Scholarship Spotlight – Barry Carter

Scholarship Received: 2012
High School: Magnolia West – May 2012
Why Others Should Apply: “Any time someone is willing to support you purely out of the generosity in their heart, realize that they are actually helping to make
your dreams come true.”

Barry Carter, 21, happened to hear about The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Partners Fine Arts Scholarship Program through a fellow artist and high school classmate. Due in part to that chance conversation, Barry has been one of the most driven art students at Texas Christian University since 2012.

Barry has been an artist from the moment he picked up a crayon. Since then, both the complexity of his artwork and his passion for creating has greatly improved and increased. Even before receiving the scholarship, Barry fully intended to pursue visual arts in college. However, because of his seemingly contradictory professional aspirations in both business and art, his opportunities for a balanced education were limited. “Business and art are on two opposite sides of the spectrum,” he admitted. “I needed to find a school that could foster both left and right brain firing at full capacity.”

Fortunately, he found exactly that in the programs at Texas Christian University. “It was the only place that could meet me in the middle, but it wasn’t going to be cheap,” said Barry. “I needed all the financial help I could get, and I’m glad The Pavilion Partners believed in me.”

As for the audition that earned Barry a scholarship, he confesses he can’t remember the details. He laughed lightly, saying “I invest a lot of my emotions and creative outputs into every part of my [painting] process and tend to operate primarily on adrenaline.” This is a common practice—many works of art are not created as a result of prior planning and meticulous execution, but by instinct and boldness. “You can’t really mess up,” he said sensibly. “It’s a liberating notion!”

He does, however, remember being quite nervous before the audition. To prepare, Barry carefully scrutinized each of his paintings before selecting them as showcase pieces. He wanted to show pieces that would both impress and challenge the judges. “I think my work sticks out,” he said, “but whether they appreciated it or not was not up to me.” Clearly the judges understood his unique talent, as they were delighted to offer him a scholarship following his confident audition.

Attending Texas Christian University allows Barry to create in a stress-free environment. The frequent affirmations from his friends and family, as well as working in close proximity with fellow painters who inspire and encourage him, make it easy for Barry to continue to explore his inventiveness. “Not hindered by the kind of disconnect most college students face, I am free to create new works which I believe are more true to myself than my previous style.”

Rather than forcing him to split his focus, his double majors of business and visual arts are preparing him for each of the careers he hopes to adopt. “I hope I am able to eventually paint full-time,” he said. “But I am also looking forward to the possibility of becoming a professor of fine art.” In order to make either or both of these dreams a reality, he recognizes the necessity of furthering his education. With this in mind, Barry plans to enroll in the Master’s Program of Fine Arts at Houston Baptist University in the fall of 2016.

While developing his talent for creation, Barry also grows in his faith. “I’m still not sure of the ultimate role I will play in fine art, but I will follow the path that God sets for me, no matter the role it requires me to play,” he explained. “I think it was my innate curiosity and love for creation that first interested me in art. Growing up, I always wanted to replicate the handy work of God’s ultimate Creation, and I always came back to visual arts.” He is fortunate to attend a Christian university that not only fosters progress in his studies, but also his conviction. “I know now that I have been given a gift and I need to pursue it,” he concluded.

From Barry Carter’s collection of creative works: