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Barbara Downs

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20120919073729-barbaradowns

Lives in
Santa Cruz, CA

Works in
Santa Cruz, CA

Website

Tags
abstract, sculpture, figurative, paintings mixed-media

Statement

An interest in dichotomy, ambiguity and contradiction is at the core of my artwork.  In attempting to convey something that is by its nature undefined and vague, I strive to create work that is evocative and suggestive, not fully explained or clarified.

My aim is not to record true to life, but to hint at the character of a specific moment in time, or provide a voyeuristic glance into an internal dialogue.  The perplexity of the viewer in finding and considering something unknown and perhaps unknowable makes them an active participant in the piece, finding their own meaning where none is provided.

I am seduced by surface, line and color, while at the same time I concern myself with what lies beneath the surface.  In working with the materials, I look for a balance between something that is finished and polished and something that is still in a raw state, perhaps awkward or on the verge of disintegrating, fragmenting, or sliding off the canvas.

I often bind, circumscribe and envelop the figure, but not because it is precious to me.  Instead, it serves to calm things down, create some order out of the surrounding chaos.

 

CV

Selected Exhibitions, Projects and Events

  • Monterey Bay: Land, Air & Sea, Invitational, Pajaro Valley Arts Council Gallery, Watsonville, CA, 2012
    Wax: Contemporary Encaustic Works
    Pajaro Valley Arts Council Gallery, Watsonville, CA, 2012
  • Solo Exhibition, Vinocruz, Santa Cruz, CA, 2012
  • A Figurative AffairR. Blitzer Gallery, Santa Cruz, CA, 2012
  • Stars Auction and Exhibit, Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz, CA, 2011
  • Mix It Up!, Santa Cruz Art League, Santa Cruz, CA, award, 2011
  • Summer Gallery Invitational, R. Blitzer Gallery, Santa Cruz, CA, 2011
  • Solo Show, Lulu’s at the Octagon, Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz, CA, 2011
  • EDGE: Art on the Westside, R. Blitzer Gallery, Santa Cruz, CA, 2011
  • Figuratively Speaking, Davenport Gallery, Davenport, CA, 2011
  • Stars Auction and Exhibit--Live Auction, Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz, CA, 2010
  • 2nd Annual Artists Look at Human Rights, Louden Nelson Community Center, Santa Cruz, CA, 2010
  • Search for Self, Monterey Peninsula College Gallery, Monterey, CA, 2010
  • Go Figure!, juried by George Rivera, Santa Cruz Art League, Santa Cruz, CA, 2010
  • Santa Cruz County Open Studios Art Tour, Santa Cruz, CA: 1988, 1989, 1991-1993, 2005-2010
  • Three Painters: Figure + Form, Michaelangelo Gallery, Santa Cruz, CA, 2010
  • Los Pájaros, Pajaro Valley Arts Council Gallery, Watsonville, CA, 2010
  • California, juried by Ruth Braunstein and Shannon Trimble, Cabrillo Gallery, Aptos, CA, 2010
  • Fur, Feathers & Fins, juried by Karen Kienzle, Pacific Art League, Palo Alto, 2010
  • International Drawing & Sculpture Exhibit, Santa Cruz Art League, Santa Cruz, CA, 2009, award
  • Artists Look at Human Rights, Louden Nelson Community Center, Santa Cruz, CA, 2009
  • Solo Show, Seabright Brewery, Santa Cruz, CA, 2009
  • Beasts on Broadway, juried by George Rivera, Santa Cruz Art League, Santa Cruz, CA, 2009
  • Wide Open, Juried by Philip Linhares, Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, CA, 2009
  • Figures and Faces, juried by George Rivera, Pacific Art League, Palo Alto, CA, 2009
  • Cabrillo Arts/Cabrillo Artists, Pajaro Valley Gallery, Watsonville, CA, 2009
  • Trimodia, MichaelAngelo Gallery, Santa Cruz, CA, 2009
  • The Art of Healing, Mill Gallery, Santa Cruz, CA, 2008
  • Los Gatos Art Association Annual Open Juried Show, juried by George Rivera, award, Art Museum of Los Gatos, Los Gatos, CA, 2008
  • Art is Essential, Invitational, Gavilan College, Gilroy, CA, 2008
  • Solo Show, Seabright Brewery, Santa Cruz, CA, 2007
  • Wanderings, Pajaro Valley Gallery, Watsonville, CA, 2007
  • The Art of Painting, juried by George Rivera, Santa Cruz Art League, Santa Cruz, CA, 2006
  • A Sense of Place, Pajaro Valley Gallery, Watsonville, CA, 2006
  • 76th Annual Statewide Exhibit, juried by Karen Kienzle, Santa Cruz Art League, Santa Cruz, CA  2006
  • Two-Artist Show, Mudzimu Gallery, Santa Cruz, CA, 1996
  • Poets and Painters, Invitational, Galleria Tonantzin, San Juan Batista, CA, 1995
  • Planet Earth: Artists and the Environment, Invitational, Pajaro Valley Gallery, Watsonville, CA, 1994
  • California Works,  juried by Inez Storer, award, California State Fair, Sacramento, CA, 1994
  • Chaminade Artists’ Series Quarterly Show, Chaminade Conference Center, Soquel, CA, 1994
  • Alumni Art Exhibition, juried by Rebecca M. Schapp, award, UCSC, Santa Cruz, CA, 1993
  • Two-Artist Show, The Art Museum of Santa Cruz County Sales/Rental Gallery, 1993
  • Solo Show, Alumni Office/Carriage House, UCSC, Santa Cruz, CA, 1988
  • Women Artists, Invitional, Porter College, UCSC, Santa Cruz, CA, 1985
  • Women Printmakers, Invitational, Oakes College, UCSC, Santa Cruz, CA, 1984
  • Solo Show, Merrill Lounge, UCSC, Santa Cruz, CA, 1984
  • Stars Auction and Exhibit, Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz, CA, 2008, 2009

      Selected Collections, Publications, Presentations

      • Porter Gulch Review, Cabrillo College, Aptos, CA, 2010
      • KSBW Mid-Day News Program, presentation of work as promotional piece for Santa Cruz County Open Studios, Salinas, CA  October 13, 1992
      • Special Collections, McHenry Library, UCSC, Santa Cruz, CA, group portfolio purchase
      • S.A.P. America Corporation, Foster City, CA

      Education

      • B.A., Studio Art, UCSC, Santa Cruz, CA  1985
      • Undergraduate Studies, University of Redlands, Redlands, CA
      Recent Exhibits

      Barbara Downs participated in these exhibits:

      May, 2011 EDGE: Art on the Westside
      R. Blitzer Gallery
       
      Apr, 2011 Barbara Downs paintings
      Lulu's at the Octagon
       
      Nov, 2010 Search for Self
      Monterey Peninsula College Art Gallery
       
      Oct, 2010 three painters: figure + form
      Michaelangelo Gallery
       
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