Great American Barns: Barn Painting Has Unique Meaning

November 18, 2016 01:11 PM

If you said you were painting a barn, many people would assume you’re putting a fresh coat of paint on the aging exterior. For Gwen Gutwein, an Indiana artist, it has a different meaning.

“I try to paint either first thing in the morning to catch early morning light on the barn, or late in the afternoon when light is long,” said Gutwein.

With her brush, palette and keen eye, she is recreating Indiana’s barns on canvas, moving her temporary studio to each one of the state’s 92 counties over the course of 10 years.

“I was very concerned about the loss of our barns,” said Gutwein. “Being an artist, I wanted to do something I could do to give back and to draw attention to the demise facing our barns.”

With a mission in place, she set out to capture the character, aged timber, hardened hinges, and weathered façade of barns across Indiana.

“I let the barns tell me how to paint them, but generally speaking, I have my personal approach like every artist,” said Gutwein.

As if making 92 stops along her way to paint barns, in 2013, she helped create the non-profit Indiana Barn Foundation, which educates the general public on the value of the state’s aging barns.

“Barns are such a part of our heritage and we’re losing them,” said Gutwein. “If we lose them, we can’t get it back. It’s gone.”

To view her work, visit

Watch her full story on AgWeb above.

Back to news


Spell Check

No comments have been posted to this News Article

Corn College TV Education Series


Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!


Market Data provided by
Brought to you by Beyer