Barbara Rhodes came to Kent State University in January 2009 from San Diego, California, but is from Ohio.
As a young girl she loved movie star paper dolls. She designed and watercolored a shoe box full of paper doll dresses. In high school she was awarded a scholarship to study Figure Drawing at the Cleveland Art Institute. She studied Figure Painting in Mexico City as a University of Denver exchange student. Barbara received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Denver and completed graduate-level courses in Fine Art from the University of Colorado.Barbara's education fueled a passion for figure-drawing which continued with a freelance illustration career that included fashion and other types of corporate, print illustration and television courtroom art. San Diego clients include Fashion Valley Mall, San Diego Magazine, Harcourt-Brace Publishing, Red-Cross San Diego, The Fashion Group San Diego, The Valencia Hotel, La Jolla ,CA and Ashworth Golf, CA. At Ashworth Golf Barbara assisted the design and illustration of garment and accessory prototypes. New York clients include Petite Sophisticate, New York Newsday Magazine.
Barbara's teaching career as a full-time adjunct faculty from 1977 to the present parallels her free-lance commercial art career. She taught Life-drawing and Fashion illustration at the Colorado Institute of Art, where she was the subject lead instructor and Assistant Chair, and also taught Fashion lllustration at Mesa Community College in San Diego where she originated the course for their curriculum and illustrated a technique manual. At The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Diego and Orange County, she was a full-time instructor for 20 years, teaching all levels of Fashion Sketching for both Fashion and Product Development majors in San Diego and Orange County, California.
At Kent State University, as a full time NTT adjunct faculty, she teaches Fashion Design students Drawing I and II fabric and figure illustration rendering skills while incorporating design concepts. Her intention is to blend her experience of West Coast fashion art with the academic vision of The Kent State Fashion School. A future goal is to incorporate her teaching experiences and techniques into a Fashion Illustration text.
Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities
Her creative interests include pursuing Fine Art watercolor and Plein Air painting, most recently with the Plein Air Painters of San Diego.