Barbara Amos


solo exhibition by Barbara Amos

January 20 – February 17, 2018

Balance is at the intersection of this focus on land, advocacy and change that explores a shifting view of our world. Curiosity is her motivator and she has explored this imagery through digital paintings on metal, temporal drawings on the land documented through photography, and paintings on canvas.  She enjoys collaboration, community engagement and has completed 4 public art commissions.

Join us for an Artist Talk, January 20,  2 pm 


ARTIST STATEMENT ‘Surface Tension’

I explore the world through images.  The space between ambiguity and clarity is at the core of most of my work.  It is a place that is full of possibility as well as uncertainty.

I am attentive to the questions that enter my thinking as I work. I frequently listen to podcasts about research that intrigues me, news commentary, satellite radio broadcasts. What is fascinating me at this moment? Why does this imagery hold my attention?   Is it about tension?   Is it a reference to the confusion of our times, the uncertainty in our world?    What is going to be lost?  What will endure?  These are questions are somewhat at odds with the delight of the optical illusions, which I also enjoy creating.  I build up the image and then break down the edges.  I am aware that I am intent on developing ambiguity and juxtaposing it with clarity.  The process of painting leads my questions and it all connects to my daily experiences.

The paintings and the photographs, both contain moments of exquisite beauty.  These are essential forces in my artwork and in my life.  It is delight that engages us. It is beauty that restores the soul. It is interest and curiosity that moves us forward. Each artwork seems to hold this dynamic of ambiguity along with beauty. I hope that this piques curiosity and invites inquiry. It is inquiry that will move us forward.

Process.  I connect to the world around me.   I paint from real life because it is the transition from 3D space to the 2D space  where the perceptual response is recorded.  It is a rich space for artists.   A camera collapses this space in a mechanical way so I tend to avoid drawing and painting from photographs. En plien aire is landscape painting that is on location and it is the connection to time and place that interests me. It is a meditative experience. When the focus has been good, the painting is one that I keep. It becomes a reference point for the subsequent studio work. Creating an image that has resonance is difficult and delightful.  It about the place of perception and discovery, elements we need to cherish in these uncertain times.

The Red Alert Project and Photographs. While I was painting on location, I began to draw on the ground and in the water with survey tape. Survey tape is evident in many places in the forests along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.  It means that dramatic change is imminent.  As I became involved with a new community, the issues facing the watersheds became part of my daily thinking. The Red Alert Project is an artist led project that formed around the impact of resource extraction upon watersheds along the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains.    A SLAPP (Strategic Law Against Public Participation) suit was served against a community representative. After five years of harassment, it was dismissed by the courts. Yet for five years it silenced and divided a community. We had witnessed inappropriate corporate behaviour taking advantage of the judicial system. Exhaustion, despair and anger were evident in the community. I had moved my studio to the Crowsnest Pass and was disturbed by these events. I did not want to believe that this was happening in Canada.

I began to look for ways to create an alternative voice for the community, a voice that was restorative, that contained humour and connection. The Red Alert project was created.  Events were inclusive of the community, meant to raise questions and encourage engagement, to celebrate the restorative elements of nature and creativity. The community was invited to see art as an experience rather than an object or a commodity. The Red Alert Project was intended as a singular event of creative expression. It has become more and continues today. There is an impromptu element.  Some works are independent. Some are collaborative.  The project has shifted into different geographies as it celebrates the natural world.  The resulting visual experiences are documented and shared on various social media platforms, in galleries and magazines.






Barbara Amos is an artist who enjoys collaboration and an exchange of ideas.  She hopes that her work encourages inquiry about our role in the world and the changes that will make it a better place.  She has developed creative projects that address multicultural issues and environmental concerns. Her commissions include a 90 foot sectional painting in a recreation centre,  a 20 photograph public art commission in photography using a handmade lens,   placed a steel scope with a handmade lens on a city street,  was invited to create a scope for the International Sculpture Garden in Burlington ON and finished 12×16 foot painting for an outdoor learning centre.  A sketchbook has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum and The Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art.  She has extensive sketchbooks as she draws every day.  She views her drawing and painting studio as a place of balance, meditation and sanctuary.

 In 2014 she was honoured with an Arts Advocacy Award from her professional organization, CARFAC Alberta.  She has advocated for professional development for the visual artists, has volunteered on many boards for non-profits and since 2013 has been on the Board of Directors for the Leighton Art Centre.    She has been on the selection juries for public art and served as a juror for many other arts organizations.  She has completed 5 public art commissions. The most recent project on Migration, was completed in June 2017. She created an outdoor intervention with yarn that went viral in 2012 and has had her work covered in over 20 publications.

She is a graduate of the University of Waterloo and has been awarded scholarships and international residencies.  Her paintings are in many collections and she is represented by galleries in Toronto and Calgary.  



