Barber Headshot
INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST
GALLERY OF WORK
VISIT THE ARTIST’S WEBSITE

Lisa Marie Barber, Kenosha

2014 RAM Artist Fellowship Award Recipient

Originally from Tucson, AZ, Lisa Marie Barber received her MFA from the University of Texas at Austin. Currently Associate Professor and Art Department Chair at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, she has been teaching there since the fall of 2003.

Barber has participated in group and solo exhibitions at a variety of institutions including Gallery 221, New York; the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, Kansas City; and Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis. She received the Emerging Artist Award from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (2002) and the internationally competitive 2006–2007 McKnight Artist Residency Award, and has been featured in American Craft Magazine.

Artist Statement

For most of my professional career, I’ve created large-scale ceramic installations where passive figures occupy dense arrangements as if centerpieces to improvised shrines. While my aesthetic and process have stayed the same, I have cropped down the work over the years, making it easier to transport, install, and store—the mundane practicalities most artists have to consider.

These smaller assemblages and all my recent artwork, encompass my imagined, decorative conceptions of home, gardens, peacefulness, playfulness, and celebration. These themes occupy my days either as literal realities or as philosophical musings on what may encapsulate the simpler, yet more evolved life.

My aesthetic sensibility is rooted in Central American Folk Art and the Mexican Catholic shrines of my heritage and upbringing. For most of my childhood in Southern Arizona, this was the artwork I knew and I practiced making creations in similar ways. Whether it was through my novice interpretation or some forgotten informal training I received as a child, I came to believe that ornamentation and excess denoted value and importance. Materials weren’t required to be “fine” and tools were expected to be simple. Evidence of “the hand” (the maker) was never something to be self-conscience of or craftily removed.

Lisa Marie Barber, Kenosha

2014 RAM Artist Fellowship Award Recipient
Barber Headshot
INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST
GALLERY OF WORK
VISIT THE ARTIST’S WEBSITE

Originally from Tucson, AZ, Lisa Marie Barber received her MFA from the University of Texas at Austin. Currently Associate Professor and Art Department Chair at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, she has been teaching there since the fall of 2003.

Barber has participated in group and solo exhibitions at a variety of institutions including Gallery 221, New York; the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, Kansas City; and Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis. She received the Emerging Artist Award from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (2002) and the internationally competitive 2006–2007 McKnight Artist Residency Award, and has been featured in American Craft Magazine.

Artist Statement

For most of my professional career, I’ve created large-scale ceramic installations where passive figures occupy dense arrangements as if centerpieces to improvised shrines. While my aesthetic and process have stayed the same, I have cropped down the work over the years, making it easier to transport, install, and store—the mundane practicalities most artists have to consider.

These smaller assemblages and all my recent artwork, encompass my imagined, decorative conceptions of home, gardens, peacefulness, playfulness, and celebration. These themes occupy my days either as literal realities or as philosophical musings on what may encapsulate the simpler, yet more evolved life.

My aesthetic sensibility is rooted in Central American Folk Art and the Mexican Catholic shrines of my heritage and upbringing. For most of my childhood in Southern Arizona, this was the artwork I knew and I practiced making creations in similar ways. Whether it was through my novice interpretation or some forgotten informal training I received as a child, I came to believe that ornamentation and excess denoted value and importance. Materials weren’t required to be “fine” and tools were expected to be simple. Evidence of “the hand” (the maker) was never something to be self-conscience of or craftily removed.

Interview with the Artist, January 2015

How often are you in your studio? Do you work outside of your studio much or at all?

It used to be no less than 35 hours per week. Since taking on the role of art department chair [at UW-Parkside], it is closer to 15–25 hours per week. It is really a studio-based process across many media [She creates quilts, paintings, and drawings in addition to sculptural ceramic installations. She has also made her own clothing]. There is experimentation and “doodling” with the clay—again, it is happening in the studio.

What inspires you most these days? But also what do you go to bed thinking about most nights?

I’m inspired by gardens and flowers—the “stuff” that makes up everyday life and a positive outlook on what life offers. This “stuff” also becomes artifacts—reflections of lives lived. I feel “blessed” and want to create work that reflects the positivity I have for life in general. Life offers things that are both rich and layered [reflected metaphorically in her work], but also simple.

Gallery of Work

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