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A Reverence for Life

How does one create works relevant to the human condition, using one's unique capacity for expression to uplift and connect with the viewer? This is the primary question for Barbara Hines. Happily immersed in her studios and balancing family life and travel time with her peripatetic and acclaimed husband, Barbara had always been content to remain in the background—but her current body of work is simply too vibrant to exist in the shadows.  

Just over 10 years ago, Meredith Long and his wife, Cornelia, attended a party Barbara and Gerald were hosting in Aspen for supporters of MD Anderson Cancer Center. When Cornelia came across one of Barbara's paintings out on the deck, she immediately drew her husband's attention to the work; thus began a serendipitous though somewhat unintended career as an exhibiting artist. Barbara's pursuit started with a drive to archive beautiful memories through photography and paint, imbuing her canvases with personal experience.  

"The meditative act of painting forces one to reveal more closely subjects often overlooked," Barbara says. "I’m interested in capturing and sharing transient moments; it’s important to leave a place for the viewer to insert themselves into the narrative. We’re all artists in our individual endeavors; we create that to which we're drawn. I really want to move hearts. Beauty is a wonderful way to reveal the mystery of truth.”

In recent years, Barbara's work has evolved from painting the places she loved toward elucidating the truths informed by spiritual tradition.  Always a seeker and devout practitioner, her journey led her through Eastern religions and culminated in a return to her until then unrevealed Jewish heritage. She now finds herself exploring and embracing new portals, offering a fresh take on the old world of inspiring stories that inform her work. Her paintings address global and societal concerns, drawing on the strong moral and ethical framework of religion to guide her brilliant intuition in the realms of color and form. In the words of  Jan Greenberg, "Each series is an exploration of change, of transformation, of mood. ...  Barbara's is a quiet voice far removed from art world trends or politics, yet it speaks with a reverence for life. A celebration!" 

Three of her upcoming exhibitions include For The Sake of Heaven, where she will be showing with James Surls, Alexander Duncan, Jeffrey Brosk and George Tobolowsky; Joseph, on display at the Margolis Gallery in Houston beginning Jan. 9; and Iceland from the Outside, opening in New York in January 2020 at the recently completed Hines residential building—53 W. 53rd St.—which includes an exciting new expansion of the MoMA.

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