Profile: Painter | Kedron Barrett ’79

Kedron Barrett ’79 is a painter, who grew up on the campus of St. Paul’s School, the son of SPS Fine Arts Program founder Tom Barrett. In 1983, the younger Barrett went to Berlin, Germany, on a postgraduate fellowship from Yale. There he immersed himself in painting on both sides of the then-divided city. With the help of another grant, a growing circle of collectors, and, in time, a family, Berlin became his artistic home. He currently splits his time between Berlin, Hinrichshagen (Mecklenburg), Germany, where he also has a studio, and Castine, Maine.


What is most satisfying about the work you do?

When I realize I’ve made something that’s smarter than I am.

At what point did you realize a career in the arts was viable, and what helped you realize that?

During my third semester in college, reading van Gogh’s letters made it clear to me that becoming a painter was less a question of viability than it was one of inevitability. I prefer to think of the artist’s path not in terms of career but of vocation, in the etymological sense of the word – as a calling. The rest either sorts itself out, or it doesn't.

 Why are the arts still a crucial component of formal education?

In order to optimize the brain’s plasticity in the formative stage of education, the associative, the intuitive, and the sensual are equally as important as the rational and the scientific. How can a balanced education not include the arts?

St Paul's School