About Me


I believe art helps us make sense of the complexity of our world — or at least appreciate its baffling intricacy.

Maybe we need art for reassurance or to help interpret the things we don’t understand. I’m not sure. But by surrounding ourselves with beautiful and thought-provoking things, we become more understanding, positive and tolerant.

My work is born out of realism but generally grows into heavy abstraction and multi-layered fantasy. All my work has a superimposed feel because that’s how I view the world. It’s never what you see at first glance. I look around and see layer upon layer of disparate elements that intertwine and fight and converse with one another to produce a gorgeous, cohesive whole. The whole picture reveals itself only when you’re aware of the wonderful relationship of all its elements.

My images are often extremely saturated with color — which is basically my way of waking myself, and the viewer, up to endless possibilities. If I can create a dialogue between intense colors that intrigues the viewer, then yet another level of communication opens up to us.

In the end I hope my work moves viewers . . . no matter what direction it takes them. If they find themselves cocking their head to get a different angle than when they first started looking, my work has succeeded.

Richard Barker



Experience                      30+ years as a producing artist.

Eight years as a Digital Manipulation Artist and Photographer, informed by 25+ years as a Theater Artistic Director. Skilled at complexly layered fine art, portrait/landscape photography and all aspects of creative Photoshop work.

Employment history

May 2008 – Present          Freelance Artist

Represented by Corner House Gallery to create commissioned artworks, primarily for corporations. Purchased works are installed at:

True North
PCI Medical Pavillion
Theatre Cedar Rapids
United Fire Group
Bankers Trust
Elderkin and Pirnie, PLC
Gibbs, Lamb, Drown Commercial Realtors
Mercy Care Medical Center
University of Iowa

Primary Photographer for Spotlight Photography.

October 1981-2008                   Executive Artistic Director

Theatre Cedar Rapids

Gallery Shows

Corner House Gallery      Cedar Rapids, IA     Solo
Apple Creek Gallery         Cedar Rapids, IA     Solo

B.A., Theater and Speech, Simpson College
Special Skills

Collaborative Art — Listening to and understanding clients’ desires