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Second Sense - Beyond Vision Loss

Barbara Romain

I earned a BFA from the University of Arts in Philadelphia and an MFA from Otis College of Arts in Los Angeles. After being diagnosed with Rentinitis Pigmentosa in 1984 and becoming legally blind, I questioned by ability to continue painting. However I have transformed my thinking and techniques to incorporate my physical limitations.

I have found that experimenting with color is an important aspect of my work and my color palette has grown stronger as my sight diminishes. I create original stencils to form iconic imagery by replacing my vision with body gestures. In my large paintings, I use text to weave words and create a complex, layered image where the viewer is invited to create his or her own poetry. I am now inspired less by what I see and more by what I hear, remember, and imagine.

In addition to my work, I am a Professor at Columbia College Hollywood, a film school located in Tarzana, California.

Exhibits include: Holter Museum, Helena; The Downtown Art Center Gallery and Gallery 825, Los Angeles; the Luggage Store Gallery and City Hall Gallery, San Francisco; Arts & Literature Lab, New Haven; Art Around Gallery, Philadelphia; and the Terrace Gallery, Washington, D.C.

To see more of Barbara’s work, visit



Color Haikus #2