/////UAMS Displays Artwork by Former Vice Chancellor
UAMS Displays Artwork by Former Vice Chancellor 2018-01-05T09:16:53+00:00

MAY 16, 2006 | Barry D. Lindley, Ph.D., said he always knew that at some point, when he felt he had made a contribution through his “main” career, he would step aside and devote time to his passion for painting.


Lindley arrived at UAMS in 1993 as vice chancellor for academic affairs and in 1996 also became dean of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Graduate School. He retired in 1999 to be a full-time artist.


Through June 28, a collection of his watercolor paintings is on display in the second-floor gallery of the UAMS Library. The Arts of UAMS exhibit “By The Way,” with paintings from Lindley’s travels at home and abroad, is free and open to the public.


“I have drawn all my life, pretty seriously since I was a little boy,” Lindley said. “I remember wanting to be an artist when I was in high school, but I thought you couldn’t make a living at it. I also was interested in science, so I worked on that.”


In addition to his scientific degrees from DePauw University and Case Western Reserve University, he studied drawing at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis and painting at the Cleveland Institute of Art, where he also served as visiting lecturer of medical illustration. As a painter, he has participated in workshops but is primarily self-taught from active practice.


His paintings these days are mainly landscapes or scenes that he sees on his travels.


“I’m a hiker, a fisher and a birder. I love being outdoors,” Lindley said.


He has traveled extensively, capturing scenes that strike him. Maybe it’s the colors that catch his eye or the lighting or a feeling he associates with a place or a time, he said.


“Anything can come together to make a moment or a place special, to make me want to capture that moment forever,” he said.


The title of his collection on display at UAMS, “By The Way” is indicative of the Indiana native’s love for travel and landscapes.


“The title of the collection reflects the origin of the works during travel around Arkansas, throughout the Americas – from the southern tip of South America to the Hudson Bay and Saguenay areas of Canada and to western Alaska and even to Europe and Asia,” said Lindley, who lives in Little Rock. “The title also points to my feeling that artistic expression is itself a continuing journey, with differing paces, differing vistas, and differing choice of expressive means. The variety of works in this collection testifies to this as it records my recent stretch of artistic road.”


Asked for a favorite painting, Lindley thought for a moment. “It might just be easier to tell you what’s hanging in my house right now,” he said, before describing his piece, “Strangler Fig Bower,” that came from his trip along South America’s Amazon River.


Because of the shift in water depths along the river between the rainy and dry seasons, the trees develop expansive aerial root systems, he said. The roots create caves or bowers, he said, which struck him as much as the colors of the tree bark and the inkiness of the water.


The time it takes to produce a watercolor varies. It’s more of a process, that can evolve over time – even years – and includes rough drafts in the form of sketches before getting to the final painting.


“Typically I make ink, pencil or watercolor sketches on site, in addition to taking reference photos. Some paintings were finished on location; others were developed in my Little Rock studio,” he said.


A piece like one hanging in the UAMS display might be a half day of painting to produce what is on the paper but it could be the result of years of thought and work.


Though he has traveled extensively, there are still places he would like to go and paint. He mentioned Antarctic, Africa and Australia as places he dreams of traveling to one day to find new scenes to paint.


Lindley is a signature member of Mid-Southern Watercolorists (MSW) and his works are in many private collections in the Little Rock area, throughout the country and internationally. He has exhibited in the Delta Exhibition of the Arkansas Arts Center, the MSW Annual Show, in Small Works on Paper, in ArtWorks at The Rep and in a number of public offices in the state. His first public exhibition was during a previous Arts of UAMS display in the 1990s.


He also teaches and lectures on art, including a summer course at the Eureka Springs School of Arts.

Links on This Page

UAMS Update: “Lindley to Set Aside Science, Pursue Artistic Life in Retirement”:


Watercolors by Barry D. Lindley: http://users.aristotle.net/~blindley/


“Strangler Fig Bower”: http://users.aristotle.net/~blindley/Web-South%20America%20-%20From%20the%20Amazon%20to%20the%20Andes/target6.html