  • 1981 Alberta College of Art, Calgary, AB, Canada
  • 1980 Ontario College of Art, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • 1977 Hon. B.Rec., University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada


  • 2017 Habitat for the Arts The Red Line, Photographs, Jasper National Park, AB
  • 2013 Bugera Matheson Gallery, Edmonton AB
  • 2012 Gibson Fine Art, Calgary AB
  • 2010 Agnes Bugera Gallery, Solo Show, Edmonton AB
  • 2008 Telus World of Science, Realidoscope Photographs, Calgary AB
  • 2007 “New Works”, Kensington Fine Art Gallery, Calgary, AB
  • 2006 “Cutting up our National Parks”, Whyte Museum, Banff, AB
    “Landscape: Preserving Habitat & Species”, Leighton Centre, Millarville, AB
  • 2005 “Main Street”, The Prairie Art Gallery, Grand Prairie, AB
  • 2004 “Public Art Opening”, The Cardel Place Centre, Calgary, AB
    “City Transitions”, Artspace Gallery, Calgary, AB
    “Cutting up the Town”, The Burlington Art Centre, Burlington, ON
  • 2002 “Cutting up the Town”, Artspace Gallery, Calgary, AB
  • 2001 “Cutting up the Town”, Devo Gallery, Calgary, AB
    “All in Jest”, Bowman Art Centre, Lethbridge, AB
    “Cutting up the Town”, Red Deer Allied Arts Centre, Red Deer, AB
  • 2000 “Enmax Corporate Exhibit”, Art Gallery of Calgary, Calgary, AB
    “Suncor Corporate Exhibit”, Art Gallery of Calgary, Calgary, AB
  • 1991 “New Works: Still Life by Barbara Amos”, Wallace Galleries, Calgary AB
    “Figurative Works by Barbara Amos”, Gulf Canada Gallery, Calgary AB


  • 2017 Celebrating Canada, Abbozzo Gallery, Toronto, ON
  • 2015 Marcia Rafelman Fine Art Spring Show, Toronto, ON
  •  Gibson Fine Art Gallery Artists, Calgary, AB
  • 2014 Art Gallery of Ontario, Rogers Cup, Toronto, ON
  •  Toronto International Art Fair, MRFA, Toronto ON
  •  Nickle Arts Museum, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB
  • 2013 Toronto International Art Fair, MRFA, Toronto ON
  •  “Summer in the City”, 2 artist exhibition with Ron Eady, Abbozzo Gallery, Toronto, ON
  • 2012 Toronto International Art Fair, MRFA, Toronto ON
  • 2011 Toronto International Art Fair, MRFA, Toronto ON
  • 2010 Toronto International Art Fair, MRFA, Toronto ON
  • 2009 Bilton Contemporary Art, Red Deer AB
    Marcia Rafelman Fine Art, Toronto ON
  • 2008 “Exposure Photography Festival”, Whyte Museum, Banff, AB
    “Realidoscope Lens”, Telus World of Science, Calgary, AB
  • 2006 “Reality Reassembled”, Crowsnest Pass Art Gallery, Crowsnest Pass, AB
    “Landscape: Preserving Habitat & Species”, Leighton Centre, Millarville, AB
  • 2005 “Alberta Scene”, National Gallery, Ottawa, ON
  • 2004 “Elemental Inspiration”, Whyte Museum, Banff, AB
    “Clear Cut: The Understory”, Bowman Art Centre, Lethbridge, AB
    “Clear Cut: The Understory”, Red Deer and District Museum, Red Deer, AB
  • 2003 “Bent”, EMMedia Gallery, Calgary, AB
    “Five Abstract Painters”, The Prairie Art Gallery, Grand Prairie, AB
  • 2002 “Reactions”, Exit Art Gallery, New York, New York, USA
    “Reactions”, Williamson Art Gallery, Pasedena, California, USA
    “9/11 Memorial”, City Hall, Calgary, AB
    “Con/quest, Targeting Tourism”, Access Gallery, Vancouver, BC
    “Architectonics”, The New Gallery, Calgary, AB
  • 2000 “Evidence of things Unseen”, Tynedale College, Toronto, ON
  • 1999 “Triple Take”, Muttart Art Gallery, Calgary, AB
    “December Choice”, Wallack Galleries, Ottawa, ON
  • 1996 “Alberta Foundation for the Arts Tenth Anniversary”, Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton, AB
  • 1995 “Juried Group Show”, Medicine Hat Museum Gallery, Medicine Hat, AB
  • 1993 “Gallery Artists”, Wallace Galleries, Calgary, AB
    “Figures and Portraits”, Bowman Art Centre, Lethbridge, AB
    “The Figure Re-figured”, The Works Festival, Edmonton, AB
  • 1992 “Juried Group Show”, Gallery Montcalm, Hull, QC
    “Aspects of Reality”, The Prairie Gallery, Grand Prairie, AB
    “Aspects of Reality”, The Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton, AB
    “Aspects of Reality”, The Muttart Public Art Gallery, Calgary, AB
    “Aspects of Reality”, The Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, AB
  • 1991 “Gallery Artists Show”, Barton Leir Gallery, Victoria, BC
    “Questions of Value”, Petro-Canada Gallery, Calgary, AB
    “Gallery Artists Show”, Horizon Gallery, Edmonton, AB


