With her family and many friends at hand, Barbara Warner of Perry celebrated nearly 50 years of her artistic life Thursday when she hosted a one-woman retrospective of her oil paintings.
There were several dozen of Warner’s painting on display in the gallery of La Poste. The works range from landscapes to still lifes, with a number of miniatures and several large canvases.
But painting has only been one of the outlets for Barbara Warner’s artistic personality. She is an accomplished pianist and taught herself to play the dulcimer. Her needlework — including quilts, afghans, cross-stick, embroidery and others — might be her art of longest standing because she said she learned to sew from her mother.
“Barb has always been an artist,” said Beth Renshaw, the youngest child of Barb and her husband, Bob Warner. “Even in her very first painting, it was clear that she had a gift.”
Along with Beth, Barb and Bob’s three sons, Bob Warner Jr. and Don Warner, both of Mesa, Ariz., and Rick Warner of Littleton, Colo., completed Thursday’s family portrait, along with spouses and grandchildren — the whole gathered all this week for a family reunion coinciding with the exhibition of Barb’s paintings.
The Warners moved to Perry in 1972. Bob was in the meat department at Fareway until his retirement, and Barb devoted her creative energies to art as well as to the community, coaching softball and volunteering in the Perry schools and with the swim team.
Barb is still a familiar face as a Forest Park Museum volunteer, and Barb and Bob remain active in the First United Methodist Church, particularly in organizing the semi-annual rummage sales.
Barb’s painting are mostly owned by family members and have not previously been exhibited although Beth had a kind of catalogue raisonné published privately for family members last Christmas. The paintings will be on display at La Poste until July 27.