Johannes Barfield
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Instagram: @johannesbarfield


This year’s Young Affiliates of the Mint juried show features three prizes. Johanes Barfield of Winston-Salem, NC, is the winner of the $10,000 Atrium Health Best in Show Award.

We encourage the public to visit the exhibition and vote for the $1,000 people’s choice award. Voting will be open through December 31.





In The Bilge Again
2017, Concrete, asphalt, wheatpaste, and fluorescent lamp
Courtesy of the artist

This work was inspired by a book that was distributed in Esso gas stations during the Jim Crow era in America called The Negro Motorist Green Book. The Negro Motorist Green Book was created by a black mailman named Victor H. Green, who collected data on safe spaces and friendly people who could aid or accommodate black people throughout their travels in America. The first thing I did when I got my hands on one of these books was to see if my hometown was on the list and what accommodations were listed. Fortunately my hometown Winston-Salem was on the list. Next, I checked for my father’s hometowns and was surprised to find it as well. I chose Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Meridian, Mississippi as the core content of the piece.


The Green House on Cornell Blvd
2019, Photograph printed on woven fabric, yellow canvas, hand harvested red clay soil (Ultisol), liquid polymer asphalt, and joint compound
Courtesy of the artist

In this work, I use a childhood memory to explore ancestry and being from the South. The childhood memory is of myself and my good friend and cousin Kesha (the person who is in the portrait above) playing in the woods and falling down a large red clay hill and getting in trouble for being so dirty. The red clay soil is unique to the Southern region of America and can also be found in places like Africa.
The yellow canvas covered in asphalt symbolizes the road and both our relationship and proximity to one another. She travels the country transporting buses and I have been floating around the country for the past 3-4 years. The portrait also steams from a previous project about the limitations of cameras and the amount of light and skill needed to properly capture dark skin members of my family. So I began to photograph members of my family to create close-up portraits with proper exposure and lighting to get every detail of their faces.