How nice to be invited to someone’s home for the express purpose of art and conversation. The last time I visited with Barb was at the “Carts & Cocktails” fundraiser event at Laumeier Sculpture Park. She was the official docent outside the station featuring Jackie Ferrara’s site specific sculpture that night. She is a wonderful guide and loves to engage people in their impressions about art as they encounter it.
It turns out that Barb is an artist in her own right and the invitation was an opportunity to share her latest work. It was a sunny cool day in November. I arrived early and was treated to a docent tour of work that is strategically located outside and newly installed displays of recent work inside the home. The latest series of paintings features striking color of Printers Ink which is a tribute to her late brother. (He was a printer.) I can’t help thinking that he must be proud of his sister.
Barb explained that her journey as an artist was encouraged by her son about 11 years ago. “You should pursue this professionally,” he said knowing that her paintings are inspired with the natural and spiritual beauty of the world using oils, acrylics, and recycled and organic natural materials in non-traditional ways. Like so many artists, she had been doing this for years. It was this bit of encouragement that set her in motion. She visited galleries and art dealers in St. Louis. She recalls those early bold moves with samples of her work and remembers how the additional positive feedback at that time helped propel her forward.
It’s clear that her husband Ray is on board too. “Ray was very supportive in repurposing our family garage as several works were being created outdoors. I’m okay with natural elements, even light rain falling on my work but when higher winds and storms were forecast we needed to protect them while they had time to dry.” Ray fabricated a system for the larger format works to rest at that time and continues as a superb host at this private showing.
Barb’s work has been shown extensively in the Midwest and has been represented by Denise Roberge Gallery, Palm Desert CA, and Mark Palmer Gallery, Paducah KY. Her work is currently shown at Niche, The Lawrence Group, St. Louis MO, and Brewington, St. Louis MO. Barb’s work is also included in numerous collections.
Visit her website at barbflunker.com and you will see the work influenced by travels, nature, family and friends. Barb’s dynamic, textural, abstract paintings explode with the vibrancy of life itself. Thanks for including me Barb.