The Arts Commission of Danville/Boyle County has named Barbara Reynierson the 2012 Arts Citizen.
Reynierson is a retired art instructor who taught in both the Danville and Boyle County schools. She also taught in Louisville and Lexington public schools.
C.T. Whitehouse, a former student of Reynierson’s and a successful artist, recalled his former teacher’s influence on his interest in art.
“When I graduated in 1970 from Danville High School, my keenest interest was art. A year earlier, I had no conscious interest in it at all. In fact I dropped a rather boring-to-me calculus class and took an art class just to goof off a bit in my senior year. Soon, I began spending my study period and my lunch hour in Mrs. Reynierson’s art room,” he wrote in an email.
“What I remember about Mrs. Reynierson as an art teacher was her enthusiasm and often frazzled attempts to give each student the opportunity to try most anything they wanted. That meant putting any material — paint, paper, canvas, clay and drawing tools — at our disposal. It was an exploration of possibilities. Our imagination had to kick in to figure out what to do with these things and what we did was not so much about quality as it was the experience.”
Reynierson was born in California and educated in public schools. After graduating from Centre College in 1950, she taught at Oklahoma Baptist University. She earned her Master’s and Rank I at Eastern Kentucky University.
After retiring from full time teaching, she worked with the Gifted and Talented programs in both school systems. She is a member of the Danville Garden Club and Delta Kappa Gamma (international education society).
She is a member of The Presbyterian Church, where she has volunteered her time, often creating flower arrangements for services and programs.
According to outgoing ACDBC president Mimi Becker, Reynierson is “committed to public education and to the development of personal expression and creativity in children.”
“She particularly enjoys working with middle and high school age students. She is outspoken in the philosophy that the individual’s original artistic expression should be encouraged, developed and appreciated at all levels and ages,” Becker noted.
Whitehouse said he’s been fortunate to be professionally successful as an artist.
“There are moments, places and people that nudge us to our individual and unique successes. I was 17. I lived in Danville. Mrs. Reynierson put clay in my hand. Over many years, similar acts have helped form the nature of many students and shape the character of her community,” he explained.
“We are all richer because of Mrs. Reynierson. Let’s give her our deep gratitude.”