From art student to professional artist: Celebrating LSC-University Park graduate Taylor Barnes’ artistic triumph

Lone Star College-University Park alum Taylor Barnes stands beside one of her large art murals from the “Taylord: Anemoia” exhibit.
Lone Star College-University Park alum Taylor Barnes stands beside one of her large art murals from the “Taylord: Anemoia” exhibit.

With each stroke of her spray paint can, Lone Star College-University Park (LSC-University Park) graduate Taylor Barnes transforms expansive blank canvases into vibrant narratives blending colors, shaping lines, and creating gradients that infuse her artwork with life. Barnes’ captivating murals celebrated in the art exhibit, "Taylord: Anemoia," are showcased in the art gallery of the new Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) building at LSC-University Park.

The exhibit marks a significant milestone for both Barnes and LSC-University Park. It not only celebrates the achievements of an alumna who has come full circle but also inaugurates the art gallery space within the VPA.

"Working on large murals is incredibly freeing," Barnes reflected. "It's such an expressive art form that uses your whole body. You're not just putting paint on a wall; you're breathing life into a space, layer by layer, creating something truly beautiful and impactful."

Barnes says she has always been surrounded by art. Her father was a framer who framed gallery artwork in the 1980’s in Houston. It wasn’t until 7th grade that Barnes’ interest began to grow as she created pencil portraits of friends, a practice that grew alongside her through high school and into her college years. Inspired by the works of early Renaissance masters and the surreal creatures of Hieronymus Bosch, she delved into acrylic painting before discovering her love for spray paint art.

Community members view the large mural artwork by Lone Star College-University Park graduate and professional artist Taylor Barnes at the “Taylord: Anemoia” exhibit in the Visual & Performing Arts building on campus.In 2016, Barnes earned her Associate of Arts in Art at LSC-University Park. She credits her growth and success to the nurturing environment of LSC-University Park and the mentorship of art professors like Kari Breitigam, who helped shape her artistic perspective. "Lone Star is when I started taking art more seriously,” Barnes noted. “I was so inspired by Kari. I loved the way she led her classes; a perfect balance of freedom and structure with exposure to how to actually be an artist. She really helped build a community of students. It was a place where I could experiment, learn, and truly find my voice."

“Taylor’s an exceptional individual,” Breitigam stated. “As a department, we try to provide our students many opportunities to hone their skills as professionals. These types of exhibits provide valuable networking opportunities for current students and alumni, creating connections that can support their artistic endeavors and career aspirations.”

Barnes hopes her work inspires current students and the community to dream big and pursue their passions. "I hope this exhibit encourages students to see the beauty in exploring the unknown and to understand that their artistic aspirations are worth pursuing," she shared.

Lone Star College-University Park graduate, and professional artist Taylor Barnes discusses her artwork during the “Taylord: Anemoia” opening reception on Feb. 26, 2024."Taylor: Anemoia," runs through Friday, April 12. The exhibit invites viewers into a world where nostalgia for the unknown intertwines with the fabric of dreams.

Barnes, a native Houstonian, now splits her time between Monahans and Austin, Texas. Aside from her large murals, Barnes creates wood and resin artwork and does live art painting. She regularly participates in music and art festivals around the state.

For more information on Art classes or to register, visit www.lonestar.edu/upstudentsupport, call 281-290-2600, or email UPAdvising@LoneStar.edu. LSC-University Park offers more than 70 programs of study, including credit and non-credit courses, workforce training, and continuing education classes. Classes can be taken during the day, evenings, and weekends in traditional, online, and hybrid formats.

Established in 2012, Lone Star College-University Park has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing and most innovative higher education institutions in the country. The college, led by Virginia M. Fraire, Ph.D., is devoted to impacting the community's prosperity and upward mobility through student success. LSC-University Park’s expert and compassionate faculty and staff provide students with holistic and immersive education and training in disciplines and industries that meet current and future workforce needs.

Located on the grounds of the former Compaq Computer Corporation and Hewlett Packard's world headquarters, LSC-University Park's facilities include the Center for Science & Innovation, the Energy & Manufacturing Institute, Learning Innovation Labs, and the Geology Rock Wall. It is also home to the University of Houston-NW Downtown, Lone Star Corporate College, iSchool, and YMCA Children's Academy.

Lone Star College enrolls over 80,000 students each semester providing high-quality, low-cost academic transfer and career training education. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to support student success. Mario K. Castillo, J.D., serves as Chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area. LSC has been named a 2023 Great Colleges to Work For® institution by the Chronicle of Higher Education and recognized by Fortune Magazine and Great Place To Work® as one of this year’s Best Workplaces in Texas™. LSC consists of eight colleges, seven centers, eight Workforce Centers of Excellence and Lone Star Corporate College. To learn more, visit LoneStar.edu.

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