March 1, 2022 – April 29, 2022
Art Opening Reception: Friday, March 4, 2022 / 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm @ 12 Vassar Street
Barbara Masterson has been painting her entire life and is steadfast in her belief that “Art is like a serum, transforming its audience for good or ill.” Graduating with an AAS degree in Fine Art from Elizabeth Seton College she continued her education receiving a B.A. degree in Art Education in 1988 and an M.A. degree in painting in 1990 from SUNY New Paltz. In late May of 2015, while painting en plein air on a local farm, Ms. Masterson began incorporating images of the migrant workers in her pieces who, she comments, “often remain unseen and unknown despite their presence in our Valley for many months each year.” Getting to know and then paint them has transformed Ms. Masterson and her artwork. Her large-scale drawings and paintings have transitioned to portraits of these men and women. “If only by their images in my paintings the viewer will come to see these persons for the vital role they have in our lives. As I paint, the play of light has taken my breath away. Migrant workers came into view…they have transformed my vision,” she states.
Ms. Masterson is a member of Arts Mid-Hudson, Barrett House Galleries, Woodstock Art Association, Katonah Museum of Art, and Garrison Art Center. She was one of the founding members and past president of The Real Gallery, an artist cooperative in Cornwall, NY that existed for 20 years, and taught art in the Newburgh district teaching the advanced painting classes, the AP art classes at Newburgh Free Academy until her retirement in 2014. Ms. Masterson has participated in juried, solo, and group shows throughout the United States with many of her pieces in private collections in the United States, Italy, Germany, and Guam.
Barbara Masterson Artist Statement: Art is like a serum, transforming its audience for good or ill. As I paint, the play of light has taken my breath away. Migrant workers came into view. They have transformed my vision. Familiar shapes in fields and orchards, migrant workers toil in the Hudson Valley doing jobs most Americans won’t, earning modest wages, sometimes risking deportation. Hard at work, they summon our attention and invite us to come closer, to see their labor and their humanity. Who are they? Can you see them? It’s possible for society to confer invisibility on a group. It’s convenient; if the group is invisible, we relieve ourselves of concern about health care, working conditions, pesticides, housing, lack of ability to get their own food. What is life is like for them? What role do we play in keeping them unseen? My work can expand our perceptions of these workers. If only by their images in my paintings, the viewer will come to see these persons for the vital role they have in our lives. Barbara Masterson | Hudson Valley Artist