Barbara Frank

Barbara Frank
Myth, Dreams, and Reality
Forum and Passage Gallery
April 28, 2018 – June 10, 2019
Reception: Saturday May 5, 2018 4-6PM

“My work is an on-going narrative that blends vivid images from daily life, dreams, and my travels. My artistic influences are far-ranging, from early Spanish painters, classical French artists, and German expressionists to Japanese screen painters and calligraphers.”

“The works in this show are from two series – The Casting Pond and My Own Personal Exodus. Photographs that I took on my friends’ farms in rural Kentucky, Wisconsin, and the Shenandoah Valley inspired the animal and landscapes paintings. The compositions and content reflect my interest in such things as Old Testament text, the most current neurobiology research especially related to the relationship between the mind and the brain, Eastern meditation practices, and spy novels. ”

“You will see one example of how various stimuli become images in the small mixed media piece “Mother Dog, Grandmother Bear” on the second floor. After hearing a bear sighting alert when I was at an artist residency, I dreamed about bears, happy bears, walking across the neighboring grassy field. Later, during silent meditations, images of a dog and then the next day of a bear surprisingly emerged from a deep black recess of my brain. Still later researching the symbolism of bears and dogs in various indigenous cultures, I learned that they are frequently totemic images of protection and guidance. These experiences merged in the Mother Dog piece – one of more than 20 large and small works in the Personal Exodus series.”

Barbara Frank’s work has been exhibited extensively in galleries and museums across the US and is included in private and corporate collections. She is a recipient of the 2016 prestigious Franz and Virginia Bader Fund Grant. She was also awarded an individual artist fellowship from the DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities and fellowships to the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Hilai Artist and Writer Center in Mitzpe Ramon, Israel.

Under Water Over Sky by Barbara Frank

Frank received a BA and MFA in painting and art history from the University of Maryland in College Park. She is widely known for her work on women’s arts issues in the 1970s, including the pivotal 1972 Conference for Women in the Visual Arts and as a founder of the Washington Women’s Arts Center. Her papers from that period reside in the Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Art. She lives and works in Washington, DC, her home town.

To learn more about Barbara visit her website at