Aug 14th 2021

Lisa Marie Barber: Heart Shaped World

@ OS Projects

601 Sixth Street, Racine, WI 53403

Opening Saturday, August 14th, from 12 PM - 5 PM

On view through Saturday, October 16th

Lisa Marie Barber: Heart Shaped World opens at OS Projects on Saturday, August 14. The exhibit, featuring a large-scale ceramic installation and exuberantly embroidered quilts, continues through Saturday, October 16. Although there will be no opening reception, the gallery plans to host an artist reception and talk on a later date, Covid infection rates permitting.

Lisa Marie Barber’s aesthetic sensibility is rooted in Central American Folk Art and the Mexican Catholic shrines of her heritage and upbringing. The artist creates sprawling ceramic installations that encompass imagined, decorative conceptions of home as well as mixed-media quilts that utilize a range of drawing, dyeing, printing and applique techniques. Simple in concept and method yet intricately composed, the artworks serve as personal meditations on the playfulness and beauty that outlines each day.

The centerpiece of Heart Shaped World is Barber’s eponymous ceramic installation that commands nearly half of the gallery’s floor space. Barber began working on the installation shortly after moving to Wisconsin from the West Coast in 2003 and while she was experiencing a sense of dislocation. The installation’s protagonist, a life-size seated woman, is set apart from the teeming clay city behind her, while various accessories (a plane in her hand, antenna on her head) and a “small heart world” border tie her to the “big heart city” of her past. Although tinged with homesickness, the artwork’s message is optimistic: it is possible to make a new place into a home well loved.

Underscoring the generosity that fortifies all her work, Barber will be giving away the individual ceramic pieces that comprise her “Heart Shaped World” installation. Gallery visitors will be able to reserve a piece while the exhibit is ongoing and pick it up on the last day of the show.

About the Artist

Lisa Marie Barber is a full Professor in the art department at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, 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. Barber earned her BS in Sociology/Art minor at Northern Arizona University and her MFA at the University of Texas at Austin.

In addition to exhibiting nationally–with nearly 50 solo/two-person exhibitions to her credit—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, ME; Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Nebraska City, NE; University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; Mendocino Art Center, California; and Clay Studio of Missoula, Montana. She has also received numerous honors and led workshops from New York to California. Barber is the recipient of a 2014 RAM Artist Fellowship from the Racine Art Museum.

About OS Projects

OS Projects is a contemporary art gallery in downtown Racine featuring visual artists in solo and small group exhibits. The gallery’s primary focus is on artists living and working in the Chicago-Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee urban corridor. While the range of media the gallery presents is broad—encompassing painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, video/film and installation—the exhibited artists are unified in their engagement with topical issues, experimentation with materials and processes, and adherence to craft.

General Information

OS Projects is located at 601 Sixth Street, Racine, Wisconsin. Gallery hours are Saturdays, 12 – 5 pm, and by appointment. For more information, please visit the gallery website:

Image Information

The image shows Heart Shaped World by Lisa Marie Barber, ceramic, 2004.

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