A second career wasn’t in Barbara Bayless Lacy’s life plan. She had been a writer for 40 years, the last ten for the Maricopa Community Colleges. The theme for the colleges is ‘Lifelong Learning,’ so it was natural that she would sign up for an art class at the colleges shortly before she retired. She never expected that painting would turn into a career or that it would take over her life…
Her painting life began to change when she joined Scottsdale Artist League (SAL) and the next year Arizona Artists Guild (AAG). She heard about SAL when two other artists who did wonderful work were talking about the local league in class. She had never heard of the artist’s group but had been a member of Arizona Press Women since 1983 and had had seen her writing career thrive.
So, eagerly, she looked up the Scottsdale League and went to the next meeting. She enjoyed it so much that when she heard about AAG, she joined it also. Both groups offered a critique before the meetings. Barbara always managed to have a painting ready to be critiqued; she loved getting feedback from such experienced artists. She also enjoyed working with the other artists. Friends made while volunteering on the AAG exhibitions committee led to the formation of The Three Chicks, an art group that exhibited in a three-artist show at ASU Gammage and solo shows at The Royal Palms, in Phoenix, Arizona. It was this show that led to her invitation to join the Wild Holly Gallery in Carefree, Arizona, where she shows today.
The Arizona Art Alliance (AAA) brought more successes. She was a volunteer at the AAA gallery in the Talking Stick Shopping Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was here that she got an inside look at how a gallery works and also made many friends. There was always enough time to chat or to get help on a painting problem. “I loved painting there,” Barbara recalls, “other artists gave advice, often correcting and/or keeping me from making mistakes.”
Currently, Barbara volunteers in a watercolor class at a local care center twice a month.
“Working with an older population isn’t easy but you know it is worthwhile. Our students arrive early and often don’t want to leave. The care center is part of a nationwide chain. They hold contests for the best Christmas cards, and I am proud that we have had some winners!” The class, which was started by Phoenix Artist League member, Vince Valicenti, over 20 years ago, is now under the AZ Art Alliance umbrella.
In her latest news, a juried Arizona Art Alliance exhibition at the WHAM Community Art Center led to an opportunity for Barbara to put together a group show there in 2015. She and a group of nine artists called themselves “Just Ten” and after a successful show at the WHAM, they have now been juried into another exhibition at ASU Gammage. Members: Laura Cohen-Hogan, Dyanne Fiorucci, Linda Farber, Joyce Hergert, Marnelle North, Ann Osgood, Sandy Garvey, Beverly Robb, Carolyn Tolliver, and Barbara Lacy. Dates to be announced.