Barbara Zaring

Interwoven Worlds
My work deals with memory, history and the duality of contemporary life. I construct new worlds using one of the oldest and most traditional of media, oil paint on canvas. Architectonic by nature, my psyche always travels with a map. In waking life these maps are constructed as paintings and reveal my interest in opposing paradigms- light and dark, clear and opaque, interior and exterior. The glassy surface developed by many layers of translucent paint reveals some of the history and overlapping of ideas that occur in the making of a piece of art over a very long time.  Initially ambiguous, the images and concurring emotionsrevealthemselves like photographs developing in an acid bath. They are derived from the interior space created through decades of meditation practice and dream work. There is always a connection to the chance and change of nature in my beloved New Mexico. Yet, within areas of rawness and perhaps hidden eroticism, there is always light escaping.


Barbara Zaring is known for her elaborate oil paintings, using many layers of translucent paint, that create new worlds dealing with opposing paradigms of contemporary life. She derives imagery fromher interior space created through decades of meditation practice and dream work. Zaring has exhibited in Guatemala and throughout the USA in galleries and museums including The Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana. She is published in more than a dozen books and has done cover art for Banana Rose by Natalie Goldberg,

Bantam Press, Cultivating the Mind of Love by Thich Nhat Hanh, Parallax Press,  and The Norton Reader, W.W. Norton & Co. Honors include representing the United States in the Art in the Embassies Program in Zagreb, Croatia, and as Artist-in-Residence at Yosemite National Park, California, 2003-04. Born in Zanesville, Ohio, she attended Drew University, Madison, New Jersey, on the Semester on Contemporary Art, Pratt Printmaking Institute, New York City, the University of New Mexico, Taos, New Mexico, and graduated from DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana with a degree in Fine Art. Although Zaring and her husband live in northern New Mexico, they have sailed the seas. This combination of environments, desert/ocean deeply affects her work.

Museum Exhibitions

  • Ernest Blumenschein Museum, Taos, New Mexico, printmaking invitational, 2010
  • Carlsbad Museum, Carlsbad, New Mexico, Impression: Ten Years of Printmaking at UNM-Taos, 2008
  • Amarillo Museum of Art, Amarillo, Texas, 12x12 exhibition, 2005
  • Foothills Art Center, Golden, Colorado, 35th Anniversary Exhibition, invitational, 2003
  • The Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Moving Mountains: Frank and Zaring, 2002
  • The Harwood Museum, Taos, New Mexico, Moving Mountains: Frank and Zaring 2002
  • Foothills Art Center, Golden, Colorado, Moving Mountains: Frank and Zaring, 2002
  • The Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Expressions in High Color, 2001
  • Eiteljorg Museum, Indiana Collects the West, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1994
  • Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Contemporary Landscapes, 1992-93
  • The Headley-Whitney Museum, Lexington, Kentucky, Southwest Visions, 1992
  • Carlsbad Museum and Art Center, Carlsbad, New Mexico, Sculpture and Prints, 1986
  • The Harwood Foundation Museum, University of New Mexico, The Taos Seven. 1986
  • Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, Kansas, Four Women from Taos, 1986

Selected Gallery Exhibitions

  • Harrington Brown, Two Rivers, Memphis, Tennessee, 2011
  • Total Arts Gallery, Three Women Artists from Taos, Taos, New Mexico, 2010
  • The Richard E. Peeler Art Center, ARW Exhibition, DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, 2009
  • Fenix Gallery, Uncharted Territory, one-person exhibition, Taos, New Mexico, 2007
  • Panza Verde, EI Otro Mundo, one-person exhibition, Antigua, Guatamala, 2006
  • Total Arts Gallery, Labyrinth, one-person exhibition, Taos, New Mexico, 2004
  • Total Arts Gallery, Metamorphosis, one-person exhibition, Taos, New Mexico, 2002
  • The Cooper Young Gallery, Thirteen Paintings, one-person exhibition, Memphis, Tennessee, 2001
  • Grand Canyon National Park, A Century of Grand Canyon Art, invitational exhibition, Arizona, 2000
  • The NEW Gallery, NEW/ Work, one-person exhibition, Houston, Texas, 1997
  • Eisenhauer Gallery, First Showing, Block Island, Rhode Island, 1996
  • Total Arts Gallery, Navigating Landscape, one-person exhibition, Taos. New Mexico. 1996
  • Cogswell Gallery, Peaks and Valleys, one-person exhibition, Vail, Colorado, 1995
  • Total Arts Gallery, Four Seasons, one-person exhibition, Taos, New Mexico, 1994
  • Russell Senate Rotunda, Live From Taos, invitational, Washington, D.C., 1991
  • The NEW Gallery, Big Color,  two-person exhibition, Houston, Texas. 1991
  • Americana West Gallery, Landscapes West, two person show, Washington, DC, 1989

