Carol Barber has been working as a professional visual artist for over  twenty-five years, first as an illustrator and graphic designer and now as an educator and exhibiting artist. Barber’s solo exhibit, A Year in Gestures was held at the Welcome Gallery, presented by New City Arts of Charlottesville, VA in 2020. Her work appears in collections across the United States and is featured on five Chestnut Oak Vineyard wine labels. Among her numerous awards and honors, Barber is the recipient of the Central Virginia Watercolor Guild’s Award of Excellence.  She received her B.F.A. from James Madison University and a M.F.A. from Radford University. Her studio is located in a quiet spot in Barboursville, VA surrounded by land in a  conservation easement.


For my work on clear surfaces: Three decades ago I began my professional career as a digital artist. While working on the computer, I strived to make art as natural as possible by incorporating transparent layers of photographed texture and scanned marks. When I went to graduate school, I wanted to move away from digital tools and return to the process of mark making by hand that I experienced as a child. However, my thinking about working in digital layers never left me even after twenty years of painting in acrylics and mixed media. The reintroduction of transparent substrates with my gestural work reflects my experiences living in our modern times. Painting on clear acrylic sheets is a tangible expression of my thoughts of traversing between the digital and physical worlds. It also creates an artwork that continues to mix realities as it interacts with the environment through reflections, shadows and allowing surroundings to show through the piece.

For my layered canvases: I balance gesturally immediate marks with compositional design and develop a work over time. Tempering my impatience and allowing a work to transform is essential. This negotiation involves composing and interacting with the drawn lines from previous layers of my applications. My choice of colors and mark making is intuitively reacting to what the media is doing on the substrate and the outside influences of noise, current events and nature. It is important for me that the work has an atmospheric quality resulting from layering, deconstructing and constructing.


2023 Staff Show, group exhibition at The Pink Gallery, Quirk Hotel, Charlottesville, VA

2022 Teeny Tiny Trifecta 5, group exhibition at The Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville, VA

2020 A Year in Gestures: Paintings by Carol Barber, a solo show presented by New City Arts at the Welcome Gallery, Charlottesville, VA

2019 P!NK, a group show at McGuffey Art Center, Charlottesville, VA

2018 Teeny Tiny Trifecta, group exhibition and solo exhibit in the backroom at The Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville, VA

2018 Arts Exchange Group Show at New City Arts’ Welcome Gallery, Charlottesville, VA

2018 Solo display at Random Row Brewing Company, Charlottesville, VA

2018 Show with Mary Jane Zander at Annie Gould Gallery, Gordonsville, VA

2016 Solo display at the Augusta Health Medical Center, Fishersville, VA

2015 Solo display at the office gallery of Piedmont Council for the Arts in Charlottesville, VA

2014 Solo display at the Writer’s House in Charlottesville, VA.

2013 Floral Expressions exhibition as featured artist at DéCOR, Design Center of Richmond, VA

2012 Spirit and Soul exhibition of paintings with Eddie Thiel at the Arts Center in Orange in Orange, VA

2010 Shaped By Time exhibition of paintings with Ande Lister at the Melrose Bay Art Gallery in Melrose, FL

2009 Reflections: Beyond Time and Space exhibition with glass artists Sarah Hinds and Sky Campbell at the Thomas Center Main Gallery in Gainesville, FL

2007 Painted Dreams solo exhibition at the Santa Fe Gallery in Gainesville, FL


2019 – 2020 Chestnut Oak Vineyard, art for five wine labels

2015 Chestnut Oak Vineyard, whimsical 30’ x 40’ foot mural

2012, Empowerment, 64 interior illustrations, book by Marcus Chacos published in Australia

2005 RU, the magazine of Radford University: an interior illustration for the article, Wireless

2004 Bicast Publishing, Inc.’s Dolphin Watch Books: Naya and the Haunted Shipwreck

2002 Bicast Publishing, Inc.’s Dolphin Watch Books: Naya and Nathan


2021 Three pieces accepted in the 2021 Academy Center of the Arts Annual National Juried Art Exhibition, Joe Krakora, juror

2019 – 2020 Top ten finalist in the Charlottesville, VA City Bus competition.

2016 Artist in New Watercolor: Annual Juried Contemporary Exhibit, Shenandoah Valley Art Center, John A. Hancock, curator and juror

2015 Award of Excellence, Central Virginia Watercolor Guild Annual Exhibition, Julia May, juror

2014 Honorable Mention in the South-Atlantic Juried Exhibition, The Montpelier Center for Arts & Education

2012 Second Place in Quick Draw competition to benefit the charity, S.A.F.E., at Prince Michelle Winery

2010 Accepted into the Thomas Center Galleries Regional Juried Exhibition, juror: David Fithian

2009 Accepted into the Thomas Center Galleries Regional Juried Exhibition, juror: Michael Burban

2009 GFAA Florida Open Juried Exhibit, Honorable Mention Ribbon, juror: Jeffrey Smart Baisden

2008 First Place in the Garden Category of the Melrose Paint the Town Green 

2007 Acceptance in the International Society of Acrylic Painters, 10th Annual Exhibition, San Luis Obispo Art Center, CA, juror: Bob Burridge.

2007 Award of Merit at the Oak Hall Art Festival

2006 Gold Addy for an interior magazine illustration from the Advertising Federation of the Roanoke Valley (AFRV)

2005 Award of Honor at the Art at the Oaks Show, FL

2003 Best of Show Award for the Gainesville Fine Art Association Members’ Winter Show

2003 Edith Moore Portrait Award for the Gainesville Fine Art Association Members’ Winter Show


2012 – 2020 The Arts Center in Orange – Art class and workshop teacher 

2015 Community Outreach with the Arts Center in Orange, Orange, VA

2016 – 2017 Outreach teacher for Second Street Gallery

2014 – 2015 Locust Grove Elementary School in Locust Grove, VA – Long term art substitute

2012 – 2013 MADArts in Madison, VA

2009 – 2011 Art specialty teacher at Open Arms Child Development Center.

2007 – 2009 Adjunct professor at Santa Fe College’s graphic design department


M.F.A. — Radford University, Radford, VA 

B.F.A. — James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA