• Curtis Creative Spaces article highlights Barbara Bean and Points of View Artists


    Posted by Maria Castellano-Usery on January 9th, 2019

    I had the pleasure of meeting artist Barbara Bean for the first time in May 2018. I had seen her work on display at different locations in and around the Brunswick area, but I didn’t get a chance to know her until I started cleaning her house with my friend and fellow artist, Christine DeTroy! Being around Barbara’s beautiful work and her lovely energy has been a joy and a privilege for me, and she has graciously allowed me to ask her some questions about her art and her life. Below is our correspondence…my questions are in bold, Barbara’s answers are in italics.

    You seem to have a voracious appetite for art, both creating it and collecting it. When did that start?
    I think it all started in early childhood. I loved color and spent hours collecting buttons, coins, jewelry parts, and pieces of wood and metals. I had paint and paper to draw, cut, paste, and build. I saved everything and longed for more. My mother’s interest in art and antiques was also influential, and she encouraged me to play and enjoy my creations.
    I really like your work- it’s all distinctive, and it’s all different. You can tell it’s your work, but your paintings are different from your assemblages, and your watercolors are different from your acrylics. What is the most fun for you to work on? How do you decide what you’re going to work on at any given time? Is it dictated by your mood, or do you set aside time for each medium? How often do you create? 
    Being in my studio every day is most important to me. I have books and plants, tables and boxes of materials I’ve collected to always work. I love drawing with ink (which is always available), acrylics, oil pastels, carving tools for wood blocks and assemblages. I make jewelry, assemblages, or whatever if I’m struck by an object or feel a need to respond to the day or weather.
    Tell me about the Points of View artists. How many members are in this group? How long have you been involved with them, and what’s your experience been like? 
    Points of View is an informal art group that started weekly meetings in my home studio in 2003. We were ten and grew to sixteen impassioned art makers who continue to meet and share our work and thoughts. We hang work at the Brunswick Business Center year round. We are responsible for the development of [the 10 X 10 art benefit cosponsored with] Arts Are Elementary, which was much loved by the town and surrounding communities.

    How often do you show your work, and where can we find it? 
    I show my work in my home studio, the Brunswick Business Center, and River Arts in Damariscotta. Topsham Public Library, the Georgetown Historical Society, Robinhood Free Meetinghouse, River Arts West Gallery, and Centre Street Arts Gallery in Bath have also generously supported my work in their gallery spaces. I am always available in my studio for visitors (207-729-8661)

    What guides you? Are there any books you find to be inspirational to your process? 
    Favorite books are those of other artists, past and present. Picasso, Burchfield, Samuel Palmer, Matisse, Chagall, O’Keeffe, Bourgeois, etc. I love surrealist art and handcrafted artist books by contemporaries. 

    Finally, do you have any words of wisdom you’d like to impart to other artists? 
    While Maine has always been a welcoming home for new arrivals, I am impressed by the impact it has had on the quality of my life and work. Having lived in New York City and Boston for many years, I am sure that my experience in Maine matches and exceeds them.

    Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions!