Barbara Shapokas. Fine artist.
Barbara’s visual observations began at the age of three. Looking from a window by her father’s desk, she attempted to draw a fence “going away”, in trying to comprehend the laws of perspective. Initially, simple pencil drawings led to more complex renderings as an art student, then to spontaneous abstracts as a maturing artist, and presently to the recording of nature’s disappearing landscapes with pastels, acrylics, or oil paints.
Early in grade school, she was sent to receive art training at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, PA. Later, in high school, she won many competitions with her poster design abilities. At age 16, she organized a traveling art exhibition of Pittsburgh artists through the city’s high schools. Before graduation, she won an award for depicting life in America and received an award from UNESCO, a United Nations (UN) specialized agency based in Paris.
Higher education included both the Carnegie Mellon Fine Arts Program and a BFA from Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York. This led to the position of designer and illustrator of book jackets for Simon & Schuster. Freelance work for other publishers, including Random House, Wiley & Sons, and Harper & Row followed.
Barbara has taught at both Pratt Institute and Parsons School of Design, and has lectured at The Society of Illustrators. Her “Blackout” poster was chosen by the Museum of Modern Art for sale and distribution. Her “Blackout” T-Shirt was featured in the special Life Magazine issue documenting “The 70’s.”
While holding a full-time position as Senior Designer/Art Director for NBC in the 80’s and early 90’s, she continued painting part-time while scheduling open studio exhibitions. Her fine art collectors include the private and corporate sector, as well as private collections abroad.
After leaving NBC, she held the position of Creative Director while heading a new design agency at Cardinal Communications Group, Inc. in New York. Later she freelanced as Creative Director and Designer. Relocating to Massachusetts in 2011, she currently teaches private/semi-private classes, while continuing to paint, in an 1832 landmark building in the town of Boxborough. Aside from having solo artist exhibitions in local libraries in the surrounding communities, she is also working for the town on a three-year project of recording, through painting, Boxborough’s oldest homes, protected waterways, and conservation lands. This will be an important document to the uniqueness of this small rural Massachusetts town.