Biography: “My motivating force as a painter,” wrote Edmonton-born artist Barbara Akins, “is a desire to express visually my search for balance between physical and spiritual forces.” As Akins explained, her experiences of the Canadian landscape yielded her access to hues, physical forms, and textures she described as “glorious,” and which, more crucially, allowed her to glimpse an ephemeral “mighty, unseen energy or power.”
After earning her BA with a concentration in Fine Arts at the University of Alberta (1981 – 1983), Akins pursued her BFA (1983 – 1987) with a major in painting and clay sculpture. In addition to conducting art tours of Madrid, Toledo, and London (1986), she twice studied at the Emma Lake Artists Workshop (1987, 1988).
Akins participated in several solo and group exhibitions, including the Elk Island National Park Exhibition at the Rice Gallery of Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre, and Art in Bloom at the Edmonton Art Gallery. In 1995, she conducted a guest lecture at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Extension to present a ten-year retrospective discussion with slides of her work.
A range of corporate, public, and private collections house Akins’s work, including those of Westin Hotels, Avacom Industries, and the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Alberta.
Akins passed away in 2007.