Friday, June 8, 2018

Opening Tomorrow: Vera Barnett and Trish Nickell Exhibitions at VHG

Dear Valley House Friend,

Please join us at these exhibitions and events!

Join us tomorrow, Saturday, June 9, 6:00pm-8:00pm, for the opening reception for two exhibitions: Vera Barnett: Home, and Trish Nickell: Points of View. Trish Nickell will give an Artist Talk on Saturday, June 16, 11:00am. Vera Barnett will give an Artist Talk on Saturday, June 23, 11:00am. Continue reading to learn more about each exhibition. View images of work in both exhibitions at


Vera Barnett developed three distinct series of paintings to embody the meaning of an artistic and domestic life at Home - Portraits, Still Lifes, and Pets. Each series is anchored by a larger thematic painting and surrounded by miniature paintings - all created in a two-step process. First, Barnett fabricates her subject as a stage set made of cardboard, sewn fabric, and found objects. Then, she makes a painting from her construction in a trompe l’oeil manner.

Her series of Portraits represents family life - herself, her son, and grandchildren. Childlike sketches on cardboard easels reference the budding of an artist's self-knowledge. At the age of 3, Barnett decided to be an artist, and still has vivid recall of the drawings she saw and made before entering kindergarten.

Barnett's Still Life paintings embody the things we bring into our home. However, with an irreverent eye, Barnett selects everyday objects which remind her of other things: a pepper under a light bulb becomes a reclining sunbather and a radish becomes a plumed bird.

In the playful series of Pets entitled "When the Cat's Away" we see that our homes are never truly asleep and often beyond our control. Barnett says, "You may own your home, but other life forms share your house. While my husband's cat Taco is asleep, I imagine lively mice beginning to play in a halo of small paintings."

Vera Barnett earned a 4-year certificate at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia in 1981. In the mid-1980's, Vera Barnett and her husband, artist Jack Barnett, moved to Grandview, Texas. This is her third solo exhibition at Valley House Gallery.


For artist Trish Nickell, life took a dramatic turn when she and her husband, David Szafranski, moved to Paris in 1996. Their planned year in France extended to a stay of 12 years. When they returned in 2008, they settled in Portland, Oregon, influencing Nickell to include views of the Northwest coast along with the French landscapes already inspiring her.

Trish Nickell was born in Dallas, and grew up in the Park Cities, graduating from Highland Park High School in 1965. In 1968, Nickell earned a BA from University of North Texas, and in 1986 a MA from University of Dallas, followed by a MFA in 1988, also from UD. Independent study with artist John Evans was crucial to her development.

About her work, Trish Nickell says:

"Occasionally Nature gifts our eyes with a fleeting moment of beauty. As Pierre Bonnard said, 'Art begins in the sensation of being overwhelmed by the beauty of Nature.' That is where my new paintings begin.

The views I choose to depict are derived from moments when Nature presents itself completely unsolicited with a certain light, a certain combination of colors exploding before me. I see all parts of the field of vision equally and simultaneously. The whole view is unique. It's not about one exceptional area within the whole. These views have a sense of solitude, but that solitude liberates the imagination and invites meditation. They may seem quotidian, but with closer awareness, abundant richness reveals itself.

My friend and mentor John Evans says, 'All my paintings are of worlds where I want to be.' My paintings are also places in which I want to be, and I hope each viewer wants to enter the space depicted. Nature is perfection that cannot be duplicated. However, I take Nature's beauty and expansiveness into myself, allowing it to change and transform my work."

Both exhibitions will be on view through July 7, 2018.

See you Sunday at CADD FUNd. Visit us soon at Valley House!

Cheryl and Kevin Vogel
Laura Green
Valley House Gallery & Sculpture Garden
6616 Spring Valley Road, Dallas, Texas 75254

Hours: 10:00am-5:00pm, Monday- Saturday

Art, Art, and more Art


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