Publications: Books

  • Women Artists of the American West, Susan Ressler, McFarland Publishing, 2004
  • The Norton Reader, Tenth Edition, W. W. Norton & Co, N.Y. & London, Cover art, 2000
  • Art of the American West, Caroline Linscott and Julie Christiansen-Dull, Rockport Publishers, Inc. Gloucester, Massachusetts, 1999
  • The Artist and the American Landscape, John Driscoll and Arnold Skolnick, First Glance Books/ Chameleon Books, Cobb, California, 1998
  • The Majesty of the Grand Canyon, 150 Years in Art, joni L. KInsey, Arnold Skolnick, editor, First Glance Books/Chameleon Books, Cobb. California, 1998
  • Leading the West: One Hundred Contemporary Painters and Sculptors, Donald Hagerty, Northland Publishing, 1997
  • A Relationship Runs Through It: The Psychological Landscape of
  • Women’s Creative Expression, Kate M. O’Neill. Ph D., Harvard University, 1997
  • Living Color, A Writer Paints Her World, Natalie Goldberg, Bantam Press, New York, 1997
  • Places of Spirit, Canyon de Chelly, Don Hagerty, Gibbs Smith Publishing, Layton, Utah, 1996
  • Banana Rose, Natalie Goldberg, Bantam Press, New York, Cover Art, 1995
  • Cultivating the Mind of Love, Thich Nhat Hanh, Parallax Press, Berkeley, California, Cover Art, 1995
  • Paintings of the Southwest, Clarkson Potter Publishers/Chameleon Books, New York, 1994


  • Gangelhoff, Bonnie, “Dispatches”, Southwest Art, September, 2007
  • Romancito, Rick, “Labyrinth”, The Taos News, August, 2004
  • MacMillan, Kyle, “Taos Art Today Vibrant”, Denver Post, August, 2002
  • Silver, Leda, “Moving Mountains”, Southwest Art, February, 2002
  • Romancito, Rick, “Full Circle” The Taos News, May 2000
  • Gangelhoff, Bonnie, “The Road Home” Southwest Art Magazine, February, 1998
  • Cline, Lynn, “Landscapes Inspire Distinguished Artists” New Mexico Magazine, July, 1998
  • Brown, Margaret L., “How Taos Really Looks” Southwest Art Magazine, September, 1997
  • Batz, Laura, “Noted Expressionist Artist” Vail Daily, July, 1995
  • Romancito, Rick, “Four Seasons, Zaring Expressive, Still, Contemplative” The Taos News, 1994
  • Silver, Leda, “Success, Gratitude Find Taos Artist” Albuquerque journal, June 2,1992
  • Morris, Sawnie, “Landscape Like No Other” Taos Magazine, Taos, New Mexico, March 1992
  • Floria, Barbara, “Artist Profile” Vitality Magazine, Oct. 1992, Jan. 1991, Oct. 1990
  • Atwater, Beverly, “Bold Vivid Colors Embrace Print, The Taos News. May, 1991
  • Rawlings, Irene M.K., “Destination Southwest” Antiques and Fine Art, July-Aug., 1991
  • Chadwick, Susan, “Artists Look Out the Windows For Inspiration,’ Houston Post, December, 1991
  • Bell, David, “Taos Art Less Slick” Albuquerque Journal, April 26,1990
  • Gillespie, Nancy, “Outer and Inner Realities” DePauw Alumnus Magazine, 1990
  • Gillespie, Nancy, “Barbara Zaring Thayer” Southwest Art Magazine, December 1989


  • Artist-in-Residence , Yosemite Renaissance, Yosemite National Park, California, 2003 and 2004
  • Portfolio Project, Harwood Museum, Taos, New Mexico, 2003
  • Art in the Embassies Program, U.S. Department of State, Zagreb, Croatia, “Sedona Diptych” exhibiting 2001-2003
  • Music From Angel Fire, Program cover art and poster, Angel Fire, New Mexico, 2002
  • Taos Invites Taos, Best of Show —Abstract, Taos, New Mexico, 2001
  • New Mexico Magazine, “Expressionist Landscapes’; Calendar, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1998
  • Bravo! Music Festival at Vail. Program cover art and poster. Vail, Colorado, 1990
  • Music From Angel Fire, Program cover art and poster. Angel Fire, New Mexico, 1991
  • Taos Spring Arts, Festival lithograph and cover art, Taos, New Mexico, 1991
  • The Stables Open Awards Show, Peoples Choice Award, Taos, New Mexico, 1995
  • Denver Symphony. Program cover art. Denver, Colorado, 1988
  • El Paso Community Foundation, Cover Art, El Paso, Texas, 1987


  • Baker and Botts L.L.P., Houston, Texas
  • Caddell & Conwell Foundation for the Arts COMPAQ, Houston, Texas
  • Fisher, Gallager & Lewis, Houston, Texas
  • Gotder, Thomas, Cresey & Rauner, Sears Tower, Chicago, Illinois
  • Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, New Mexico
  • Kirk & Carrigan, One Shell Plaza, Houston, Texas
  • The Old Jail Art Center, Albany, Texas
  • Porreco & Kaske. Denver, Colorado
  • Rothgerver, Appel. Powers & Johnson, Denver, Colorado
  • Shutts and Bowen, Alfred G. Smith Miami, Florida
  • Transco Energy Company, Houston, Texas
  • United Bank 0 Colorado, Denver, Colorado
  • Western Neurological, Denver, Colorado
  • Zapata Oil Corporation, Office of Former President George Bush, Houston, Texas


  • DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, BA Fine Arts, 1969
  • Drew University, Madison, New Jersey, Semester on Contemporary Art, 1968
  • Pratt Printmaking Institute, New York, New York, 1970
  • University of New Mexico, printmaking, 1999-2003, Taos, New Mexico