Yongue opens downtown art gallery

Grand Opening Set For July 3, 5 – 8 p.m.
Fairfield artist Barbara Yongue welcomes patrons to her new art gallery located at 121 E. Washington Street in downtown Winnsboro.

WINNSBORO – When local artist, Barbara Yongue, was a little girl, she dreamed of becoming an artist. Her parents would say, “Draw me,” when they had company over, proud of her natural ability. They took her to special art classes and she collected art postcards, mostly Van Gogh and Rembrandt, taping them to the walls of her room. She graduated Wayne State University in Ohio with a degree in fine art.

After that, she had a highly successful career in realty and sporting goods sales, yet she still dreamed – while balancing work and child-rearing – and painted.

About six years ago, Yongue took the leap from working multiple jobs to full-time artist. She wanted to prove that she could make a living doing what she loves.  Today, her work hangs in homes across this country as well as in France and Ireland.

“A gallery seemed like the next logical step so that people would have access to my art,” she said.

To that end, Yongue recently rented the front portion of a building in downtown Winnsboro. She calls it Heirloom Fine Art Gallery.

There, she plans to paint on site, hold art shows and provide a meeting place for the Fairfield County Arts Council, of which she is currently serving as president. 

Yongue paints a variety of subjects in oils and acrylics. Portraits are her specialty, but she is equally adept at landscapes, still lifes, abstracts, nudes and pets. She is particularly fond of paintings that feature unusual attire such as renaissance period clothing. 

“At least once a week I like to paint outdoors, ‘en plein air,’” Young said. And while she has painted in countries around the world, including Italy, Greece, France, Ireland and Lithuania, she finds some of her most inspiring subject matter in Fairfield County where she likes to celebrate the charm of small towns in her paintings. 

Yongue said her work has been influenced by a number of artists.

“I love Blue Sky’s work and have learned much by painting with him. I’ve also learned a great deal from the great portrait artist, Nelson Shanks,” Yongue said. Currently she is studying the work of David Leffel. 

“One of my main pleasures is being a member of Oil Painters of America and getting to know and paint with so many very fine fellow members of that organization,” she said. She is also a member of Trenholm Art Guild and the About Face art group.

Yongue said she challenges herself to learn and do more every day, rising early to work, hours before many in the town are awake. 

The belief that all good art is born of tragic circumstance belies Yongue’s extroverted, fun-loving socialness, always looking forward to the next party.

Her work can be viewed in her new gallery, located at 121 E. Washington Street in downtown Winnsboro behind the historic town clock. Gallery hours are 9-5, Tuesday through Friday and 9-1 on Saturday.

Contact her at 803-206-8229, or email [email protected] 

A ribbon-cutting is planned for Friday, July 3 at noon with a grand opening reception that night from 5 to 8 p.m. 

Everyone is invited—to look, to buy or just enjoy.