted until 5PM on June 28th.

Samm, Brown University Pool, 2004
Samm, Brown University Pool, 2004

Learn more about Barbara and her work at