About the exhibit

My aesthetic sensibility is rooted in Central American Folk Art and the Mexican Catholic shrines of my heritage and upbringing. During my childhood in Tucson, 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. Throughout my life, I’ve remained loyal to this style of making.

For most of my professional career, I created very large ceramic installations where passive figures occupied 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 past several years. In all, my assemblages encompass imagined, decorative conceptions of home, gardens, peacefulness, playfulness, and celebration.

While the majority of my studio practice consists of creating large-scale ceramic sculptures from recycled clay multi-fired with ceramic materials at low temperatures, I also create large mixed-media quilts where I employ various drawing, dyeing, printing, and applique techniques. Regardless of material, my embedded concepts and style are consistent. I am actively creating in both mediums.

My artworks, while not simple compositions, are simple in concept and method. At their heart, they serve as personal meditations on the ease, happiness, and beauty that outlines every day.

About Lisa Maria Barber

Originally from Tucson, AZ, Lisa earned her BS in Sociology/Art minor at Northern Arizona University (1992) and MFA from the University of Texas at Austin (1998). She is currently a full Professor in the art department at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Kenosha, where she served as department chair from 2012- 2018 and is now the director of the Liberal Studies program. Prior to her professorship, she worked as a university and youth art instructor in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Lisa’s aesthetic sensibility is rooted in Central American Folk Art and the Mexican Catholic shrines of her heritage and upbringing in Tucson, Arizona. Deliberate with showcasing the “handmade” quality of her work, she uses low-tech methods to create large assemblage ceramic sculptures and installations, as well as mixed media quilts. Her work encompasses imagined conceptions of home, gardens, peacefulness, playfulness, and celebration. She strives to have her work be accessible to audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

In addition to exhibiting nationally with over 40 solo/two-person exhibitions to her credit, Lisa has held Artist-in-Residence positions at City University of New York, Hunter College; Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis; Watershed Center for Ceramic Art, Newcastle, ME; Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Nebraska City, NE; University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; and Mendocino Art Center, California. She has received numerous honors and led workshops from New York to California.

A full listing of her exhibition record, awards, and related activities can be found at www.LisaMarieBarber.com.