I am interested in close looking, and examining how parts come together to create a whole. My 24” square encaustic paintings explore the way that we process and catalogue visual experience by using varying degrees of abstraction and kinetic juxtapositions of form, color, and pattern to suggest fleeting impressions, connections, and memories. Often related to place and making sense of space, the paintings chronicle my experience as a New Yorker and a world traveller confronting an overabundance of visual stimulation. I exhibit these paintings in large grids of varying dimensions. Installations are site specific but unfixed; individual paintings may appear and reappear in entirely different groupings, allowing for unique interactions among visual records of places I’ve inhabited in the near and distant past. When brought into conversation with one another in the gallery, the grids present opportunities for visitors to bring their own associations to the abstracted imagery. Viewers are invited to construct their own meaning by navigating a visual pathway from panel to panel—following the juxtapositions of color, shape, and composition and using their own lived experiences and sense of space as a guide.


Barbara Ellmann was born in Michigan and lives in New York, where she works as an educator at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, and Lincoln Center Education. She has been selected for residencies at Yaddo, the Hermitage Artist Retreat, and Haslla Art World Museum in Gangneung, South Korea. She has also produced public works for the Van Siclen Avenue subway station in Brooklyn, a bus shelter in Summit, NJ, and The Cambria Heights Branch Library in Queens. Ellmann’s work is in the collections of Peter Norton; Leonard Nimoy; NYU Langone Medical Center; the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University; the Peter J. Sharp Foundation; the Four Seasons Hotel and Resort, in Marrakech, Morocco; the Haslla Art World Museum, Gangneung-Si, South Korea; and the United States Embassy in Kampala, Uganda. Her traveling exhibition AN OPEN BOOK has been shown in Kalamazoo, Michigan and in Palm Desert, California. Ellmann also co-founded the New York Artists Circle and served as Director of the group from 1996-2015.



2019     SO HERE SO THERE, Hampden Gallery, UMass Amherst, MA

2016     AN OPEN BOOK 2, Marks Art Center Gallery, Palm Springs, CA

2014     AN OPEN BOOK, Richmond Center Gallery, Kalamazoo, MI

2011       GAME BOARDS, Haslla Art World Museum, Jeongdongjin, Gang-Neung Si, South Korea

2010     WHAT I SAW: Paintings from the Hermitage, Gulf Coast, Florida, Tomasulo Gallery, Union County College, Cranford, NJ

2010     FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND OTHER ABSTRACTIONS, Ruth S. Harley University Gallery at Adelphi University, Garden City, NY

2010     FOREIGN AFFAIRS, The Gallery at R&F, Kingston, NY

2002       Game Boards, 80 Washington Square East, NYC, NY

1997       Game Boards, The Gallery at R&F, Kingston, NY

1992       New Horse Work, Winkler Galleries, Sutter Creek, CA

1986       Horses, Elan Gallery, Bismarck, ND

1982       Hanky Collages and Altar Constructions, Mythology, NYC, NY

1980       Two Cows, Harriman College, Harriman, NY



2019       A Universal Feeling, part of Reveal/Conceal at Chehalem Cultural Center, Newberg, OR

2012       Super Saturated: Pigment and Pattern, Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, Auburn, NY

2012       Textility, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit, NJ

2011       Encaustic with a Textile Sensibility, Kimball Art Center, Park City, UT

2010       LIC Grid, Acumen Capital Partners, Long Island City, NY

2007      Art Bars, Ithaca Fine Chocolate, Ithaca, NY

2006      Fragments, Water Street Gallery, Saugatuck, MI

2005      Wax: Encaustic Techniques in Contemporary Art, Brush Art Gallery, Lowell, MA

2005      Color and Form, Water Street Gallery, Saugatuck, MI

2005      Intimate Abstraction, Valencia Community College, Orlando, FL

2004       Drawn to the Present, Pace University Gallery, Pleasantville, NY

2004       Pattern Into Pattern, New York Law School, NYC, NY

2003       Surface, Matter, & Artifice, Dutchess Community College Art Gallery, Poughkeepsie, NY

2002       4 Square, Gallery Korea, NYC, NY

2002       Print 2002, 354 Exhibitions, Brooklyn, NY

2001       Over Times Squared, Department of Cultural Affairs, NYC, NY

2001       Encaustic, Encaustic…, Melanee Cooper Gallery, Chicago, IL

2000       Contemporary Mandalas, The Discovery Museum, Bridgeport, CT

2000       New Artists, Lead Gallery, Seattle, WA

1999       Encaustic Works 1999, Watermark/Cargo Gallery, Kingston, NY

1999       Game Show, The Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA

1999       Summer Exhibition, The Painting Center, NYC, NY

1999       Waxing Poetic: Encaustic Art in America, The Montclair Art Museum and traveling to Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN

