New York State resident, Venezuelan born Isabel Barton (right side of
photo) is a filmmaker and photographer. In 1972 she was the first woman
to be awarded the Venezuelan National Award of Photography. Beginning
in 1979, under mentorship of master photographer Ezra Stoller, her architectural
photographs were published in major magazines, and her portraits of artists,
including Philip Glass, Keith Haring and Jesús Soto, in catalogues,
posters and magazines internationally. During those years, 79-01, her
photographs and silk-screens showed in galleries and museums throughout
the US, including the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, NJ, the Center
for Inter American Relations, NYC, and the Museum of Contemporary Art,
In 1989 she heard the intricate story of American aviator Jimmie
Angel who discovered Angel Falls in 1933, and decided to write a screenplay
about him. In 1991, while doing research for the screenplay, Barton
traveled west and interviewed Angel’s son Rolan and brother
Clyde both residing in California. She then visited Angel Falls in
the Kamarata Valley, located in the Venezuelan Amazon. There she interviewed
José Manuel Ugarte, a Pemón, the adopted son of Angel.
This experience began Barton’s love for the Pemón people
and for their land.
In 1995, Barton joined Karen, Jimmie Angel’s niece, in founding
the JIMMIE ANGEL HISTORICAL PROJECT, a not-for-profit organization
dedicated to the research and dissemination of information about
Jimmie Angel and Angel Falls.
Barton also collaborates with Patricia Hubbard to perpetuate the work
of American photojournalist Ruth Robertson, fellow pilot and friend
of Jimmie Angel. She led the first successful land expedition to measure
the true height of Angel Falls in 1949. During Robertson’s later
years, Hubbard was her friend, archivist, and promoter.
Since 1999 Barton
has produced and directed five short films in digital-video format,
which have shown in film festivals such as the Woodstock Film Festival
and the Film Columbia Festival, and in galleries and museums such as
the Tjaden Gallery at Cornell University, the Norha Haime Gallery in
NYC, the Mira Godard Gallery, Toronto, Canada and the Meade Museum at
Amherst College in MA.
Hortensia Berti (left side of photo), a Pemón of the Kamarakoto
tribe, and the great-granddaughter of the legendary Pemón Chief
Alejo Calcaño. This work is the backbone of the Cultural Identity
Program of Angel Conservation. WOMEN OF THE FALLS has received prestigious
awards from the New State Council on the Arts and the New York Foundation
for the Arts.