Born August 27, 1958 NYC
Childhood Ontario Canada 1968 – 1982
BFA 1980, MFA 1984, M.ED 2010
Adjunct Professorships 1984-2008
The real meaning to be found in my art only occurs between the work and the viewer and is a product of both of us.
Visual communication is essential to me in the way Braille is to the blind. Nothing speaks more decisively of my joys as well as my troubles than painting and other visual art media. Nothing encapsulates my 59 years of connection with nature than painting landscape and nothing has helped me more with my struggles with society and social awkwardness than figurative depiction.
My paintings are part of a conversation to explore who we are as beings. I am seeking to express through visual depictions my inner emotional experience of the external world. Maybe it will cause someone to take note or respond in kind. I believe in its value, as a way of directly communicating without any intermediary device such as a spoken or written language. Visual communication is essential to me in the way Braille is to the blind; nothing speaks more decisively of my joys as well as my troubles. Nothing encapsulates my 59 years of connection with nature than painting landscape and nothing has helped me more with my awareness and often struggles with society and societal unrest than figurative depiction.
When painting I am having a dialogue with myself with the faith that someone, somewhere will also benefit from it or wish to take part in it. Whoever that is does not need to speak the language I speak or have an intermediary person, text or recording interpret it for them. They don’t even have to know the title, which I consider only a secondary nudge, to have a tangible reaction or response. That is the power of art; it’s an unencumbered conversation that has been going on between people all over the globe for 40,000 years.
This is the truest answer I can give for why I make art and also the best explanation I can muster for why I feel it must speak on its own merits for it to actually be relevant. I have gone to art school and have been trained purposely in the discipline of visual expression since my earliest years. As I was late to speaking it started before I can even remember. I can write about my experience and what inspires me and perhaps that will help motivate people to take a closer look at what I am doing in this fast paced world but it is a sideline to the real meaning that only occurs between my work and the viewer and is a product of both of us.
Alison Léona Barrows-Young
I am trained as a jaguar warrior, through the Toltec Tradition under Miguel Ruiz. I began my apprenticeship in1994 and completed it in 2004. My shamanic name Adoette (Tall Tree) was given to me by a native medicine man in 2006. The blood of the original peoples of this land does not run within me, however their teachings and ways they have shared with me run through my soul. I hold what I have received as a sacred treasure with unending gratitude.