Over the decades, Celia Roberts' photographs have captured images that grab at the heart and tug at the imagination. The Blue Sage will host an opening reception for a retrospective of Roberts' photographs from 5-8 p.m. Friday.
The opening is also a celebration of Roberts' birthday.
"My calling is definitely photography," said Roberts, who since the early 1970s has made a living taking photographs. By age 5, Roberts was capturing images on film with a Brownie Reflex camera hung around her neck. She never stopped. Roberts went on to study under Austrian photographer Ernst Haas (1921-1986). Haas, known in part for his documentation of World War II prisoners of war, encouraged her to photograph people, which led to a 20-year study of the nation's migrant farmworkers, beginning in 1992 with a study in black and white images of migrant workers in Colorado.
From 2000-2013 Roberts published "Gracias," a series of wall calendars focusing on migrant life and calling awareness of their culture to the public. Her intent, says Roberts, is to publish a book "on the people who are essential to our well-being, because they feed us."
Roberts is also a founder and a long-time board member of the Blue Sage. In 2006 she was a recipient of the Plate of Bounty Award from the National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association for making a difference in the lives of migrant and seasonal farmworker children and their families. She also received a national Migrant Education Harvest of Hope Award in 2010 for her contribution to the farm worker community.
The retrospective will feature 25-30 images beginning from the 1970s. Some will be familiar to her audience, and others will be exhibited for the first time. Also a first for Roberts, her images will be presented on gallery-wrapped canvas.
The retrospective will be on exhibit through July 27. The Blue Sage gallery is open noon to 5 p.m. Monday, and Thursday through Saturday.