In 2016, Riley retired after 38 years as a Professor of Art at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. In her Texas Hill Country studio, she works on digital prints, alternative processes and mixed media works. Barbra Riley’s recent relocation to central Texas is the major influence in the artwork she has made since living and working in the natural environment surrounding her.
In her series “The Woods Journal,” Riley presents a poem about this change in her surroundings accompanied by dream-like photographs. The images weave through the lines of her poem emphasizing the small and beautiful discoveries that occur while wandering in the woods. From ephemeral cactus blossoms that rarely last more than a day, to layers of the transparent woods of winter, to fragile other-worldly ice sculptures made by common weeds, Riley captures the feeling of being outside and away from the tribulations of daily life.
Barbra Riley has been developing curriculum and teaching classes in photography, design and watercolor painting at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi for over 3 decades as well as curating exhibitions for the Islander and Weil Gallery, conducting workshops in historical photographic processes, bookbinding and watercolor painting and leading classes and workshops abroad.
Riley has now retired from teaching at the University and relocated to her studio in the Texas Hill Country to work on Digital prints, Alternative Processes and Mixed media.
Riley’s photographs and paintings have been included in exhibitions at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C., Santa Barbara Museum of Art and Laguna Beach Museum of Art, California. In Texas, she has exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Houston Center for Photography, Laguna Gloria Museum in Austin, Abilene Fine Arts Museum, and The Art Museum of South Texas as well as dozens of universities, art galleries and alternative art exhibition spaces. Currently, 18 large painted photographs by Riley are featured in the new AT&T Center Collection of Art in San Antonio.
In Texas, her work resides in numerous permanent collections including the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The Dallas Museum of Art, the Harry Ransom Center at UT Austin, the AT&T Center and Republic National Bank, San Antonio and The Art Museum of South Texas in Corpus Christi. Nationally, she is represented in the corporate collections of Chase Bank, New York, Kaiser-Permanente and Price Waterhouse, California.