Breaking the Rules:

An abstract show featuring dk Gallery artists, Clara Blalock, Elizabeth Chapman, Helen DeRamus, Gina Hurry, Lorra Kurtz, Karen Laborde, Barbara Nerenz-Kelley, and Jennifer Rivera.

“If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.” – Katharine Hepburn

No coloring inside the lines here. This nonrepresentational abstract show features some wildly talented women sharing their ideas and experiences through color, shape and form. Swirls, squiggles, dashes and scratches mysteriously come together to tell a story. Enjoying abstract art is an experience like listening to a symphony. It requires some inventiveness on your part. The works in the gallery this month will challenge your ideas and spark your imagination.

Barbara Nerenz-Kelley



Barbara Kelley is one cool chick. Always recreating herself from her move to the U.S. her career as a therapist, and now a full-time artist with much to say.

“Chaos, destruction and reconstruction comprised an essential experience of my childhood in Germany during and after WW II. This caused a deep longing in me to bring order into disorder, clarity into confusion, stillness to quiet the inside and outside noise.”  – Barbara Nerenz-Kelley


Times to Remember  48" X 48"   Acrylic, Graphite, Oil Pastel

Times to Remember   48″ X 48″   Acrylic, Graphite, & Oil Pastel Barbara remembers feeling a sense of happiness and contentment at the start of this piece. Times to Remember can be found in the Breaking the Rules show, April, 2015.


“Breaking the rules” was something to avoid in Barbara Nerenz-Kelley’s childhood. Growing up after the war, she remembers thinking that her widowed mother had enough to handle. Barbara wanted to save her the trouble. As a grown up, breaking the rules has been part of her abstract language of form and color, and ultimately of healing.


Red crossroad: original-1

Firewalking 43″ X 48″ Acrylic & Graphite on Wood

“The love is in the journey,” she’ll tell you if you ask about her painting process. Beginning sometimes with a memory, or a vague feeling, the painting then takes on a life of its own as she creates layers of chaos using mixed media with flourishes and bold strokes. She goes back over the work again and again wiping or scratching away at her initial efforts, and then adding again. Her dreams and intuition drive her to complete the work.


Let's Go Further Than That    40" X 60"    Acrylic & Marble Dust on Canvas

Let’s Go Further Than That    40″ X 60″    Acrylic & Marble Dust on Canvas

Top 3 Artists Who Have Influenced Barbara’s Work

Antoni Tapies

“The raw materials he used, the reduced colors he chose, the attitude he painted with, his philosophical and spiritual background.”


Negre amb linia vermella

Negre amb linia vermella


Cy Twombly

“His lyrical-musical approach of Abstract Expressionism; the pictorial elements of writing and the sensitivity of lines in his paintings; the directness in his sculptures done with banal materials from every day life.”




Ambrogio Lorenzetti (14th century)

“I saw his ‘Allegory of the Good and Bad Government’ in the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, Italy the same year when I visited the chapel of Vallauris in Southern France with the sketches for the War and Peace murals by Picasso.
 Beside the beautiful colors and the extraordinary rhythm in Lorenzetti’s work, it has above all a deep meaning, and I wished that reproductions of his frescos could hang in every government of the world (BTW, “the effects of the good government” are hanging beside my bed bringing me joy every day).”
 “I can’t say how these three artists are influencing me (beside so many others whom I didn’t mention here). But the love and appreciation of their work and the excitement and inspiration I feel when I see it did –and still does–surely its part.”


Allegory of the Good and Bad Government

Allegory of the Good and Bad Government

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