Deborah J. Haynes

I am now an Emerita Professor of Art and Art History at the University of Colorado Boulder, former Chair of the department from 1998-2002, and founding Director of a residential academic program in the visual and performing arts from 2003-2011. I also served as Director of Women’s Studies at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. With the M.F.A. in studio arts from the University of Oregon and a Ph.D. in the study of religion and art history from Harvard University, I am both an artist and writer. My creative work includes drawing and carving words in marble, while my writing addresses themes such as the cultural function of art and the role of the artist.

Following tumultuous events in late 2013, I made a major transition, moving from Jamestown in the Rocky Mountain foothills, to the small city of Longmont, where I renovated an old 1952 garage as a studio behind the house. From early 2015 into 2016, I worked on a new series on the theme of "path," part of my Marking Time series. Recently I began another series titled Dharma Art and images from this series appear in the Drawing/Painting gallery, alongside reflections and images about creating contemplative space. I continue to publish articles intermittently. In the year ahead, I expect to publish a series of short pieces on art and American Buddhism on this website.

Life, of course, has many dimensions. Besides working as a professor, writer, and artist, my inner life has developed in ways I could not have imagined as a young adult. I have been interested in religion since childhood, though I was raised in a secular family. I began studying yoga in 1971; became a serious practitioner in the mid-70s; and a certified Iyengar-style teacher in the early 1980s. I learned zazen meditation at the Lindisfarne Association in 1975 in Southampton, New York; and later participated in classes and short retreats with Vipassana Buddhist teachers. In 2005 I met the Venerable Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche and began practicing meditation within the Nyingma Buddhist lineage. Following the deaths of six people in my life in an eight-month period in 2005-06, I undertook hospice training and have worked as a patient volunteer in homes and facilities for the dying. Even while carrying a profound sense of impermanence and of the inevitability of death, a sense of belonging within my family sustains and anchors me. Everything is interconnected.

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