Alison Barrows-young

Born August 27, 1958 NYC
Childhood Ontario Canada 1968 - 1982
BFA 1980, MFA 1984 M.ED 2010
Art Professor 1984-2008

Artist Bio

I was born in New York City and raised in Hamilton Ontario CA. I have always been an artist. I can’t remember a time when the awareness of my artistic path was not a significant part of my consciousness. I am fortunate to been born into a family that counts back through several generations of artist’s and I began my formal training in drawing and painting with my parents when I was a small child. After taking a BFA from Antioch/SVA and an MFA from Florida State, I divided my career between teaching undergraduate art and professional studio art. This double career choice kept me financially stable and allowed me to always pursue my artistic path and to take on parallel adventures such as motherhood. In my twenties I did a 6-month apprenticeship with the artist George Woodman and I was the recipient of an NEA Fellowship though the state of New Jersey.

As I am largely inspired by nature I moved to an isolated area of Northern Idaho in 2011, where I live on 22 acres of secluded Idaho Forest land. Being here allows me to intimately commune with nature and paint daily. I have become less interested in teaching and have surrendered to my persistent inner voice that says, “You are a Painter and you need to just paint.” Throughout all the days and the seasons of the year, I do just that.
What Art Critics have written.

A major part of Barrows-Young’s process lies in the art of observation. “Painting is a daily process of connecting intimately with the natural world that surrounds me,” she says. She uses sketches and photographs to record visual effects; such as patterns caused by light and form, or a captivating viewpoint, then assembles those, along with her memory of the moment, into images that marry a precise sense of composition to a spontaneous sense of movement. In some of her paintings, groups of powerful lines create currents of motion that carry the viewer’s eye along, while in others the intricate juxtaposition of blocks of color brings stained glass to mind.

Light is central to the effect of a Barrows-Young composition. “The woods and all of its constantly varying aspects of self are the light’s playful partners,” she says, and her ability to convincingly record the ways in which light can animate a scene makes viewing each of her paintings a dynamic experience. Nature, as she views it, is a work in progress: a place where many points of view combine, but also in which an interior spirit is found. The strength of her work lies in how she makes us aware of those points of view, while also vividly revealing the “being” she seeks to represent.

Official Artist Statement

My work is about exploring the “being” of Earth as perceived through visual sensuality. In particular, the haunting, and illusive light in the Woods of my Northern Idaho home constantly captures my attention. Its temperament is impish, often filtering warmth through a distant stand of trees or running away down a path, tantalizing me, always seeming to be fleeing to a place just beyond reach. The woods and all of its constantly varying arrangements of irregular angled surfaces, textures and structure create multiple skylights through which the light can fall, bounce, reflect and absorb. Together the feral character of the woods and the angled northern light seems to cut every possible vignette into highly distinctive and multiple points of view, laying both side by side and simultaneously intertwined.

One Person Exhibitions

Vivre Arts, Sandpoint ID August 7- September 7, 2017

Outskirts Gallery Hope ID – Sept 2016 – 620 Wellington Pl, Hope, ID 83836

Pend Orielle Art Council – Nov 2015 –Feb 2016, Columbia Bank Building, Sandpoint ID

Outskirts Gallery Hope ID – June 2015 – 620 Wellington Pl, Hope, ID 83836

Outskirts Gallery Hope ID – July 2014 – 620 Wellington Pl, Hope, ID 83836

Boulder Art Gallery, Boulder CO – November 2004 & November 2003 1708 15th Street, Boulder, CO 80302

Bowman Gallery, Saratoga CA – June 1994 – 14361 Saratoga Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070

The Drawing Room, Rahway NJ – April 1987 – 103 W Main St, Rahway, NJ 07065

Aljira, A Center For Contemporary Art, Newark NJ -January 1986 – 591 Broad St., Newark 07102

Tilden-Foley Art Gallery, New Orleans LA – March 1986 & March 1985 – 14 Crane St, New Orleans, LA 70124

FSU Museum of Fine Arts, Tallahassee, FL – May 1984 – 530 W Call Street, 250 Fine Arts Bldg, Tallahassee, FL 32306

