Barbara Rowlett-Rheingrover
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Rapid River
Asheville, NC, December 2001

Celebrating “Seasons of Life”
Internationally renowned artist’s works on exhibit at Art International

By Dave Priest

Barbara Rowlett-Rheingrover, an Atlanta painter and sculptor who has created numerous paintings and over 400 sculptures (including the monumental work installed at Georgia Institute of Technology titled “Ovation”) observes that she wants to be sculpting into her 90’s.

Her sculpture series called “Season’s of Life,” a series of seven dramatic bronze works, is a tribute to past classical masters’ representation of form and theme, capturing basic human passions and emotions in a visually dramatic way.

Her 5 1/2 ton monumental Italian Statuario Carrara marble sculpture, “Ovation,” was dedicated on the site of the Olympic Village at the 1996 Olympic Games held in Atlanta.

“My personality dictates a wide variety of form,” Rowlett-Rheingrover said, “texture, color, content and material.” Her work is performed in marble, alabaster, limestone, aluminum, bronze, and steel to create strength and softness, light and shadow.

Her heart designs have brought her much recognition. Her work has appeared in numerous publications and on television. Many awards have been received for both painting and sculpture.

Work and travel in Italy has enhanced both her knowledge and creativity. She says her love for the mountains of Italy provide further inspiration for the lyrical forms of her work.

The atmosphere of painting came early to Barbara, as her mother was an accomplished pastel artist. Barbara recalls seeing many of those works in the family farmhouse in Northwest Missouri while growing up.

Tragedy struck when the home burned to the ground when Barbara was 11 years old ... “all that was saved of those paintings were the first one Mother did when she was 16 and one other —both of them hang on my walls today.”

Barbara has evolved her style from pastel, oil, acrylic and watercolor work to these layer works today.

In March 1997, the state of Georgia honored Barbara as one of the top Georgia women in the visual arts.

Her work is recognized nationally and internationally, and is found in private and corporate collections across the United States and worldwide.

“It is an intense love and reverence for organic material, especially stone, that distinguishes my artistic style,” she said. “Inspiration is derived from nature, which is a blend of fantasy and reality. In transforming images of the mind to physical images, the material’s natural beauty is enhanced in order to express movement and life.”

Barbara is clear to point out to her students that the “S” curve is the most pleasing form to the human eye.

The recent two-year effort, entitled “Seasons of Life,” was her way of expressing her gratitude for the wonders of life. This series portrays every season of human existence. Titles in this series include: “Redemption,” “Forgiveness,” “Fear,” “Trust,” “Despair,” “Anger,” and “Hope.”

“Reborn through redemption, held helpless by anger and by fear, moderated by trust and ultimately saved through forgiveness, we —the human race— struggle onward in daily fluctuations with them all,” she said. The bronze works are designed to be carved in Carrara marble as a tribute to the past masters of realistic stone expression, yet the form remains in the contemporary world we live in.

The universality, timelessness and spiritual nature expressed in the series certainly assures RowlettRheingrover recognition from many art enthusiasts through the ages still to come.

 
Copyright 2002-2004 - Barbara Rheingrover. All Rights Reserved.