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Elizabeth Bandy Borné

Bull Shoals, AR, 1928 - 2022

Elizabeth Borné, an artist and beloved mother and grandmother, died on June 2, 2022. She was 94.
Elizabeth spent much of her life in Flippin and Bull Shoals, Ark. Driven, as she said, "to make art that is worthy," Elizabeth was prolific and especially admired for her paintings and drawings. Her dreamlike work was frequently autobiographical and often featured imagery of faces, hands, children, animals (especially birds), and doors (usually open). In 1999, the Baum Gallery at UCA showcased her work in a solo exhibition. In an interview on the occasion of the show, Elizabeth described her inspiration:
"A smudge will do it, cracks in sidewalks, trees, the clouds. It might be a hand or eyes. Anyway, something will trigger it. I have to pull away once in a while, because I get to where I can't see the world for all the images that I see."
Nora Elizabeth Bandy was born in Ft. Worth, Texas, on March 29, 1928. Her family soon moved to Bartlesville, Okla., when her father began his career with Phillips Petroleum Company. She attended public schools in Bartlesville and graduated from College High. "I coasted through all of school with my art ability," she said. "From eighth grade on, I just lived in the art department. Fortunately, art covers everything, so I feel like in the course of my art, I have picked up not too bad an education."
After high school, she attended a summer program at the Art Institute of Chicago and earned a B.A. in art at the University of Tulsa. It was in Tulsa where she met and married Monte Borné. They had four children in six years and later moved to Flippin, Ark., where Monte owned a Phillips Petroleum Company jobbership.
In the 1950s, Elizabeth was a full-time wife and mother. The family lived in a farmhouse filled with art supplies, and the children were encouraged to create. "There was no right or wrong in crafting," recalled her daughter Beth. "It was all about the process." Her son Robin fondly remembers Elizabeth making up adventurous stories about a car, "the little green MG," when the children were little.
After her children started school, Elizabeth became a certified art teacher and helped start the art program in the public schools of Flippin. In the 1960s, she earned an M.F.A. in art from the University of Tulsa. She taught art in the Mountain Home and Cotter public schools in the 1970s. Elizabeth and Monte then moved to New Orleans, where she developed and sold felt masks in an outdoor booth in the French Market. "I was doing the right thing in the right place at the right time and it took right off," she said of this period of her career.
After five years of running a successful mask business and after her divorce, Elizabeth was ready for a new adventure. She left for Europe, where she spent fifteen months in Aix-en-Provence, France. She also spent extended time at Land's End in Cornwall, England, before returning to the United States. For many years, she owned an apartment in Philadelphia and a tiny house called "Jack's Place" (named for the previous owner) in Bull Shoals. She was represented by The Station Gallery in Greenville, Del., where she had a retrospective show in 2007, Palmer's Gallery 800 and by Justus Fine Art Gallery both in Hot Springs. Today, her art is enjoyed by many in their private collections, especially her family. She encouraged viewers to "listen with your eyes, your intellect, your emotions with all your life experiences." Her passion for art was infectious.
Elizabeth is predeceased by her parents, Rufus and Nora Bandy; her former husband, Monte Borné; and her son Kurt Borné. She is survived by her son Robin Borné (Susan) of Little Rock; Jan Broskovak of Flippin; and Beth Kennedy of Bull Shoals. She is also survived by six grandchildren: Chris Borné (Michele) of Little Rock, Eliza Borné (John Williams) of Little Rock, Ben Kennedy (Jenny) of Fayetteville, Katie Ripley (Mike) of Flippin, Matt Kennedy of Morrison, Colo., and Rachael Borné of Little Rock. She is also survived by eight great-grandchildren.
Her family was awed and inspired by her talent, creativity, originality, and personal style (blue jeans, white or black shirt, scarf over short hair). They loved spending time with her in the wondrous Jack's Place, where she moved full-time in the 2000s. She didn't own a television or a computer, but her house was covered in art supplies, art books, and work—sketches, drawings, paintings, papier-mâché shells she painted and attached to bricks. Elizabeth constantly found ways to express herself visually, including the more commercial work along with whimsical projects like paper dolls, painted wrapping paper, and homemade cards.
"I just live my life and these paintings fall out of it," she once told an interviewer. "I can't take credit for my ability. It's just that I have developed it over the years—which I really think is a responsibility when you're given a gift."
Her family wishes to thank the staff of Gassville Therapy and Living Center for taking such good care of Elizabeth in her final years. They will gather on the banks of Bull Shoals Lake, where Elizabeth loved to swim, to celebrate the life of a remarkable woman. And they will remember her every time they admire her beautiful art.

Published July 10, 2022

Roller Funeral Home Mountain Home
Highway 5 North, P.O. Box 362, Mountain Home, AR
Phone: 870-425-2161