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Home Meet the Artists Bonita Barlow
Bonita Barlow
bonita-barlow.jpgBonita Barlow was born on the East Coast in 1955. Her mother had recently immigrated from Switzerland. Ms. Barlow got her degree at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and then spent a year living in the Massachusetts State Forest.

In 1977, Barlow visited Santa Fe at the invitation of photographer Douglas Kent Hall. Barlow found New Mexico' s artist-friendly atmosphere, unconventionality, and expansiveness hard to resist; so she moved there. She soon began showing at Santa Fe galleries such as Ernesto Mayans and Handgraphics. Shows followed in Colorado Springs, Indianapolis, San Francisco, and Santa Monica.

Barlow eventually moved to Truth or Consequences, spent one of the worst years of her life there, and then went on to Hillsboro, where she lived from 1994 – 2005. The move to Hillsboro marked an intentional break from the Santa Fe gallery scene. Once in Hillsboro, Barlow concentrated on selling art out of her studio, which she calls "an act of faith. "

 
"To keep both my spiritual and physical needs met, I developed two bodies of work. I paint on old doors and other objects destined for the dump. This folk art recycling keeps me fed and brings the satisfaction of making something from nothing. My other works — my light sculptures — are large canvases with reflective surfaces."

bonitabarlow-painted-mandolin.jpg The light sculptures work best in rooms with limited ambient light, which makes them perfect for home installation — but present problems if a gallery attempts to light them "traditionally."

According to writer Suzanne Freeman:
"The unusual sheen and shimmer of Barlow's [glass sculptures] derives from her use of minute glass beads, which capture and amplify the available light. Movement changes the angle of reflection, thereby altering what the viewer perceives. As one walks by the canvases, patterns emerge while others disappear. As the room lighting waxes or wanes, varying layers of color reveal themselves."

Ms. Barlow recently moved to Animas Creek, NM.
 
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