A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Ted Barnes received his M.F.A. in Painting from the University of Arkansas in 1979, he received his M.A. in Art Education in 1977 from Western Kentucky University and his B.A. in Studio Art from Ouachita Baptist University in 1972. He began his teaching career at Campbellsville College in 1979 and for the past twenty-six years he has been a teacher and administrator at Ouachita Baptist University, Louisiana College and Georgetown College. He was most recently Professor of Visual Art at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas where he directed the graphic design program. In 1994 he was a visiting scholar in art at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University, Oxford, England. From 1985 through 1986 he was an assistant art director for Halblieb and Moll & Associates, a full-service advertising agency in Louisville, Kentucky.
He is an active artist and designer and a list of selected solo and group exhibitions include “Blame It on Cain: A Mid-Career Retrospective,” River Oaks Arts Center, Alexandria, LA; “Bangles, Jangles, Beeswax and Clay,” Ameen Gallery, Nicholls State University, Thibodeaux, LA; "12th Annual Art with a Southern Drawl," University of Mobile, Mobile, AL; “Gumbo Yumbo,” Tuska Gallery, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY; “Personal Problems,” Orville Hanchey Gallery, Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, LA; “Debra Smith Barnes & Ted Barnes: Recent Work,” Spalding University, Louisville, KY; “Personal Icons & Fantasy Landscapes,” Alexandria Museum of Art, Alexandria, LA; “Bootleggers, Modernists, & Bolsheviks: Recent Work,” Samford University, Birmingham, AL; “Southeastern Juried Exhibition 1996,” Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL; “1996 Clemson National Print & Drawing Exhibition,” Clemson University, Clemson, SC; “23rd Prints, Drawings, & Photographs Exhibition,” Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR; and “Recent Work,” University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS.
My most recent work has been based on a re-investigation into the ideas and concepts of modern abstraction as sources for composition and content. These images combining reality and abstraction are used metaphorically as an investigation about the paradoxical nature of man and his relationship with God. It unfolds as loose interpretations about personal experiences concerning life in general and explores the difference and similarities between emotion and reason, pride and disappointment, understanding and misunderstanding, etc. I see this work as the complexity of understanding versus the reality of the situation. I think a lot of my work has to do with a sense of understanding myself, and is intended to further explore my spiritual search for “Truth.”