Barbara Bouman Jay
The development of my professional work has been an ongoing and intuitive journey of 40 years, a record of experimentation, improvisation and exploration. I work in my own independently run 1300 square foot studio (MUSE Ranch) in a variety of mediums and techniques. Here, I am driven by the making of art where process is paramount in my work.
During my college years, while studying sociology and art at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, I encountered the powerful influence of the 60’s abstract artists which greatly influenced my thinking and my art. I graduated with a BA in Sociology, then continued studies in studio art and art education, completing requirements for an art teaching credential. In 1973, I began a three-year travel odyssey, working and studying in Iceland, England and Germany and West Africa. Traveling throughout sub-Saharan West Africa and crossing the Sahara Desert with my husband, composer/musician Stephen Jay, inner drives and external influences resulted in cultural explorations and the challenges of survival as we recorded West African folk music, released later under the Nonesuch Label. An appreciation and excitement of living in exotic places gave me a unique perspective of life, which I consider to be integral to my art. An emerging direction to my work began.
Upon returning to Florida in 1976, I became a high school art teacher and community college instructor in the arts. In 1983, I moved to Southern California with my family where I continued to teach as department chair for two additional years and balanced teaching, creating and exhibiting art. In 1987, I made the decision to pursue the profession of artist on a full-time basis. In late 2004, my husband and I purchased a ranch north of Los Angeles in the San Emigdio Mountains and Los Padres National Forest where his recording studio and my art studio are now located. Here I continue to be dedicated to the process of creating works that support spontaneous creative expression, inventing and reinventing methods of working that fulfill my needs as an artist. As a working printmaker and painter exhibiting regularly across the United States, I have shown in more than 400 juried group shows, nationally attended art fairs and festivals. Solo exhibits have taken place in museum, gallery, and college venues. My work is held in numerous private collections, corporate, and permanent city collections. Current works may be viewed at Costello Childs Contemporary Art Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona.