Light and Air: The Photography of Bayard Wootten

Bayard Wootten in water with camera

Event Description

Roanoke Island Festival Park invites the public to view their latest exhibit, “‘Light and Air’: the Photography of Bayard Wootten.” A New Bern native, Wootten was a pioneering female photographer and artist working in the early to the mid-1900s, whose photographs are still displayed and renowned today. This free exhibit will open Saturday, March 3rd from 9 am - 5 pm and will run through May 31st. 

The Light and Air exhibit will feature Wootten’s work capturing the lifestyle of rural communities in North Carolina. Friends of Wootten say that her personable demeanor gave her access to these private corners of the south. She is most recognized for her artistic point of view and for overcoming and thriving despite the challenges she faced in her professional and personal life. 

As a single, divorced mother and artist, Wootten picked up photography in 1904 as an additional source of income to support her family. She found success selling post cards and later went on to become the Chief of Publicity at Camp Glen, making her the first woman in the North Carolina National Guard. Wootten was also the first woman to take an aerial photo and is credited as the designer of the Pepsi logo that she sketched for her neighbor and founder of the company, Caleb Bradham.