By E.I. Hillin
Phoenix Staff Writer
Barbara Moore always carried a craving for art.
“I was interested in art as a child. When I was in high school I took art classes every semester,” she said.
Moore is Muskogee Art Guild’s featured artist this month. The Muskogee Art Guild will host a gallery reception from 2-4 p.m. Jan. 25 at 315 Court St. to feature her artwork.
Moore was born in Enid and said she didn’t leave Oklahoma until high school.
“You talk about an Okie,” Moore said.
She has called the Gooseneck Bend area her home since 1957.
After high school her passion for art stayed with her, but marriage and family took priority.
“When I enrolled in college the first time I took business courses,” Moore said. “I had a year and a half, got married, got kids in school, and decided I was going to have to go back to work to keep those kids in college.”
At 31, Moore made a decision to pursue her passion for art.
“In order to do what I loved which was art, I went back to college and got my degree in art education,” she said.
An art major and business minor in college, Moore learned how to make and sell her art.
“I was 34 when I graduated and went back to work,” Moore said.
She received a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Northeastern State University in 1974. She taught art and later computer science at Warner High School for 23 years.
From 1974 to 1975, Moore taught night courses on art at Connors State College.
In 1996, Moore retired from teaching and found time to create art for herself.
“I really didn’t get to paint a whole lot until I finally retired, and then I got to paint as much as I wanted to,” she said.
From 2001-2012 she was the director of the Muskogee Art Guild.
“My favorite medium is water color,” Moore said. “I’ve learned how to use oils, I’ve learned how to do some sculptures with soap stone.”
Moore’s watercolors have won several awards including Best of Show in the 2001 Checotah Arts Show.
“I learned silversmithing when I was in college, and so I taught it to my daughter,” she said.
Moore passed on her passion to her daughter.
“She has tremendously influenced me in what I do,” Polly Moore said. “We both learn from it.”
Now a family tradition, they make and sell their art locally and nationally.
Barbara Moore said she enjoys traveling with her art.
“We go to a couple of events,” she said. “We sell our jewelry at the Party in the Park in April here in Muskogee. We do in June, Art on the Avenue in Tahlequah, and the first part of July we go to Oregon and spend the summer in Oregon.”
Moore and her family have made annual cross country summer trips for about a decade. Once was spent in Maine and the other nine summers were spent in Florence, Oregon.
They teach classes and sell jewelry, hand-painted cards, and unframed paintings.
Barbara Moore’s artwork is on display around Muskogee. She painted the guitar in front of American Bank of Oklahoma at 3300 West Broadway Street, as well as the guitar in front of the Chamber of Commerce at 310 West Broadway Street.
Her artwork can be seen on the Muskogee Rotary Club’s upcoming 2014 “Party in the Park” poster.
Reach E.I. Hillin at (918) 684-2926 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet Barbara Moore
CAREER: Art teacher.
EDUCATION: Bachelor of Art in Education, Northeastern State University.
FAMILY: Four children, Mike Moore Jr. of Independence, Kan., Robert Francis Moore of Muskogee, Polly Moore of Muskogee, and Penny Moore of Portland, Ore., four grandchildren; three great-grandchildren.
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Baptist.
HOBBIES: Silversmithing, crafts.
If you go
WHAT: Gallery reception for Artist of the Month Barbara Moore.
WHEN: 2 to 4 p.m. Jan. 25.
WHERE: Muskogee Art Guild, 315 Court St.