Exhibit of ceramic sculptures and installations opens with a reception March 31

“Lisa Marie Barber: My Spring Garden,” an exhibit of artwork, will be on view March 31 through May 2 in Caestecker Gallery, C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts, at Ripon College. An opening reception will be held at 7 p.m. March 31.

Originally from Tucson, Arizona, Barber earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology with an art minor at Northern Arizona University (1992) and a master of fine arts from the University of Texas at Austin (1998).

She currently is a professor in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Kenosha, where she teaches and serves as the community liaison in the arts. Prior to her professorship, she worked as a university and youth art instructor in the San Francisco Bay area.

“My aesthetic sensibility is rooted in Mexican folk art and the Latin American Catholic shrines of my heritage and upbringing,” Barber says. “During my childhood in Tucson, Arizona, this was the artwork I knew and I practiced making creations in similar ways. 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. Throughout my life, I’ve remained loyal to this style of making.”

Deliberate with showcasing the “handmade” quality of her work, she uses low-tech methods to create large-scale ceramic sculptures and installations from recycled clay, functional vessels, clothing, paintings and large mixed-media quilts where she employs various drawing, dyeing, printing and applique techniques.

“My works are imagined conceptions of home, gardens, friends, peacefulness, playfulness and celebration,” she says. “They are personal meditations on the happiness and beauty that outlines every day.”

In addition to exhibiting nationally in more than 50 solo/two-person exhibitions, Barber has held artist-in-residence positions at City University of New York, Hunter College; Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis; Watershed Center for Ceramic Art, Newcastle, Maine; Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Nebraska City, Nebraska; University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona; Mendocino Art Center, California; and Clay Studio of Missoula, Montana. She has received numerous honors and led workshops from New York to California.

More information is available on her website.

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