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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

I work in multiple mediums with little allegiance to specific subject matter, though my bodies of work are conceptually and aesthetically connected.  While disassembling and reorganizing the visual information and materials at hand, I investigate themes of containment, confinement, and the protective or aversive shielding of precious internal information.

A chair is reconfigured and articulated to slump forward on itself like an inwardly-curled figure in a painting.  An encaustic surface is subject to interrogation, much like a painting that retains the evidence of relentless reworking.  Active line in all mediums asserts the fundamental importance of drawing.  Working in one medium feeds the progression of ideas in another.

My work involves real and vigorous physical action: scraping, erasing, stitching, nailing, welding.  I often paint with large rollers for a broad mark, and then scrub and mar the surface.  This physicality brings out an “object-ness” in each piece.

I get a sense that this object, this painting or sculpture or drawing, is both familiar to me and unknowable at the same time.  It excites the periphery of my consciousness and oscillates in that place where logic, emotion and instinct collide.  This purposeful ambiguity invites the viewer to actively complete the piece by finding personal meaning in it.  —Barbara Downs

 

CV

Selected Exhibitions, Projects and Events

  • 12x12 (x12): An Open Invitational 2014, Cabrillo Gallery, Aptos CA, 2014
  • 2013 Painting Exhibition, Triton Museum of Art, San Jose, CA, 2013
  • Stars Auction and Exhibit, Live Auction, Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz, CA, 2013
  • Canvas for a Community, Feldner Project, Santa Cruz CA, 2013
  • A Figurative Affair 2013, R. Blitzer Gallery, Santa Cruz, CA, 2013
  • The Drawing Salon, Invitational, Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery, UCSC, Santa Cruz CA, 2013
  • Sleight of Hand, Pajaro Valley Arts Council Gallery, Watsonville CA, 2013
  • 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 Affair, R. 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, 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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