Meet the Artist

Barbara Joann Combs, artist, art educator, community arts collaborator born in Los Angeles, California, has worked within the discipline of visual arts since childhood. Barbara holds a B.A. with distinction in visual arts from Fayetteville State University, has written and taught curriculum for art fundamentals courses at Seventy-First High School, North Carolina for seven years. Awarded a MA and MFA in Community Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art. 

Barbara has worked within five Baltimore communities facilitating four quilt projects and two summer youth programs creating murals. A community mural was a collaboration with the Johnson Square neighborhood at Ambrose Kennedy Park and pool. During the pandemic a virtual community workshop was developed with Greenbelt Recreation Arts for African American History Month and Combs continues to facilitate art workshops within this organization.

Ms. Combs currently teaches art education in Prince George's County at Gaywood Elementary. She paints murals on the walls and doors of the school with Pre-K through 5th grade students. In addition, Combs partners with high schools to facilitate mural painting within Gaywood to fulfill students’ Service Learning hours. 

Barbara’s Greenbelt studio is open for creation sessions by appointment.

Home studio in Greenbelt, Maryland 



My personal experiences with conflict, while seeking peace, beauty, and joy are reoccurring themes that move me to create.These events are as broad as social justice issues; to fond memories of Daddy listening to jazz music; or Mother growing plants and flowers; and various travels to Hawaii, Guadalajara, Merida, and Baja, Mexico.

These experiences are the stimulus for the themes I create in: Abstraction, Dance, Jazz, Nature, and Portraiture. The compositions begin their life in a sketchbook and then are created in Realism or Minimalist Cubism using graphite, charcoal, watercolors, acrylics, collage, printmaking and mixed media on paper and canvas.

Creating helps me to work through the conflict and brings me peace and joy. My hope is the viewer connects with a composition and their imagination takes them on a journey where they can leave their conflicts for a time, obtain some peace, see beauty, and stir up joy.






- Back.Forward | Montpelier Arts Center, Laurel, MD  

- Black Artists of D.C. | James E. Lewis Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD                    
- What Do You See When You Look At Me? | Glen Echo, MD           
- Shifting Paradigms | Center for Performing Arts, Prince George's Community College, MD
- Hope and Healing | Montpelier Arts Center, Laurel, MD

What Is Ours | Sandy Spring Museum, Sandy Spring, MD
- Songs That Make Us Move 
| Friendship Heights Village Gallery, Chevy Chase, MD
- Handcrafted | BlackRock Center for the Arts, Germantown, MD
- Occupy the Moment | Bridgeport Art Center, Chicago, IL
- New Scene | New Deal Cafe, Greenbelt MD

- Abstraction, Barbara Joann Combs & Kathy Karlson | Greenbelt City Council   Chambers, MD
- All That Jazz | New Deal Café, Greenbelt, MD

- Hello, Growing Together | New Deal Café, Greenbelt, MD
- Perspectives: Prince George’s | Lowe House, Annapolis, MD

- Reflections of Self | Montpelier Arts Center, Laurel, MD

- Bright & Bold Exhibit | Serendipity Labs, Bethesda, MD

- Depression Awareness | Bohrer Park, MD
- Art Critic Exhibit | Gallery Miriam, Decatur, GA

- Process and Purpose: Reflections of Art Teachers | Pyramid Atlantic Center, MD

- Abstract Fine Art Exhibit | Art Institute & Gallery, MD
- You Are Here | Convening | Maryland Institute College of Art, MD

- Whiteness | 15 Art Actions | Maryland Institute College of Art, MD 
- Quilting for Social Justice | Maryland Institute College of Art, MD

- Enter/Face | Maryland Institute College of Art, MD      

- An Evening of Art & Jazz | North Regional Library, NC

- Fine Arts Festival, | Arts Council of Moore County, NC
- 3rd Annual Changing of the Art | Gallery 208, NC
- Black History Month | Cape Fear Studios, NC

- Where Are They Now | Rosenthal Gallery, NC

- Memorial Day & Local Artists’ Show | Amazing Grace Gallery, NC

- The Opening | Amazing Grace Gallery, NC

- What’s Inside | Rosenthal Gallery, NC
Jenkins & Friends | Cape Fear Studios, NC

- Personalities…Abstract + Expression | Arts Council, NC
Various Artists | Gallery Advertising, NC                                
Brochure | Fayetteville State University, NC                      
- Web Page Design | Fayetteville State University, NC
Monthly Display | Fort Bragg Main Library, NC  
Public Exposure | Arts Council, Fayetteville, NC

- Student Exhibit | Fayetteville Museum of Art, NC                           
Shadows and Dreams | Rosenthal Gallery, NC  


- Acrylics & Watercolors | Cliffdale Christian Center
          Three -11"x14"; One- 50"x50" acrylic on canvas
          One- 16"x 20"; Ten - 22"x 30" watercolors on paper

- Family Portrait | Wayne Rothwell                                     

- Butterflies & Magnolias | Christopher Rivera                            

- Personal Narrative | Yyonette Rhodes
Daffodils 1 & 2 | Wayne Rothwell  

- Shemar & Parents | Wayne Rothwell


- Erykah Badu | Health Pavilion North, Cape Fear Valley Health System, NC

Woven Together: Sunset | The Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission 


Greenbelt Art Gallery | Greenbelt News Review,

Greenbelt Artists Keep Working Through Many-Month Lockdown | Greenbelt News Review, Thursday, February 18, 2021, page 12

Greenbelt Recreation Arts Hosts Studio Tour | Greenbelt News Review,
Thursday, May 27, 2021, page 12