Head Patineur and Conservator, Deep In The Heart Art Group
As an art student at ACU, Rebecca Barker (’04) helped shape one of the campus icons, Jacob’s Dream, an almost 40-foot bronze sculpture, surrounded by weathered stones.
Now Rebecca helps shape other artists’ work as head patineur and conservator of Deep In The Heart Art Foundry in Bastrop, Texas.
“The simple version of what I do is that I create the final color and finish on bronze artwork for various artists from across the world,” says Rebecca. “I accomplish this by using the heat from a propane torch and various chemicals, mostly nitrates, to manipulate the oxidation, or patina, of the bronze.”
Her work on Jacob’s Dream, a creation of art and design professor Jack Maxwell, is one of the highlights of Rebecca’s college experience. “Not only is it a beautiful piece, but it means a lot to have been a part of a project for my alma mater,” she says.
Rebecca went to work for Deep In The Heart foundry shortly after graduating from ACU with the intent to gain practical experience and build a portfolio for graduate school.
“I bounced around almost every department the first year I was here,” she says. “When I landed in the patina department, we realized that I had an aptitude for it. I ended up where I am by God’s grace and pure luck.”
ACU’s Art and Design Department prepared her well for her job. Associate professor Geoff Broderick “was an awesome mentor and taught me a lot about the bronze casting process, which has helped me in my career here at Deep In The Heart,” Rebecca says.
“My experience at ACU changed everything in my life,” she adds. “I met some of the best friends I’ll ever have, I learned what a true relationship with God was about, and I took the first steps down the path in my professional life that led to a career I am really proud of.”