Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary hosted the unveiling of “The Promise of His Return,” one of 24 apocalyptical paintings by internationally-known artist and Texas native Barbara Ogarrio, May 4.
Ogarrio, who currently lives in Whitney, Texas with her husband Joaquin, donated the collection to the seminary as a show of appreciation for the school’s stance in favor of conservative Christianity.
“This is a monumental addition to our school and we are your debtors forever for doing this,” Southwestern President Paige Patterson said during the event held in the A. Webb Roberts Library.
The work of Ogarrio, a Fort Worth native who graduated from Paschal High School and Texas Wesleyan University, has been featured in International Artist, Pastel Journal, and Pastel Artist International. She works mostly in pastels, but sometimes uses oils and acrylics.
Ogarrio sold her first painting at age 15 for $5: a pastel of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. She entered the gallery scene after teaching art and raising her family in Half Moon Bay, Calif., for 24 years. She sold her second painting at the age of 55-years-old in a small gallery in Half Moon Bay. The individual paintings she sells to collectors fetch anywhere from $3,000-$4,500 a piece.
“Looking back, it seems that I have really been training all my life to arrive at this point to do the most significant work I have ever done,” Ogarrio said.
The End Times series was first created on computer beginning in 1993, and then committed to canvas between 2000 and 2003. Ogarrio said she was prompted to create the paintings upon hearing a news story about a chip that was being implanted in humans for medical purposes. She said the story reminded her of the “mark of the beast” in Revelation 13.
“Not enough churches talk about Revelation,” Ogarrio said. “Preachers need to have these [paintings] because you can build whole sermons around them.”
Many of Ogarrio’s most noted works have been in a realistic style; she said she loves to paint flowers and flower arrangements. However, with her End Times series she harkened back to her college days and her training in abstract art.
“I want these paintings to be ethereal but abstract,” she said. “I wanted to evoke a religious feeling without being realistic.”
Ogarrio said that in her art classroom back in Half Moon Bay she had posters on the wall. One poster said, “Art is learning to see.” The other one said, “If all else fails, follow directions.”“I believe God has graced me with a talent, trained me in the way I should go, and gave me a job to do when I was ready that he planned for me long ago,” she said. “I am following his directions after taking a lifetime to learn to see.”