Q: As you reflect on your overall art career beginning with your art education, what major event stands out as an important sign that you were headed in the right direction?July 6, 2019
A: In 1989 I left a career in the Navy to pursue life as a full-time professional artist. In July 1996 Bryan and I were traveling in Mexico. Something told me to check the phone messages at our Virginia house so I did.
There was a message from Mia Kim, the director of Brewster Arts Ltd. on West 57th Street in Manhattan, requesting a dozen large pastel paintings for a two-person exhibition in October, just three months away!
At the time I was still living in Alexandria, Virginia so exhibiting in Manhattan – let alone securing prestigious gallery representation – seemed a far-off dream. Yes, I had sent Mia slides, but she had not seen my work in person. She first saw my “Domestic Threats” pastel paintings when I delivered them to the gallery for exhibition. The show was called “Monkey Business.”
Brewster Arts was an elegant New York gallery that specialized in Latin American Art. There was just one other non-Latina artist that Mia represented, Leonora Carrington, whom I met that October at my opening. I remember Mia introducing me and declaring to the entire crowd, “Barbara has the SOUL of a Latina.” I’ve always loved that. It was the first time I realized I was really on my way!
Brewster Arts Ltd. continued to represent my work until the gallery closed some years later.
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