About Joel Barr

About Joel Barr



Born in Miami and raised in Orlando, Florida, Joel Barr graduated Magna Cum Laude from Duke University with a B.A. degree in English and Economics and earned a masters in City Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He left an early career in city planning to run his family’s business, Barr Display, in Orlando, and during those years began writing full time. His novel, Chapters and Verse, was published along with his poetry and non-fiction essays.

Joel began painting in his early forties, drawn by his experience of the intense blues of the skies and water and fiery sunsets in his native Florida. Initially, he enrolled in workshops at the Maitland Art Center near Orlando, and he has continued to study, being largely self-taught. Joel works exclusively in oils, which lend vibrant, natural expression to his work.

His bold, contemporary canvases invite the viewer to join him in exploring a world of the imagination and the human spirit, one that is at times surreal, and frequently symbolic. As Joel says: "If I were to ask anything of the viewer, it would be that they bring their own thoughts, questions, investigations, and heart to bear on what they see in my work."

Joel’s work may be found in public, corporate, and private collections in the United States, Canada, England, and Mexico, as well as galleries in Georgia and Florida. He lives in Atlanta with his wife, Grace, a writer, and paints full time as part of a consortium of artists at Urban Art Collective in nearby Chamblee.


B.A., Duke University
M.A., UNC Chapel Hill

Gallery Shows and Exhibits
2019: Solo: WORDS AND STORIES, Quinlan Art Center, Gainesville, GA
2019: Re-Opening Show, I.D.E.A. Gallery, Sandy Springs, GA
2019: Party of Five, Wild Hope Gallery, Sandy Springs, GA
2018-9: I.D.E.A. Gallery, Sandy Springs, Ga (gallery artist)
2017: The Art of Food, Aimee's Gallery, Decatur, GA (group show)
2016: Solo Show, Life Lines, Aimee’s Gallery, Decatur, GA
2013--2016: Featured Artist, Newbill Collection, Seaside, FL
2014-2017: The District Gallery, Knoxville, TN (gallery artist)
Current: DNA by the Hand of Man Gallery, Gainesville, FL
Current: I.D.E.A. Chamblee Gallery, Sandy Springs, GA
Current: Newbill Collection, Seaside, FL (gallery artist)
Current: Aimee’s Jewelry and Gallery, Decatur, GA (gallery artist)
2013, 14: John Collette Fine Art, Cashiers, NC (gallery artist)
2012, 11: Ron York Fine Art, Nashville, TN (gallery artist)
2010, 9: Tonia Mitchell Gallery, Morrow, GA (gallery artist)
2010, 9: Gift Gourmet & Interiors, Knoxville, TN (gallery artist)
2007, 6: Taylor Kinzel Gallery, Roswell, GA (gallery artist)
2007, 6, 5: Ice House Gallery, McIntosh, FL (gallery artist)
2007: Eclectic Electric Gallery, Atlanta, GA (gallery artist and featured artist)
2006: Approaching Six Degrees, Cherrylion Studios, Atlanta, GA (group show)
2005: Lucas Road Gallery, Meridian, MS (gallery artist)
2005: Urban Art Works, Crabapple, GA (two-person show)
2004: Church of the Atonement, Sandy Springs, GA (one-man show)
2003: Nine Years Searching for Good Signs, Still Life in G Gallery, Gainesville, FL (one-man retrospective)
2002: Darius Gallery, Atlanta, GA (gallery artist)
2001, 00, 99: Heaven Blue Rose, Roswell, GA (gallery artist)
2000, 99, 98: V. Reed Gallery, Atlanta, GA (gallery artist)

Selected Juried and Invitational Exhibits
2014 from 2009: Spotlight on Art, Trinity School, Atlanta, GA
2013: Art of Healing, Wiregrass Museum of Art/ Southeast Alabama Medical Center, Dothan, Alabama (invited artist)
2013 from 2007: Rag Ribbon Rainbow Show, Atlanta, GA
2012: Art in Bloom, Johns Creek Art Assn., Johns Creek, GA
2012 from 2009: Artxtravaganza, Webb School, Knoxville, TN
2011: Play Ball! National Exhibit of Baseball Art, Springfield, IL
2012, 10, 9: ArtScapes, Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN
2007: Southworks, Oconee Cultural Arts, Watkinsville, GA
2005: National Juried Exhibit, Grandview Gallery, Atlanta, GA 1997: Art of the Book Invitational Show, Orlando, FL
1996, 5: Valencia Community College Small Works Show, Orlando, FL
1996: Valencia Community College Faculty Invitational Show, Orlando, FL
1996: Maitland Art Center "THREE BY" Show, Maitland, FL
1995: Orlando Museum of Art Biennial Show, Orlando, FL
1994: City of Orlando Biennial Juried Show, Orlando, FL

Professional Work
Book Covers: Paintings or details on over 20 covers, Boson Books, Raleigh, NC


Lecture: The Artful Life, Aimee Gallery, Decatur, GA
Introduction to Oil Painting, Orlando, FL and Atlanta, GA (adult education)
Painting with Words, Orlando, FL and Atlanta, GA (adult education)
Painting Workshops for Trinity School, Atlanta, GA (elementary school)
Oil Painting on the High Seas, via Cruise with Your Muse
Oil Painting in the Mountains, via Cruise with Your Muse

City of Orlando, FL
Valencia Community College, Orlando, FL
Maitland Art Center, Maitland, FL
McKenna Long and Aldridge, Atlanta, GA
Private collectors in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and England

Novel: CHAPTERS AND VERSE, Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1991 hardback
Open Road Publishers Paperback (in print)
Numerous articles, book reviews, poems in newspapers, general interest and literary magazines