  • 2004 Cardel Place Public Art Commission, Calgary, AB
  • 2001 “Themeworks” Calgary Airport Funded Competition, Calgary, AB
  • 2000 “Drawing for First Street Underpass”, Calgary Downtown Association, Calgary, AB
    “Udderly Art for the Mustard Seed Ministry”, Coe & Company International, Calgary, AB
  • 1999 “Still Life Portrait”, Giraffics Design Company


  • 2017 The Migration Project, Calgary Board of Education Calgary, AB
  • 2014 The International Sculpture Competition, Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington, ON. One of 9 artists selected to create an artwork for the RBG
  • 2010 Royal Alexandra Hospital, Edmonton, AB, Realidoscope Photography 5 X 48 ft.
    Cliff Mission Bungalow, City of Calgary & Mission Cliff Bungalow Community Association
    Competition Winner, Realidoscope, steel 24 X 58 in.
    Architects: Carson McCullogh
  • 2008 Urban Transit Corridor 7 Ave Pathway & Canopies, City of Calgary, Juror
    Urban Transit Corridor, Sculpture Acquisition, City of Calgary, Juror
  • 2004 Cardel Place Public Art Commission, Cardel Homes, City of Calgary & Nose Creek Community Association Competition Winner, Celebrations, Acrylic on Panel 24 X 90 ft.
  • 2002 4th Street Sculpture Competition, Shortlisted
  • 2001 Themeworks: Calgary Airport Funded Competition, Shortlisted, Architects: Cohos & Evamy
  • 2000 Calgary Downtown Association, Proposal Drawings for First Street Underpass
  • 1999 Toronto Pearson Airport, Shortlisted


  • 2014 CARFAC Arts Advocacy Award
  • 2011 Nomination for Society of Environmental Design and Graphics, Public Art Award
  • 2006 Alberta Foundation for the Arts Project Grant
  •  Alberta Foundation of the Arts, Project Grant Award
    EMMedia Video Scholarship
  • 2005 Alberta Foundation of the Arts, Project Grant Award
  • 2003 EMMedia Video Scholarship
  • 2002 Impresario Grant Award, Calgary Regional Arts Foundation
  • 2000 Visual Arts Award, Alberta Foundation for the Arts
  • 1992 Celebration of Women in the Arts Endowment Fund
  • 1990 Alberta Arts Foundation Award


  • 2008 “Eye on Alberta”, Albertaviews, September 2008
  • 2005 “Cutting up the Land” The Herald Tribune, Grand Prairie, AB, June 2005
  • 2004 “Clear Cut Indictment, Artists Respond to Logging in the Big Horn”, Legacy Magazine, Edmonton, AB
    “Previews and Profiles”, Galleries West, Banff, AB
  • 2003 “Deconstructing Calgary”, Where Magazine, Calgary, AB
  • 2002 “Reactions at Exit Art Gallery”, New York Times, New York, New York, USA
  • 2001 “Critics Pick Architectonics Show”, Calgary Herald, Calgary, AB
    “Hot Tickets” Avenue Magazine, Calgary, AB
  • 2000 “Transitions”, Alberta Views Magazine, Calgary, AB
    “Urban Views”, Where Magazine, Calgary, AB
  • 1999 “Graceland”, The Calgary Strait, Calgary, AB


  • Alberta Art Foundation, Edmonton, AB
  • Alberta Children’s Hospital, Calgary, AB
  • Alberta Energy Corporation, Calgary, AB
  • Alberta Health Services Royal Alexandra Hospital, Lois Hole Bldg, Edmonton AB
  • Bennett & Jones LLP, Calgary, AB
  • Cohen Collection, Canada
  • Chronicle Glass, New Zealand
  • Deloitte Canada
  • Esso Resources Ltd., Calgary, AB
  • Fairmont Hotels, Banff Springs AB
  • ICI Investments, Calgary, AB
  • Interprovincial Pipelines Ltd., Edmonton, AB
  • MacLean Professional Corporation, Calgary, AB
  • Norcen Energy Resources Ltd., Calgary, AB
  • Opsis Communications, Calgary, AB
  • Plains Marketing, Calgary, AB
  • Precision Drilling, AB
  • Private Collections across North America, in England and Germany
  • RBC Dominion Securities, Calgary, AB
  • The City of Calgary Civic Art Collection, Calgary, AB
  • US Library of Congress, Washington, DC, USA

Private collections England, Germany and across North America.


  • 2004 Carfac Alberta, Board of Directors
  • 2002 TREKS Traveling Exhibit, Guest Juror for Alberta Society of Artists, Edmonton, AB
  • 2001 The NEW Gallery, Programming Committee, Calgary, AB
  • 2000 Art Gallery of Calgary, Board of Directors, Calgary, AB
    Calgary Health Trust, Art Committee, Calgary, AB
  • 1999 Artwalk, Fundraising Committee, Calgary, AB
  • 1995 Alberta Society of Artists, Secretary, Edmonton, AB
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