Betsy's 'Frida Fido' was a commissioned installation of the Albany, NY Downtown is Pawsome, outdoor Placemaking project that featured 20  3-foot-tall sculptures of Albany’s famous canine, "Nipper" the RCA dog.  Her sculpture was purchased by Sony RCA records and resides at their global headquarters on Madison Avenue in Manhattan.   

​​​"Barn's Burnt.  Now I can see the moon."

The art from Burnt Barn Studio is food for the eyes.  Often featuring vibrant hues and striking images, pieces range from functional to decorative and are created in Hudson Valley New York by mother and daughter team, Betsy Gorman and Anita Bernardi.  We create our designs digitally, print them on archival paper and then embellish with acrylics and hand painted papers before coating with a lacquer finish.  Our stationery features eye-catching, vintage photographs re-imagined with lively illustrations and ponderous thoughts.  

 Our medium of choice is architectural elements, vintage photographs and caches of all things lovingly worn by time and use. We are proud to partner with area carpenters and historians who share our passion for infusing new life into the lasting vestiges of a bygone era.  Together we are caretakers of the past.  

Our shop name takes inspiration from a 17th century Japanese poet and samurai.  After watching his barn burn to the ground Mizuta Masahide wrote the haiku, "Barn's burnt down, now I can see the moon."  It reminds us that with every challenge, every transition or setback there are opportunities and glimmers of divine grace.  And, within every discarded or abandoned door, photo or fragment of crown molding lies a storied canvass, itself a symbol of strength, resilience and optimism. We love the synchronicity in that.  Welcome to Burnt Barn Studio!  

My love for all things Frida is linked directly to my grandmother Anita Consuelo Madriaga.  Like Frida, my Gramma Anita was born in 1907 and like Frida she was half German and half indigenous Mexican (Mexican Indian).  Both lived in Mexico City during the Mexican Revolution and were greatly shaped by the city's fierce independent spirit and its European influence. Gramma Anita was worldly and feisty and she introduced me to the vibrant work of Frida when I was a child.  Anita spoke four languages, traveled the world and loved pretty things. She influenced me tremendously-- I named my first born for her--and she imparted her love of art, exploration and independence. She lived to be 102. Every time I invoke Frida Kahlo and her transcendent force, I summon my adored Gramma and it feels like home.

{Anita + Betsy}

Betsy has three pieces in The World of Frida National Tour:

The World of Frida, celebrates the culture, style, and persona of visionary painter Frida Kahlo, an artist who continues to inspire with her story of love, adventure, and pain. Featuring over 100 national and international artists working in a wide array of media, the exhibition includes Frida Kahlo as the subject, as well as artworks inspired by her life and art, her beautiful garden, Mexican culture and fashion, vibrant colors, surrealism, and more.

We deconstruct, then we reconstruct, our challenge always being to see beyond disparate parts to create a new whole that looks like it always existed.  An eclectic collection of images adorn our designs, each one different, each one hand crafted in the bucolic realm of our Hudson Valley, New York studio.  

Our work inspires you to challenge your assumptions of permanence, look carefully at the world around you and discover charm in unusual places.  Respect what our foregoers have gifted us and find the beauty in our shared past.   

Thanks for stopping by!  We  hope you find something that delights you and makes you smile.  And remember, "There is beauty in everything, just not everyone sees it."
- Anita + Betsy

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