Irma Suzanne Barness, a noted local artist, died on January 11, 2013. She was 86.
IRMA was a woman of many talents and gifts. She was admitted to the distinguished High School of Music and Art in New York City, where she played the piano and flute. She then went to Bucknell University, where she took her first art course. It was at Bucknell where she fell in love with art and also with Herbert Barness.
After graduation from Bucknell, Irma married Herbert Barness, who became a real estate developer in the region, and moved to Bucks County and then Montgomery County. She took art classes, painted, and did sculpture while raising a family of two daughters, Lynda Barness and Nancy Barness, with her husband. She loved painting people, flowers, and creations from her own imagination. Many of her paintings feature her travel experiences and family gatherings. Art was Irma's very personal endeavor. After their children became adults, Irma and Herb Barness returned to Bucks County, and Irma painted full-time. Her interest in art was enhanced by some special teachers over the years: Jacques Fabert, Richard Liberman, Selma Burke, Mr. Gottlieb, Paul Gorka, and recently Gwen Koths. She attended Cheltenham and Abington Art Centers, Allens Lane Art Center, The Museum School, and The Barnes Foundation.
Her work has been exhibited at the New Hope Golden Door Gallery, Carol Schwartz Gallery, Doylestown Library, and have been featured in many area art shows, as well as winning a number of prizes. She gave a retrospective of her work in the summer of 2012 and exhibited over 100 works of art at that time.
She is survived by her two daughters Lynda and Nancy, grandchildren Jennifer (and Daniel), Melissa (and Charles), Julie (and David), and Elizabeth, along with four great-grandchildren who always brought a big smile to her face. She leaves behind others she loved: her “Three Musketeers” friends Jeannie and Bobbie, as well as David and Delores, who took great care of her. Contributions in her memory would be greatly appreciated at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania 3400 Spruce St. Phila PA 19104 or a charity of the donor's choice.www.fluehr.com