Cover photo for Barbara L. Hugo's Obituary
Barbara L. Hugo Profile Photo
1932 Barbara 2023

Barbara L. Hugo

February 5, 1932 — June 26, 2023

Barbara Lee Hugo 2/5/32 to 6/27/23 Born Barbara Lee Lucich in February 1932 in San Francisco, CA Barbara was raised in the Bay Area and developed a lifelong appreciation of cultural diversity and of the creative arts from her early years living in San Francisco, Berkeley and Mill Valley. She met her first husband, Richard Cohn, while he was a student at Cal and they planned a six month European honeymoon on bicycles but family circumstances intervened and their trip became a move to Sacramento, a city that she has called home for almost 70 years. Her passion for the arts and her desire to create a more tolerant and vibrant world never waned and became a central focus for her new family and her new suburban community. Barbara began her formal education in the arts at her local college, she sat on the Board of Mental Health, and became a Northern California Director for the Experiment in International Living. Barbara told her family “if I couldn’t bring my children to see the world, I could bring the world to them” and she did, welcoming students from almost every corner of the world and placing them with local families to help acclimate them to their new culture in California. Art was always a fundamental part of Barbara’s illustrious life, after completing her BA and MFA in Art, Barbara founded the first art gallery for women in Sacramento, “Reflections Unlimited” in an effort to further support art by women artists. Art surrounded her life, at home there were always ongoing art projects in her studio, with her children and even her family trips to the coast, Barbara would be painting en plein air at many of her favorite rugged landscapes like Arched Rock or Inverness. Barbara also began teaching art through adult education and met her late husband Philip Hugo as a student in one of her many classes. They enriched and supported each other’s lives through 25 years of marriage and shared a love of education, of travel and local volunteer work. In the ensuing years Barbara completed her MA of Psychology and became a licensed registered Art Therapist. Her art therapy work with at-risk youth at the Stanford Home for Children was considered novel in the 70’s and 80’s but now has become an effective approach when working with physically or sexually abused children. Her advocacy of non-verbal, visual expression as a form of therapy led Barbara to present her work to both local and international groups as an aspect of therapy to augment the more traditional methods at the time. Her work, while challenging, was also rewarding, she was particularly proud of her “children” and often spoke of their remarkable courage and work to overcome their childhood trauma. Her tenure culminated in a 240-piece art show “Me, Myself and I” at the Crocker Art Gallery in Sacramento. As a staunch defender of human rights and an advocate of the underprivileged, Barbara often expressed herself through her art. In the late 60’s she painted a large protest banner of the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe that was carried in the Delano Grape Strike and continued to create art, mostly through mixed media collages often expressing a feminist perspective. Her work has been exhibited in many galleries including the Jennifer Paul, The Matrix, Temp Gallery and most recently she entered her collage “Siempre Frida” in the upcoming PBS KVIE Art Auction (9/29-10/1). Another essential aspect of her life was her passion for journaling (her journals date back 60 years) and her love of books. Barbara was a voracious reader. She joined her first book club over 40 years ago before initiating the RP Literary Confabulators in her own neighborhood, which still remains active after 20+ years. Throughout her life Barbara was surrounded by her loving family and her many dear friends, acquaintances and caregivers. All seemed to be touched by her intelligence, her creativity, her vitality and her generous contributions through her work. Surviving Barbara are her three children; Lisa Watson, Joshua Cohn and Tracy Bowman (Mark), her grandchildren; Nicholas Watson (Monica), Alexandra Webb (Correy), Madeline Bowman, Jacob and Miya Cohn and her great grandchildren; Emmy and Calvin Webb and Bianca Watson. Our lives have been immeasurably enhanced by having Barbara in our lives for as long as we did. Barbara was born in San Francisco and left her heart in River Park💗. Everyone who remembers Barbara is asked to celebrate her life in their own way. Raising a glass of your favorite drink in her memory would be quite appropriate. “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou If you wish to make a donation in memory of Barbara, “Women’s Wisdom Art” is a nonprofit she values. 501(c)(3) non-profit Tax ID: #46-4490638 https://womenswisdomart.org/
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