Artist Spotlight: Barb Byrne

  1. Name: Barb Byrne
  2. City: Pleasant Hill, MO
  3. Business Name: Barb Byrne Glass
  4. Medium: Glass
  5. Facebook Link: and
  6. Instagram Link:
  7. Twitter Link: https:/
  8. Website Link:
  9. Any other online shops? (Fine Art America, Etsy?) no
  10. Juried/Not Juried? Juried
  11. How long have you been a BOMH Member? I have been a juried member for a little over one year, but I was a member for about 5 years during the early 2000s
  12. Why did you join BOMH? I joined BOMH to interact with other artists and expand my knowledge about other forms of art.
  13. Do you make your living from being an artist? No, I make my living writing content for real estate courses – for persons wanting to get their real estate license.
  14. Other Jobs you have had in your life? I taught special education students for 12 years, then got my computer programming degree and worked for Southwestern Bell as a programmer. After that I became a stand up trainer and managed a group of trainers at McDonnell Douglas Corporation. After the contract we were working on ended, my husband and I started our own business as training developers and stand-up trainers. We worked as contract trainers for the State of Missouri in Jefferson City for several years and also did contract training in the private sector. In addition, I worked as a remedial reading and English instructor for State Fair Community College and also did contract writing and editing jobs. We continue to operate our business to this day writing training courses for real estate schools.
  15. Hobbies? My hobbies include planting flowers, vegetable gardening, watching clouds, enjoying the sunrise/sunset, reading, doing Sudoku puzzles, spending time with my grandkids, baking bread, doing yoga, doing water aerobics, and working on my glass.
  16. What kind of pets do you have? None at the moments, but we have had several cats and dogs. Our favorite breeds are Great Pyrenees and collies.
  17. Favorite Vacation or a Dream Vacation. We have done a month-long winter vacation in the Florida Panhandle (Panama City Beach) every February for the past 10 years. I LOVE the beach. I was born in New Jersey and spent many summers at the ocean. It’s the one thing I have missed most about living in the Midwest. Sadly, covid is keeping us at home this February.
  18. How long have you been creating art? I have been doing some form of art/craft for as far back as I can remember. I sewed all my own clothes in high school and college, including my prom gowns. I also made my own wedding dress – lace, beads and all! I did a lot of embroidery for a lot of years, mostly cross-stitch, but other forms as well.
    I took some spinning and weaving classes, which led me into basket-weaving in the mid-1990s. For several years I wove baskets and doll cradles and then I wove 3 full-size baby cradles, one for my new granddaughter and the other 2 for friends. During the 17 years we lived on a farm, I started growing gourds and then I married my love of weaving with my love of gourds and started weaving rims on gourds that I had grown, cured, cut, and finished. Some gourds I painted; some I woodburned. My weaving materials included some natural reeds and fibers I collected from my property. After moving from the farm to the Kansas City area, I heard about a fused glass class at a local community center. I took the class in 2009 and, as they say, the rest is history. I have been creating in glass ever since – starting with small jewelry pieces and advancing into larger home décor items and most recently into working with glass powders to create nature scenes and wildlife. I also create infused cremains glass memorial pieces for persons who have lost loved ones or pets. Professionally? I don’t consider myself a professional artist, although I have won awards in several shows and exhibitions.
  19. Where did you grow up? In Bayonne, New Jersey – just across the bay from Manhattan NY. It was a very small city in area, only one mile wide and 3 miles long, but it was crowded with people – over 75,000 I think. We had over 7 Catholic elementary schools and several public elementary schools, as well as 3 high schools.
  20. Where your parents creative? I think they might have been if they’d had a chance. Our life was tough; my Dad changed jobs a lot and money was scarce. But I do remember that my Mom loved to do “paint by number” paintings and I did several of them with her. She also did a lot of sewing. I think she grew up having to sew her own clothes, as she also came from a poor farm family.
  21. What inspired you to start creating art? I’m not sure I can answer that question. It may have been my mother’s interest in painting that got me started, but it’s something I’ve always felt a need to do in one form or another.
  22. What do you enjoy most about creating art? I love how I can bring my internal thoughts and emotions out into a piece I’m working on. I love watching and hearing the reactions of others to my art. And I love the feeling I get when I open the kiln! It’s always a surprise and almost always unexpected. But even if it’s not what I was hoping for, there’s always a chance to redo a piece and take it to the next level.
  23. Where do you sell your art? Most of my sales have come from art that I have displayed at Saint Luke’s East Hospital in Lee’s Summit. I have also sold pieces at private home showings, other public exhibitions, and from my website.
  24. Do you do shows/exhibits? I don’t do vendor shows, but I do exhibitions and art competitions.
  25. Any upcoming shows/exhibits? I still have art for sale at Saint Luke’s and I have pieces in shows at Images Gallery in Overland Park, KS and Buttonwood Gallery in Kansas City, MO. But covid has mostly curtailed lots of the kinds of exhibitions I participate in.
  26. Are you in any galleries/shops? My work gets accepted into short-term Gallery shows, but I am not represented by any galleries. I am not in any shops.
  27. What is your favorite thing to create? I love doing wildlife and nature pieces using layers of glass powders. I also love to create infused cremains memorial pieces for persons who have lost loved ones or beloved pets.
  28. If you could give a piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be? It’s never too late to “start out.” No matter where you are in your life – what age or what stage – it creates a whole new world for you when you are active and involved in art. The rewards are many and it’s SO worth it.
  29. Is there anything you would like to add about yourself or your art?
    I’m grateful and blessed to be able to call myself an artist!
Swallowtails in Flight