Robert T. Barrett
Professor of Visual Arts
Brigham Young University
Robert T. Barrett, a professor of visual arts at Brigham Young University, has been selected as the 2012-2014 Phi Kappa Phi Artist by The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi for his accomplishments in visual arts and illustration.
Barrett will be presented with the award on August 11 at a lunch in his honor during the Society’s biennial convention in St. Louis, Mo.
“Professor Barrett stands out not just for his work as a renown visual artist—which has been described as beautifully capturing ‘the Norman Rockwell everyday American ordinariness’—but for his commitment to excellence in teaching and mentoring students, even as producing outstanding works of art at a phenomenal rate,” said John C. O'Quinn, chair of the Phi Kappa Phi Artist selection committee.
Barrett has created thousands of works during his long career, including portraits for leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and illustrations for children’s books. Additionally, he recently illustrated books about the lives of President and Michelle Obama.
He has been a faculty member in BYU’s Visual Art Department since 1982 and has served as the department chair and associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communications. He has received more than 50 awards for his paintings, both locally and nationally. He has also received the 1995 Karl G. Maeser Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest teaching honor BYU gives, and the 2010 Distinguished Educator of the Year by the Society of Illustrators.First presented in 1983, the Phi Kappa Phi Artist Award recognizes the achievements of those who, in addition to their outstanding scholarship, have displayed talents in the broad realm of the arts—creative, graphic, performing, visual, and fine arts. The award is given once every two years. Recipients receive a $1,000 honorarium and a trip to present at the Society’s biennial convention.