Hartford, a Toronto, Canada native who divides her time between the Bay Area and Amsterdam, uses only her own photography as the basis for her mixed media pieces, backlighting the photos with LEDs lighting in birch light boxes. They’ll be on display at the Chamber (85 Throckmorton Ave.) throughout September, as well as for a wine reception on Sept. 11 (5:30-7:30pm) as part of the Mill Valley Arts Commission‘s First Tuesday Artwalk.
After studying photography in Canada, Hartford made her way to Northern California in the mid 1990s, stepping into the commercial world in San Francisco photographing for local magazines, universities and corporations. When the photography industry shifted from film to digital, Hartford says she found herself spending more and more time working on the computer and less time working with her hands.
“As a break from the computer, I started to experiment with painting, wax, and lighting,” Hartford says. “My work has always been a mix of disciplines and materials, including encaustic (wax) painting, photography, abstract collages and hand-crafted lamps made from recycled objects.”
Since commercial photography now requires hours of retouching Hartford uses her fine art life as an escape from the computer. The art she does ranges from mixed media collage to the construction of three-dimensional light boxes.
“Basically anything I can get my hands on,” she says.
The 411: Margot Hartford‘s Photo Light Boxes exhibit at the Mill Valley Chamber (85 Throckmorton Ave.) throughout September, as well as for a wine reception on Sept. 11 (5:30-7:30pm) as part of the Mill Valley Arts Commission‘s First Tuesday Artwalk.