Lisa Marie Barber

Neighborhood Garden

Exhibition Dates:

January 13 – April 8, 2018
Art League Gallery

Reception: Friday, March 2, 2018

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. (And my getting older makes the change easier on my body!)

Regardless of size or medium—ceramic or fabric—my artwork is a reflection on life, home, gardens, peacefulness, playfulness, and celebration.

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. Throughout my life, I’ve remained loyal to this style of making.

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.

— Lisa Marie Barber, 2018

I was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona in a Mexican-American home. Like many artists, I made all sorts of creations for as long as I can remember, often inspired by the artwork of my heritage.

Before moving to Kenosha, WI in 2003 to begin my professorship at UW-Parkside, I lived in the California Bay Area where I taught ceramics and drawing at universities, art centers, and public high schools. I have always enjoyed teaching young artists while maintaining my studio practice. I am grateful to have an active career where I can do both.

While busy as the current chair of the UW-Parkside Art Department, I stay active in my studio and value being a practicing artist. My artwork has been featured in several publications including American Craft Magazine, Ceramics Monthly Magazine, 500 Figures in Clay, and multiple reviews. I exhibit my work nationally and have held Artist-in-Residence positions at the City University of New York-Hunter College in Manhattan, Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, Watershed Center for Ceramic Art in New Castle, ME, and the Mendocino Art Center in Mendocino, CA. In addition to creating art, I am a passionate gardener and think of my garden as a living, interactive installation.

Learn more about Lisa Marie Barber at

Image: Lisa Marie Barber, Girl, 2018, ceramic, 71(h) x 66(w) x 63(d) inches

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