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Barbara Kemp Cowlin is a painter, focusing on four series; Askew, a quirky interpretation of architectural details from a skewed perspective, Painting Water, paintings inspired by the interactions of natural objects and water, Bloom, of flowers and other growing things, and Nooks & Crannies, overlooked spaces in public places focusing on angles, luminous color and texture.
They have in common her drive to capture light and shadow, reflections, movement, and all things ephemeral on architectural details, water, plants, and man-made surfaces. Her medium is acrylic.
She is a recipient of the international 2019 Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Individual Artist Grant. Each year 12 artists worldwide receive this grant, which has been in existence since 1976.
Solo exhibits include the Eric Fischl Gallery, Phoenix College, Phoenix, Arizona, The Balcony at London Gold in Scottsdale, Arizona, Rancho Linda Vista Gallery, Oracle, Arizona; Powell Museum in Page, Arizona; Casa Grande Art Museum, Casa Grande, Arizona, Blue Dome Gallery, Silver City, New Mexico; Yuma Art Center, Arizona; Agua Caliente Ranch Park Gallery in Tucson; Willo North Gallery in Phoenix; and the @ Central Gallery, Burton Barr Central Library, Phoenix.
In 2015 and 2016, her paintings were shown at Aqua Art, Art Basel, Miami, in the Projects Gallery Square Foot Exhibition. The Art in Embassies Program placed a painting at the Bolivian Embassy.
Her work is included in the City of Phoenix Print Collection; the University of Arizona Special Collections; Providence Medical Center in Everett, Washington; Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio; First Bancorp Headquarters in Troy, North Carolina; Baylor University Medical Center, Houston, Texas; Edison & Sprinkles Architecture & Design, Vancouver, British Columbia, Grafix, Maple Heights, Ohio
She was born in Georgia and has lived on the west coast, east coast, in-between and in Germany and Australia. She has spent most of her adult life in the Southwestern United States. Art related work experiences have enriched her life and artwork including stints as a graphic designer, arts administrator and as an art teacher at all levels from elementary school through college. Barbara now works full-time in her art studio, in Oracle, Arizona.
She earned a BFA in Printmaking and a Masters degree in Community College Education with a major in Printmaking from Northern Arizona University and has done post-graduate work at Arizona State University in letterpress printing & bookmaking. Barbara is a certified Golden Artist Educator.
Artist Barbara Kemp Cowlin’s current series of abstract paintings is inspired by architectural details reduced down to essential shapes. The paintings emphasize ambiguous perspective, pattern and simultaneous contrast in colors. The relationship between abstraction and representation creates tension for the viewer. She manipulates the colors until they spark off each other and become luminous.