Barton welcomes back artist-in-residence John Hancock

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Barton College celebrates John Hancock as the fall artist-in-residence with his new exhibition “The Shaped Landscape.” The exhibition opens in the Lula E. Rackley Gallery in the Barton Art Galleries on Tuesday, Oct. 13, and runs through Friday, Nov. 20.

An opening reception with the artist will be held on Thursday, Oct. 22, from 5-7 p.m. The artist talk will begin at 6 p.m. Advance reservations are required because of social distancing requirements, but there is no charge to attend the reception or artist talk. Masks will be required for all those attending. To make reservations, contact the Barton Art Galleries at artgalleries@barton.edu or call 252-399-6476.

Social distancing and masks will be required when visiting this exhibition. Visitors should call and schedule a time to visit. Individuals and small groups, not exceeding 10 people, will be greeted by a Barton Art Galleries intern upon arrival. For more information, contact Maureen O’Neill, director of exhibitions and educational programming, Barton Art Galleries, at 252-399-6476 or moneill@barton.edu.


Since 2000, painter John Hancock has lived, made art and taught in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains of central Virginia. Prior to relocating, he lived, studied and worked in both the Southeast and Midwest (from Atlanta to Wichita and from Florida to North Carolina when he taught at Barton College). Moving about the country fueled his love of travel and the exploration of both exotic and ordinary places. His paintings, drawings and collages grow out of his exploration of the natural world and his place in it.

Hancock’s artwork usually begins from direct observation. Then later, in his studio, he creates paintings in watercolor, gouache or acrylic. His goal is to bring together naturalistic and abstract elements into a balanced and tentative harmony.

“I make image objects,” Hancock said. “Starting from direct observation, I edit and overlay organic and geometric passages to interrupt realism with abstraction. In this way, my drawings and paintings, from the most intimate to the largest installation scale pieces, disrupt the conventions of landscape, still life and portraiture.”

Hancock has exhibited regionally, nationally and in England. For many years, he balanced being an artist and an art professor. A full-time studio artist, he offers workshops and makes presentations to groups and schools.