Curator Statement
  Thumbnail Gallery


  Matt Baumgardner
  Barbara Dee Baumgarten
  Sandra Bowden
  Gurdon Brewster
  Ned Bustard
  Ruth Tietjen Councell
  Ioana Datcu
  Martin Delabano
  Barbara Desrosiers
  Erin McGee Ferrell
  Gary L Gorby
  Kathy T. Hettinga
  Catherine Kapikian
  Cynthia Leidal
  The Rev. Frank Logue
  Colleen Meacham
  Mary Melikian
  Eric Reiffenstein
  Krystyna Sanderson
  Donna Shasteen
  Constance Skinner
  Hal Weiner
  Anne Wetzel
  George Wingate
  Copyright Statement

Barbara Dee Baumgarten

On an early Sunday morning, a number of years ago, I looked out our dining room window to discover two albino peacocks sitting on my studio roof. I blinked in disbelief, but there they stood, perusing the lemon orchard from their high vantage point. Since my husband is an Episcopal priest, he was not home to witness the sight. After church, I told him about the birds but he did not believe me. His unbelief fortified my own doubt. Maybe I was imagining things. I told no one else and let the sighting go.

But the peacocks came back, again on a Sunday morning. Again, my husband doubted my story. Finally, the peacocks appeared on a morning when my husband was home, he realized my story was true, and so did I.

This episode happened during an extremely difficult time in my life, a time when I seriously doubted my call as an artist, and as a person. I was in the midst of creating a mixed media piece entitled, Descent II, which incarnated years of internal suffering and fear. Each day I survived was marked as a day of success.



quilted silk, 2004
83” x 48”


When the reality of the peacocks on my studio roof sunk in, my course changed from depression to hope, from isolation to community, from anger to love. This transformation has been a slow and deepening one, but its beginning is surely marked by the presence of those fascinating and beautiful birds on my studio roof.

Reflections is a showing forth in my art of a transformational experience. But, the expression of that experience has expanded and changed in its making. The making of this piece challenged me on every level from technical problems, to design issues, and matters of faith. Traditionally, in Christian symbolism, the peacock represents the resurrection because it is believed that its flesh is incorruptible even after three days. In the Sufi tradition, it is said that God created the Spirit in the form of a peacock, and from its tears of sweat all creatures come, and its open tail represents the cosmic deployment of the Spirit. From the sweat and tears of my work, guided by God’s grace, Reflections of Christ resurrected was created.

Barbara Dee Baumgarten

email: bdbaum@centurytel.net



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©2004 The Episcopal Church and Visual Arts