Barbara Kemp Cowlin is a painter based in Arizona. Her ongoing series of paintings features overlooked spaces in public places made extraordinary by the act of looking and interpreting through paint. Focusing on interior and exterior architectural spaces and natural phenomenon such as water reflections, the series continues to grow in scope. The paintings balance on the edge between abstraction and realism. She revels in the creative opportunities inherent in acrylic paint including the use of texture and layering bringing depth and complexity to the work.
Kemp Cowlin has exhibited over the past thirty-five years at venues including solo shows at the @Central Gallery at Burton Barr Library, the Willo North Gallery and Downtown Gallery in Phoenix and at Agua Caliente Ranch Gallery and Rancho Linda Vista Gallery in Tucson. Two person exhibits include the Tucson International Airport Gallery, Phoenix College Gallery, and the Casa Grande Art Museum. Her work was selected for the American Embassy in Bolivia by the Art in Embassies program, U.S. Department of State.
Her artwork is in the collections of the City of Phoenix Print Collection, the University of Arizona Library Special Collections, Providence Medical Center in Everett, WA, Kenyon College, Baylor University Medical Systems, First Bancorp Headquarters in Troy, North Carolina.
Born in Fort Benning, Georgia, and after living in numerous locations in the US, Germany and Australia, Cowlin has spent most of her adult life in Arizona. She attended the University of California at Santa Barbara, UCLA, and Northern Arizona University where she pursued her BFA in printmaking. After living in Australia for two years where she taught art, she returned to Arizona and received her MA in Community College Education with a major in printmaking from Northern Arizona University. Post graduate work was conducted at Arizona State University and art teaching certification from the University of Phoenix. In 2013 she was accepted into the prestigious Golden Artist Educator Program, in which she received extensive training in the use of acrylic materials. One of 18 Golden Artist Educators throughout the United States, she is an expert in the use of virtually all acrylic products.
Kemp Cowlin was an adjunct professor of art at the Tohono O’odham Community College, on the Indian reservation just north of the Arizona/Mexico border, adjunct art instructor at Northern Arizona University and high school art teacher at Phoenix Country Day School. In addition to teaching, she has worked as a graphic designer and arts administrator. She curated and designed many shows at the Coconino Center for the Arts in Flagstaff, as well as at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts. Currently, she teaches workshops in her studio and around the state.