Barbara Zaring

I was born in Zanesville, Ohio, raised in Cambridge, Ohio, and educated at DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, where I received a BA in Fine Art in 1969. I also studied at Drew University, New Jersey, in 1968 and at Pratt Printmaking Institute, New York, in 1970.

After working in Manhattan for a year and a half, designing offices and showrooms, I went to Europe, traveling and studying independently for eight months. Upon returning to the U.S., I taught elementary art for one year near Marietta, Ohio. At this point in life, I needed to find a place of my own, and I set out on a cross-country trip. I happened upon Taos, New Mexico, and immediately knew I had found a place to call home. However, I continued on to California and spent a year teaching at an outdoor school there, in the mountains above Los Angeles.

Finally arriving to live in Taos in 1973, I started working on a series of multi-colored woodcut prints which I soon exhibited in Total Arts Gallery (in Taos). I continue to show there to this day. Rather unexpectedly, I began to go outside to paint the landscape with my friend, Alyce Frank. While I had a degree in Fine Art, I had never previously painted landscape. Most of my interest had been in abstract or conceptual art. However, I fell in love with the land of Taos County, and am now in my twenty-fifth year of exploring and painting it.

My first exhibition was in 1979 at the Stables Gallery, Taos, then a community art center with juried membership. I showed only the woodcuts at that time, but my next show at that gallery, Work Since Motherhood, 1981, featured both prints and oil paintings. Obviously, from the title of the show, my son Byron had been born in the interim. I later divorced, remarried and also have a step-son.

During the years since then, I continued to paint steadily (no longer making prints), and have been included in over one-hundred exhibitions in galleries and museums. I have shown at the NEW Gallery, Taos and then Houston, Texas, since 1982. My work is generally characterized as expressionistic landscape, but in fact, I also do a great deal of abstract work. It always, however, makes reference to natural forms.

My work has been published in several books, the most recent being Leading the West: One Hundred Contemporary Painters and Sculptors, by Donald Hagerty. Alyce and I are beginning preparation for an exhibition of paintings done on site together for the Harwood Museum, Taos, New Mexico, which exhibition will open in 1999.