1999       Cross Purposes, Korn Gallery, Drew University, Madison, NJ

1998       Art as Spectacle, Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY

1998       Pet Shop, Nicholas Davies Gallery, NYC, NY

1997       Contemporary Visions, University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT

1993       A-Z, 0-9, ES Vandam, NYC, NY

1991       Faith Nightingale Gallery, San Diego, CA

1991       Winkler Galleries, Sutter Creek, CA

1990       Cowboy Bob, Winkler Galleries, Sutter Creek, CA

1990       Faith Nightingale Gallery, San Diego, CA

1987       Santa Fe Institute of Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM

1987       Hudson Gallery, NYC, NY

1987       Animals ‘R Us, Kraine Club Gallery, NYC, NY

1986      Artist Books Invitational, Clark Gallery, Lincoln, MA

1984       Image Pilgrimage, The Court Gallery, NYC, NY

1982       Mixed Bag, Alternative Museum, NYC, NY

1981       Re: Pages, New England for the Arts Touring Exhibition, RI, MA, CT, NH

1980       10 Downtown, NYC, NY


2006       THE VIEW FROM HERE, 7 faceted glass windscreens commissioned by the NYC MTA’s Arts For Transit Program for the elevated Van Siclen Avenue Station on the Jamaica Line in Brooklyn, NY. Fabricated by Willet Hauser Architectural Glass   Installed 2007.

2004       WHILE WAITING, Two faceted glass windows 4’ x 4’ for a bus shelter in Summit, NJ. Commissioned by the City of Summit. Fabricated by Willet Hauser Architectural Glass. Installed March 2006.

2003       ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE, 55 encaustic paintings 10’x 48’ installed in the Cambria Heights Branch Library, Cambria Heights, NY. Commissioned by NYC’s Department of Cultural Affairs Percent For Art Program, The Queens Borough Public Library, and NYC’s Department of Design and Construction. Kostow Greenwood Architects. Installed April 2006.


2019     Panelist, “Personal Transformation Through Art,” UCAE Conference: Global Perspectives on Art and Education

2014     Exemplary Teaching Artist Award, NYU Forum on the Teaching Artist, New York, NY

2011      International Artist Symposium and Residency, Haslla Art World Museum, Jeongdongjin, Gang-Neung Si, South Korea

2010     Residency, The Hermitage Artist Retreat, Englewood, FL

2010     Visiting Artist, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY

2009     Visiting Artist, St. Johns University, Queens, NY

2008     Panelist, Percent for Art, Department of Cultural Affairs, New York, NY

2008     Visiting Artist, St. Johns University, Queens, NY

2008     Visiting Artist, R & F Handmade Paints, Kingston, NY

2007    Visiting Artist, St. Johns University, Queens, NY

2005     Slide Lecture, School of Visual Art, New York, NY

2004     Slide Lecture, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY

2004     Slide Lecture, School of Visual Art, New York, NY

1999     Gallery Talk, The Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA

1998     Juror’s Award – Thema Golden, Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY

1986     Slide Lecture, Elan Gallery, Bismarck, ND

1983     Residency, Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY



1980-present   Lincoln Center Education Teaching Artist Faculty, including summer session training of teachers in aesthetic education, artist orientation and training of artists, and the structuring and teaching of units of study in over 200 partnership and focus schools.

1981-present   Training of teaching artists in Mexico City, Mexico; Hong Kong, China; Seoul, South Korea; Singapore; Palm Desert and Berkeley, CA; Kalamazoo, MI; Sante Fe, NM; Aspen, CO; Lincoln, NE; Knoxville, Nashville, and Memphis, TN; Newark, DE. Consultancies in OK, LA, MI, IL, SC, NM, CA

1997-present   Teaching Artist Faculty in the Higher Education Collaborative at Lincoln Center Education, working with professor partners in the school of education at Bank Street, CCNY, Lehman College, St Johns University, Queens College, Brooklyn College, Hunter College and Stern College

2000-present  MoMA Lecturer and Workshop Facilitator, Family Programs

2015-present   The Whitney Museum of American Art Lecturer and Workshop Facilitator, School and Family Programs 


Acumen Capital Partners, LLC
Leonard Nimoy
United States Embassy, Kampala, Uganda
Peter J. Sharp Foundation
Centre Solutions, Bermuda
Judge Alan C. Marin
Banner Estrella Medical Center, AZ
Walter Scheuer
Peter Norton
Four Seasons Hotel and Resort, Marrakech, Morocco
Queens Borough Public Library
Haslla Art World Museum, South Korea
New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority
City of Summit, NJ
NYU Langone Medical Center
Yale Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library


School of Visual Arts, 1980-84
University of Michigan, 1968-69