Barbara Chapman describes herself as both an emotional visual journalist and a doom scrolling cartoonist. Her artistic style is too fine to be folk art and too folk to be fine art. Her work is a playful contradiction to motherhood, nature, politics, and the human condition. The Bridge Gallery in Shepherdstown will be hosting a retrospective of 40 years of Chapman’s paintings. Titled “Imaginary Horribles,” the exhibit will open October 7 and run through November 18. Annette Gloomis, who is curating the exhibit in Shepherdstown, describes Chapman’s work as “beautiful, timely, difficult, and extremely important. One may be drawn in by her gloriously vibrant colors at first glance, only to be face to face with the trials and ongoing horrors that continue to smother our entire existence.”
Chapman has lived in West Virginia for most of her life. She studied art at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV, and taught printmaking at Shepherd University. For personal reasons, Barbara paints in solitude and has not often presented her work in organized exhibits or galleries. Nonetheless, her work has been acquired and presented on permanent display in prominent museums around the country, including The National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington, DC) and The American Visionary Art Museum (Baltimore, MD).
Rebecca Hoffburger, Founder, Primary Curator & Director Emerita of The American Visionary Art Museum remarked, “Barbara Chapman is a deep thinker who makes beautiful and important art for which I am way thankful. In our American Visionary Art Museum’s year-long exhibition, “ALL FAITHS BEAUTIFUL: From Atheism to Zoroastrianism, Respect For Diversity of Belief,” Chapman shared her passionate disappointment in humanity and its penchant for endless war, alongside her own exquisite appreciation for a humanistic Atheism.”
Annette Gloomis shared her feelings about Chapman’s art: “I am honored to present to the public, a viewing of such a personal account. This is a woman, a mother, an artist, a human being, whose level of honesty in her depiction of her feelings is unparalleled.”
The opening reception will be held on Saturday, October 7 from 5 to 7 pm, located at The Bridge Gallery, 8566 Shepherdstown Pike, Shepherdstown. All are welcome. For more information about the artist and the exhibit, visit BridgeGalleryAndFraming.com or contact gallery owner Kathryn Burns at 304-876-2300 or curator Annette Gloomis at 727-204-5773.By Staff Contributor