Dean J. Baer


The Red Door

I am very fortunate to have crossed paths with many fascinating, accomplished and inspirational people and Jennifer Goodman Linn is one of those people. Faced with a rare cancer she transformed a personal struggle into hope for millions by spreading the message that “without fear anything is possible” and, along with her husband David, founded Cycle for Survival in 2007 to raise crucial funds for rare cancer research.

Red Door found the perfect home with Jennifer who sadly passed away in July of 2011. In Jennifer’s profound words, the painting meant the following:

I see is a woman who is standing in front of two doors — one is open and one is closed. She is choosing which door to enter/which path to take in the next leg of her journey. To me, it symbolizes the fact that we always have a choice in how we move through our lives. There are “doors” that present themselves to us all of the time and WE choose whether we see that door as open or as closed, as an obstacle or as an opportunity. I find the painting so empowering. It symbolizes that your life is what you make of it. No one else has the ability to choose your path but you.” – Jennifer Goodman Linn ( )

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Cycle for Survival : Since its founding in 2007, has raised over $64.9 million to directly fund clinical trials and research studies that bring new hope to countless lives touched by rare cancers.

Red Door, acrylic on canvas, 40” x 30” –

I have fond memories of growing up on on a farm in St. Nazianz, Wisconsin. As a child, the freedom and adventures were plentiful from building hay forts in the barn, riding horses, disappearing in the cornfields and woods, to hiding out in the milk house.

The Glass Bock painting is my abstract depiction and tribute to that innocent time, as I remember being fascinated by the spectrum of light and color seen through the glass block windows in the milk house.

Glass Block, acrylic on canvas, 24” x 30” (SOLD) Https://

I was in my office in New Jersey when the news broke. Along with fellow co-workers, we all packed into a conference room and watched the news as the first and then second tower were struck to everyone’s disbelief. My son Matthew was in the DC area; so my mind then switched to his safety as news of the Pentagon attack was announced. It was one of the most surreal days I can remember.

Later that afternoon, as the dust made its way south from NYC into NJ, I felt shock and overwhelmed with great sadness. I placed a blank canvas on a table in my yard and this image appeared which I entitled “Twin Towers”. The personification of the two within this painting representing the towers huddled together in disbelief, horror and fear, as many were that day, is not a pretty image… but it represents a moment in time… an ungodly and cowardly act that no one will ever forget.

Twin Towers, acrylic on canvas, 24” x 36”.

In Hiding is my interpretation and depiction of a Michelangelo sketch he created on a cellar wall underneath the Medici Chapel in Florence, Italy, while he was in hiding from Roman officials.

I was fortunate to view his drawings and this space while studying Renaissance art and architecture in Florence, Italy in 1990.

In Hiding, acrylic on canvas, 24” x 36”.

I was staring at a blank canvas in my Northern Virginia studio in 2005. Patriotism was at an all time high as we continued to rebound from the attacks on our country. I was reflecting on all the freedoms we enjoy and sometimes take for granted and attempted to carry those thoughts over to a canvas.

Without surrendering our national identity, I wanted to create a work of art that had the appearance of something limitless, something without boundaries, something lofty, attainable, and at the same time a work that would honor those who sacrificed their very lives for the freedom we enjoy here in the United States. As an artist, I felt Freedom of Expression was a fitting title for this work.

The image was so well received that I created and launched a National project called The Gift of Freedom. The project offered fundraising support to numerous charities whose missions complimented the Freedom of Expression message. I provided participating charities with limited and open prints and note-card products which they sold and auctioned at fundraising events. After successful completion of the project, I found the perfect home for my painting at the newly constructed National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia.

Excerpts from the 1/10/2007 Dedication:

” Quantico, Virginia – The National Association for Music Education's (MENC) Caitlin Merie Hurrey Fund and nationally known Artist Dean J. Baer collaborated to donate his Freedom of Expression painting to the National Museum of the Marine Corps/Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. “ The Heritage Foundation is extremely grateful for such a meaningful contribution that pays tribute to the U.S. Marines and attests to the Corps' courage, commitment and service to our Nation .” Lt Gen Ron Christmas, United States Marine Corps (Ret), President, Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. “ I am honored and humbled to have this painting on display at The National Museum of the Marine Corps… as I can think of no better place given the message this image conveys ,” said Baer. After the dedication, I continued my support of the museum by producing Freedom of Expression limited and open edition prints, note cards, t-shirts, and coffee mug products available at the museum gift shop. I also made several “meet the artist” appearances and signings on Veteran's and Memorial Day events .

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Dedication: “ Many of our fellow Americans have died for this country; they did so for 'Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.' Based upon this priceless sacrifice of those who have gone before, that act has allowed me as an artist to express myself without limitation or restraint. “Freedom of Expression” is dedicated to all Americans, past, present and future, especially all those who strive for justice, equality, and freedom worldwide. “ – Artist Dean J. Baer

Freedom of Expression (30” x 22”) resides at The National Museum of the Marine Corps, Quantico, VA.

During a period of introspection, I challenged myself to depict the human emotion of peacefulness. Red and yellow background colors followed by the two images appeared on my canvas which I immediately entitled At Peace.

A close friend of mine in New Jersey saw the image and suggested that I submit At Peace to The Capital Grille Restaurant who was conducting a nationwide search for an image to use on their inaugural Artist Wine label Series. I submitted the image and received notification one month later that At Peace was selected from over 500 images received by artists from across the country.

A couple months later, I was honored to attend The Capital Grille's unveiling of this inaugural Artist Series wine, with my image as the label, at their restaurant in Cherry Hill, NJ in April of 2010. I offered additional support to their product launch by signing wine labels and 50 limited edition prints of At Peace.

The one of a kind wine was available exclusively at all 40 locations of The Capital Grille for $80 a bottle, and they donated $25 from the sale of each limited bottle to Share Our Strength® and its mission to end childhood hunger in America. The product and fundraising effort was a great success as the limited edition 7,620 bottles of this custom blended wine sold out in one and a half months.

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Article about the wine product and project: The Intersection of Art and Wine

The original painting of At Peace (acrylic on canvas, 24” x 36” ) resides with the Jackson Family Wines/ Estates, Napa, CA. Https://

In 2008, Washington DC based Azalea Charities commissioned me to create a painting that depicted the strong military relationship between the US and UK. I had several points of reference and memories to work with as I had met several British soldiers thru NATO exercises while in the US Air Force stationed in Germany during the end of the cold war in 1989 -90. The images and symbolism just appeared on the canvas through free thought and association. The title being my final thought.

The painting was officially unveiled at the British Embassy in Washington DC on Oct. 9th, 2008, and was greeted with tremendous positive reaction from both US and British attendees. British Major General (Ret.) Phil Jones made the following profound and supportive statement about the Side by Side (SBS)painting:

Beyond the strategic relationship, so many of us from both nations have fought literally side by side, that this modern relationship between the US and UK military means a great deal to us. It has a depth and an emotion to it that is profound...

Since then, the SBS image has helped raise thousands of dollars in fundraising through sales of prints, notecards, t-shirts, and a wine label/product in support of wounded soldiers.

Recently I was contacted by the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in the United Kingdom requesting use of the Side by Side image to associate with their public events commemorating the centenary of the US entry into the First World War and focus on the US/UK special relationship. I am humbled and honored that the SBS image and message continues to have such a profound impact.