Artist Galleries | Bill Barnes

Bill Barnes
Bill J. W. "Bill" Barnes is often described by peers as a true Renaissance man, because of his desire to continually explore and learn. During a career that has spanned more than four decades, several paths have led Barnes to his current work as an accomplished painter, The current work features oil painting and drawings, which he incorporates into a collage, construction environment.

He graduated from the prestigious Art Center School in Los Angeles and won awards while working as an Art Director at advertising agencies and for CBS Records in Nashville. In addition, he has operated his own design firm for more than 28 years. A love of art, creativity and design was instilled in Barnes early in his childhood. Barnes fondly remembers that he and a classmate, Bobby Funderburg, were known as the "class artists". The two often designed the holiday decorations that lined the school's halls.

As a young high school and college student, Barnes set his are aspirations aside to focus on an engineering degree. After working as a student engineer one summer, he says he realized that "engineering was not my cup of tea". At Georgia Tech, architecture captured his attention for a time, but Barnes soon left school to enter the working world.

A week after typing the knot with his wife and future business partner, Pat, the two moved cross-country to Los Angeles. Once there, Barnes enrolled at the prestigious Art Center School, where he earned a Bachelor of Professional Arts with Honors. The primary focus of his studies was in advertising and graphic design.

After graduation, Barnes worked as an Art Director at several advertising agencies in Atlanta and Nashville. Later, CBS Records hired Barnes as the record label's first Nashville-based Art Director. During his seven-year stint with CBS Records and then, after opening his own business, Barnes & Company, Barnes designed more than 1,000 album covers for nearly 200 music artists, including Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Charlie Rich, The Judds, Tammy Wynette and Tanya Tucker, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Charlie Daniels.

Today, Barnes' design firm specializes in cutting edge graphic arts, package engineering and design, and concept illustration for up scale gift market, mass market and club gift products, including journals, scrapbooks and photo albums and specialty products.

In his leisure time, Barnes enjoys architecture and landscape design. He designed both additions to his 1920's Tudor-style home. In his 60s, Barnes says he has no plans to retire. "I'm thoroughly happy working in the gift design industry where I can incorporate fine are concepts. And thankfully, I am finding time to continue my study of fine art and pursue my painting".

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