Betty Clark


About the Artist:

The act of painting is a way to express the often complicated and multi layered experiences of living, while observing a present and immediate, or  distant event. The process of painting is cathartic, and brings me back to myself. It’s the way I have found to compact into a singular form, what I have observed, thought, and felt about a personal experience or an event in the larger world.

The primary and underlying theme of my work since 1983 has been about loss and mourning. Loss of a loved one, either through death or separation, loss of places, loss of safety, loss of species, loss of hope, are the things I think about. Personal happy or difficult interactions with people can be a theme. Psychological, political, and environmental concerns can enter into a painting. A particular location can be inspirational. On occasion, a painting is made for the uncomplicated pleasure of using the materials.

To conclude a painting, an order must be found within a defined space. At the same time, I stay open to new and unexpected visual, mental and emotional insights.  When new visual discoveries present themselves, they may change an already existing composition or direction.

There is a visceral sense of rightness at the end of a painting. It may not be, what it looked like it would be, somewhere along the way.  Sometimes a struggle occurs between me and a painting, which can take a very long time to resolve. I paint because it is always a new painting, a new learning experience.

My hope is that there is an energetic and intimate connection that happens between a painting, a viewer, and me. Painting continues to be a personal act of spiritual gratitude and wonder.


I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and lived with my parents and sisters, Mary Clark Hollins and Kitty Clark Manson, until I was eighteen. I attended Metairie Park Country Day School, kindergarten through the twelfth grade. I was fortunate to go to this wonderful school because it celebrated the arts and encouraged us to excel in them. I graduated from Country Day in 1962.  The next year I attended Converse College, in Spartanburg, SC. The Cuban Missile Crisis happened that fall. I left Converse after one year, to marry. President John Kennedy was assassinated in the fall of 1963. Twelve years and three incredible children later, I divorced. During those years, the Vietnam War and Civil Rights Movement happened. I wanted to go back to school. I attended Agnes Scott College for three years, and transferred to Georgia State University to study Art. I graduated with honors in1983 and moved to Black Mountain, NC and began painting professionally. My studio was a small room in a rental house. In 1985 I moved to Asheville, NC and located a studio on Broadway. I moved again to a studio in the Riverlink building in 1991.  With the leadership of Karen Cragnolian ( Riverlink) and Gayle McCarthy (Highwater Clay) I helped organize the first, soon to be River Arts District, Open Studios. There were five participating artists at that time.



Upstairs Artspace Gallery, Tryon, NC; Boldly Abstract


Asheville Area Arts Council, Asheville, NC; A Girl and a Gun: Asheville Artists Cope with Love and Death, Curated by Taiyo La Paix (12/13/13-1/24/14)


Cabarrus Arts Council, Concord, NC; The Edge


Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, Alabama; Todays Visual Language: Southern Abstraction, A Fresh Look

Hickory Museum of Art, Hickory, NC; Waking Up with Van Gogh, Curated by
Moni Hill


University of North Carolina, Asheville, NC; UNCA Invitational Art Exhibition


William King Museum, Abingdon, VA; To Transgress: Paintings By Betty Clark

Lark Books, Asheville, NC; Pet Show


Drew Dean Gallery, Brevard, NC; 360 Degree


Upstairs Gallery, Tryon, NC; String of Pearls


Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC; Make It New, Curated by Ron Platt, Curator of Birmingham Museum of Art


Black Mountain Center for the Arts, Black Mountain, NC; Betty Clark: Paintings

Robert Rentz Gallery, Richmond, VA; Small Works Invitational


Robert Rentz Gallery, Richmond, VA; Group Exhibition


Robert Rentz Gallery, Richmond, VA; Betty Clark Paintings

Upstairs Gallery, Tryon, NC; Curator’s Choice

16 Patton Avenue Gallery, Asheville, NC; New Artists

River Arts District, Asheville, NC; Summer Studio Stroll


Conn Gallery, Landrum, SC; Of Color and Composition


Studio 354, Brooklyn, NY; World Trade Center Memorial Fund Exhibition

Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC.;Walk on Air

Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta, GA; Summer Exhibition

Blue Spiral 1, Asheville, NC; Abstraction, A Parallel Reality


Conn Gallery, Landrum, SC; Women Artists in Asheville

Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta, GA; Opening New Space Exhibition

Chelsea Gallery, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC. Betty Clark: Born of Intimate Light


Metairie Park Country Day School, New Orleans, LA
Agnes Scott College, Decatur, GA
Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA

For a complete CV of other exhibitions, representation, publications, public and corporate collections, bibliography, grants and awards, please contact Bender Gallery.

Associated Exhibitions

SOFA Expo Chicago 2017
Returning to SOFA to exhibit exhilarating new work by a group of both established and emerging artists
November 2 - November 5, 2017