Barbara Bustard’s creations are a reflection of her passion for bright colors, spreading joy, and embracing diversity. Her upcoming exhibition this June at the Gallery @ the Forge is titled “Over the Rainbow” and will run from June 8-July 13. 

 Barbara Bustard’s journey as an artist is intertwined with a beautiful love story. She met her partner, Judith, at church, and over time, their friendship blossomed into something more. On a memorable Palm Sunday in 2015, they realized the depth of their connection and decided to embark on a lifelong journey together. Their marriage on August 28, 2016 marked the beginning of a new chapter filled with love, support and artistic inspiration. 

 One of the significant influences on Barbara’s work is the Rainbow Warrior Prophecy. This prophecy speaks of a future where people of all races, colors, and creeds set aside their differences to heal the Earth and its inhabitants. As described in the prophecy, a great Whirling Rainbow would symbolize unity, peace, and understanding. Barbara draws inspiration from this message of hope and envisions a world where everyone, regardless of their background, can come together and thrive. 

 Barbara’s art exhibition, “Over the Rainbow,” derives its name from the LGBTQ symbol of the rainbow and the iconic song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” The exhibition represents her belief in a beautiful utopian land beyond the rainbow, where love, harmony, and equality prevail.  

“I love bright colors and my work always depicts that,” Barbara said. “I want my work to bring joy to people whether they are using it, wearing it, or looking at it.” 

 Color plays a central role in Barbara’s art. She uses vibrant hues to capture the beauty that surrounds us and showcases the awe-inspiring world we live in. Through her photography, Barbara reveals the wonders of nature and invites viewers to appreciate the magnificence that often goes unnoticed. Her glass and ceramic work merge functionality with fun, creating pieces that are not only visually appealing but also enjoyable to use and wear.

Barbara’s art aims to ignite conversations and inspire change. By weaving messages of equality and unity into her pieces, she encourages viewers to reflect on the importance of inclusivity and the fulfillment of the Rainbow Prophecy for all people.

“While some of my work is meant to share a message, for the most part, I hope that my work makes you smile,” Barbara said. 

 Barbara Bustard’s exhibition, “Over the Rainbow,” promises an immersive experience of vibrant artworks that celebrate joy, diversity and hope. The exhibition opens with a reception on Thursday, June 8, from 6-8pm and concludes with a closing reception on Thursday, July 13, from 6-8pm.

Gallery hours will be held on Saturdays, June 10, 24, and July 1, from 10am to 2pm.

Barbara will host a make and take on June 24 to make a rainbow twirlie suncatcher which can hang in windows, on the porch, or in trees. The cost is $15. 

Visitors have the opportunity to book 15-minute portrait sessions for $20 against a Pride-themed backdrop during gallery hours, offering a chance to capture cherished memories in support of the LGBTQ community.