“Polar Bears on Vacation” The Art of Barbara Stone
Barbara Stone has exclusively used the image of polar bears as a personal symbol in her artwork since 1979. Her research has taken her to Canada's Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Alaska to study the yearly migration of polar bears. A self-taught artist, she has developed a unique style of incorporating colored pencil with watercolor in her paintings. She has explored many media with the polar bear image, including fabric design for Japanese kimonos, porcelain sculpture, water color paintings, wooden furniture forms, pen and ink and pencil drawings, and serigraph and lithograph prints.
In June of 1997, Barbara Stone was featured in an ABC prime time TV special, “Arctic Terror”, which explored her experiences in the north. That same month she returned from her third art show in Japan where she represented Hospice and shared accounts of her friends and acquaintances who have found the symbol of the polar bear useful when grieving the loss of a loved one, facing life-threatening illness and as aid in pain management.
Her research has taken her to Canada’s Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Alaska to study the yearly migration of polar bears. She frequently visits Churchill, Manitoba and Iqualuit, of the Baffin region of the Northwest Territories. There she is fondly known as “The Polar Bear Lady” and has been referred to as the originator of the “vegetarian polar bears.” Her involvement there includes an artist-in-residence program as well as an annual exhibit of her work.
Barbara’s polar bear designs have been interpreted for use by the National Wildlife Federation, Audubon Society, Sierra Club and the Los Angeles Zoo. She is honored to be included in a collection, by invitation, of the White House, at the Smithsonian Institute and in that of the Empress of Japan in Tokyo, Japan. Recent work reflects her impressions of trips to Germany, Norway, Sweden, and France.
Originally from Rockford, Illinois, Barbara moved to Colorado in 1971 and is currently a resident of Longmont, Colorado. She designs in her turn-of-the-century converted barn home in Colorado.