Glassell School of Art Museum, Houston TX – February 1983 – 5101 Montrose Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77006

Antioch College, Yellow Springs OH – June 1980 – 1 Morgan Pl, Yellow Springs, OH 45387

Group Exhibitions

Pend Orielle Art Council - Jan 2017 - March 2017, Sandpoint ID

Political Art Exhibit – November 2016, Infini Gallery, Sandpoint

Pend Orielle Art Exhibit – October 2016, Columbia Bank Sandpoint Idaho

Group Exhibition – September 2016, Madrid Spain – Trevisan International

Infini Gallery – Three Artists – Aug 2016 – Sandpoint Idaho

Little Treasures – October 2017 Madrid Spain and November 2017 Bologna Italy. Oct 2016 Madrid Spain, Nov 2015, Bologna Italy – Trevisan International,

Interpretative Realms – July 31 – August 20, 2015, Agora Gallery, New York City, NY

Sandpoint Center for the Arts / Arts Alliance – June 2013 – 518 Oak St, Sandpoint ID, 83864

Sandpoint Art Association -January – March 2015, Sandpoint, ID 83864

Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art – May 2010 – 1750 13th Street, Boulder, CO 80302

Canyon Art Gallery, Boulder CO – June 2007 & June 2006, & April 2005 – 1001 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, Co 80302

The Great Frame Up Gallery, Longmont CO – September 2006, 430 Main Street, Longmont, CO 80501

Annual Faculty Art Exhibit, Front Range College, Boulder CO – 2003 through 2008, Longmont, CO 80501

CU Art Museum, Boulder CO – March 2006, 914 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80302

Open Studios, Boulder CO – 2001through 2005, 1301 Spruce St, Boulder, CO 80302

BMOCA, Boulder CO – 1996 &1998, 1750 13th Street, Boulder, CO 80302

Euphrat Museum of Art, De Anza College Faculty Exhibit – 1993, 21250 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, CA 95014

Visual Art Center of New Jersey, Faculty Art Exhibit – 1985 through 1988, 68 Elm St, Summit, NJ 07901

Paul Robeson Galleries, Rutgers Faculty Exhibition – 1986 through 1989, 350 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd Newark, NJ

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship – Exhibition 1986

Aljira, A Center For Contemporary Art, Newark NJ – January 1985 – 591 Broad St., Newark 07102

LeMoyne Center For Visual Arts – 1984 & 1983, 125 N Gadsden St, Tallahassee, FL 32301

National Women in the Arts Exhibition, Philadelphia PA – Exhibition1982


1984 – Masters in Fine Arts – Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
- Graduated Summa Cum Laude

1980 – Bachelors in Fine Arts – SVA, New York City /Antioch University, Yellow Springs, OH


1985 – 1986 Fellowship Recipient – New Jersey State Council on the Arts,

1982 – 1983 Florida State University Gallery Fellowship Recipient

1983 – 1984 Florida State University Teaching Assistantship

1977 – 1980 Antioch University Teaching Assistantships in Printmaking & Film

Teaching Experience

2014 – To Present – Artist in Residence, Outskirts Center for The Arts, Hope ID

2012 – 2014 – Artist in Residence, Sandpoint Waldorf School

2012 – 2013 – Art Instructor, Sandpoint Art Alliance

2010 – Lead Teacher – Shepherd Valley Waldorf School – Summer Program

2006 – 2008 
Adjunct Faculty, Art Institute Online, Pittsburgh PA

2004 – 2008
 Adjunct faculty, Front Range Community College, Boulder, CO

1994 – 2004 Director – Barrows School of the Arts, Boulder, CO

1991 – 1994 Associate Director, Barrows Young School of Art, Saratoga, CA

1986 – 1990 Instructor, Stanford University Extension Program, Palo Alto, CA

1984 – 1986 Faculty, New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, Summit, NJ

1984 – 1986 Adjunct Faculty, Rutgers University Extension Program, Newark, NJ

1983 – 1984 Adjunct Professor, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

1980 – 1982 Art Teacher – City Day School, Springfield, IL


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