Rita Barnard

: Painter, ceramist, jewelry designer, assemblage

Artist Overview

I have loved art since my conception.  There has always been an unseen hand pulling me or pushing me to express myself visually.  I have always had a very strong need to use my hands and body to create, whether it was wielding a paintbrush or swinging a hammer.

I have had many extreme experiences that have shaped me as a person, with a need to convey certain ideas, points of view or lessons I have learned.   I have learned I can change an objects meaning or usefulness by incorporating it with other objects or words.   I like the idea of recycling, and  “improving”  things.   I am bothered by the waste and temporary nature of our culture.   I am bothered by the cavalier way we treat living things.   I am bothered by our need of comfort and luxury at the cost of others.  I am bothered by the increasing lack of personal freedoms in our country.  I am bothered by the unceremonious way our government favors the rich before the needs of the common man .I am bothered by crude, unethical, hateful behavior that is emerging in our population.   I am bothered by our lack of empathy for those who suffer.  Creating art that addresses these issues is my way of voicing my concerns.

Recently I have come to realize that experience and ideology - in partnership with my craft can create very powerful expressions.   Whether exploring visions that come to me in dreams, or depicting juxtaposing ideals, I have a need to honor those dreams or realizations visually.    My journey through life has changed my art to tell a more meaningful story and my art has changed my journey into a more meaningful life.


Artist Bio & Experience

Rita Barnard is a conceptual/natative artist. Barnard’s primary discipline is assemblage. Working with her hands to build, paint, and join objects together to tell a cohesive story is her greatest pleasure.

She was educated in Fine Art at Texas Woman’s University. Barnard studied Art History, Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design in the Masters program. After graduation she worked as a freelance designer and art director for such clients as CompUSA, Italia Advertising Company, JCPenney,  the Container Store and many others.

Barnard then took on a project that had always been her dream. She opened the Small Gallery. She curated exhibitions that were a showcase for established as well as emerging artists. Her main purpose for the gallery was to find and support artist that had remarkable talent but had never shown in a gallery. This gave the emerging artists experience in preparing art for exhibit, how to write an artist statement, attending openings and getting to know other artists and buyers. She called it her “Easter egg hunt”,

Rita Barnard has been actively involved in the Dallas art community since the year 2000. Becoming involved with the Bath House Cultural Center and creating “The Friends of the Bath House” was the beginning in the art community. The “Friends” was created to support the Bath House by raising funds to purchase and supply the Bath House staff with needed items for the theater and gallery that the city could not fund. The Friends became a 501c3  organization and Barnard sat on the board of directors for 5 years.

Barnard has curated several exhibitions for different art venues. She installed “Tribute for the Fallen” at the Bath House Cultural Center, Mountain View College and the University of Texas at Arlington. Barnard  installed “The Wisdom of Women” at the Art-a-Whirl in Minneapolis, MN. She was chosen twice to show in “The New Texas Talent” show at Craighead Green Gallery. Has exhibited in the “Hecho en Dallas” exhibit

Artist Portfolio

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