Barbara Nerenz-Kelley
Asheville, NC

My career as an artist started with six colored pencils and a few grayish sheets of paper. That is what was available in the aftermath of World War II. Chaos, destruction and reconstruction comprised an essential experience of my childhood in Germany during and after the war. This caused a deep longing to bring order into disorder, clarity into confusion, stillness to quiet the inside and outside noise.

Having painted in my early twenties, and after a career as a social worker, counselor and therapist in Munich, I relocated from Germany to Asheville, NC in 2004 to live with my husband, the writer Robert Eaton Kelley '61. I had met Robert in 2000 during my sabbatical at the spiritual community at Findhorn, Scotland where I was participating in the Essence of the Arts program. After beginning my stay in the USA as a teacher for Meditative Circle Dance, I soon committed to work as a professional painter.

I understand art as a spiritual language which tends to bring me into the Now. With vigorous brushstrokes and painting in many layers I am generating chaos to find order, destroying to build up again. Each painting undergoes multiple metamorphoses and connects me with nature's cycles of birth, death and rebirth, of creation, destruction and building up again. Since 2006 my artwork has been exhibited in various shows and galleries and can be found in private collections in the USA and in Germany.

                                                                      -- Barbara Nerenz-Kelley

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