being still

A conversation with Marcia Lieberman:
Where were you born? I was born in Butte, Montana, and learned to ride horses at an
early age.
Did you like stones from the time you were small? I always liked to play in the mud. Part of sorting through the dirt was finding treasures. Later when I could go to the beach or travel, I always put a stone in my pocket. Now in my travel bag I have stones I carry with me from travels over 40 years ago.
What did your parents do? My father was from Romania and loved horses. My mother was from Idaho and could repair or mend almost anything.
When did you begin photographing? After my second child was born I had a period of not working. One night I was invited to a darkroom. I stood in front of the developing tray and watched an image appear. It seemed like magic. I was smitten.
What were your interests in college? Science and biology. I wanted to be a biologist, but my advisor told me this was unsuitable for a woman. Instead I ended up working in the field of psychiatry with teenagers as an Occupational Therapist. I loved my anatomy course…I named my cadaver Iris.
What was your breakout moment as an artist? I was in a photography course that had to do with big cameras and photographing textures. Everyone was sitting in front of barns and admiring the peeling paint. I wandered off and met 2 local residents and spent the next 6 months photographing and interviewing them. That project was part of my application to graduate school.
What has been your most gratifying experience as a teacher? Watching a student develop their vision. Doing what I could to encourage the act of looking.
What five art books would you lug to a year long retreat? Keifer, Kalman, Rothko, and two blank ones to paint in.
Which kind of travel would you like to do someday? Backpack with my grandchildren. Hike the south of New Zealand. Simmer in the hot springs at Tassajara.
What are you working on now? As a beekeeper at SFZC I have discovered the hive and have fallen in love with honey bees. I am photographing swarms at long exposures to describe their shape and merge their motion to protect the queen.
What do you do with your free time? Paint, ride my bike, visit my family, go to the opera, garden, read about time and the experience of space. Live in one room and try to make it spacious and creative. Walk with my camera in hand without a watch around my wrist. Linger at twilight to watch the sky turn midnight blue.
What do you value most? Random acts of kindness.
How would you like to be remembered? The girl who grew up. The woman who had the great luck to birth two beautiful sons. The old woman who kept her curiosity.

Short Biography:
Lieberman is an accomplished fine art and commercial photographer known for her images of people and public sites. Inspired by an idea or subject, she inquires and explores with camera and note pad. Past projects include subjects such as Tehauna women, opera divas, and Zen masters. Her last book, When Divas Confess (Rizzoli/Universe, 1999), presented the private domain and expression of great singers. During her many years of teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, and California College of Art, Oakland, Lieberman has lectured on time and space, dwellings, representation of time passing, and the interview as a visual entity. For Being Still, Lieberman traveled the countryside with Terry John, a Welsh historian and professor who has known and visited the stones for over 30 years. He guided Lieberman to stones not visited before. John has published several books related to Welsh history. His book, Sacred Stones: the Standing Stones of West Wales, is a classic. Lieberman resides in San Francisco and spends much of her time at the San Francisco Zen Center where being still is a daily practice.

Educational History:
University of Wisconsin
1962-66 B.S.
San Francisco Art Institute
1975-77 M.F.A.

Academic History:
California College of Arts, Oakland
American University, Paris
San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco
University of California, Berkeley
University of California Extension, San Francisco

Collections and Honors:
Bibliotech Nationale, Paris
City Arts and Lectures, radio archive, San Francisco 1999
University Art Museum, Berkeley, CA
New York Arts Council Grant, New York, 1986
MOCHA Museum, New York, honorarium lecturer, 1989
San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, honorarium, 1992

Franca Speranza, Milano, Italy
Getty Stock USA

Selected Editorial and Advertising Clients:
Esquire Magazine, New York
MS. Magazine, New York
Vogue Magazine, New York
Marie Claire Mondadori, Milano
Time Magazine, New York
Die Welt, West Germany
London Times, London
Stanford Medical Center, Stanford
BBC Corporation, London
San Francisco Opera, San Francisco
Levi Strauss & Co., San Francisco
Bozell Testa Pella Rossetti Agency, Milano
Sperling Kupfer Editore, Milano
Saatchi & Saatchi, San Francisco
Craven & Evans Publications and Graphics, New York
Goldman-Sachs, New York
Target Corporation, New York
National Semiconductor Corporation, Menlo Park
RayChem Corporations, Menlo Park

Women In Politics: National Press Core, Women’s Division of the
Democratic National Party --Project on women in
politics documenting how women participate in political process
Including the 1984 Ferraro campaign.
Tehauna Women: 1986. Project on matrifocal community in
Mexico. Portraits, interviews. Accompanying text by Isabel
Allende. Exhibition and Lecture series at MOCHA, New York.
When Divas Confess: Portraits of singers backstage in
studio setting showing balance of private person and character portrayed in
opera. Historical reference to kinds of personalities that occur in opera and the
singer's personal interpretation.  Published by Universe/Rizzoli Spring 1999.
Text by Paul Griffiths, New York Times music critic.
being still,  standing stones in wales Documentation of standing stones in South Wales with accompanying stories and legends as told by landowners and historians. Essay by Terry Johns. Published by ORO editions Spring 2011.
Pausing for Enlightenment: Places We Choose: Photographs of individuals sitting in their own designated places for long periods. Using a long exposure the images portray the sequence of events that transpire. Interviews augment the material.