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Barbara Westfall


"Art glass designs for discriminating clients"
I am one woman — I am not a corporation. I am an artist, mother, partner and member of a community of friends I care deeply for. I am motivated by my partner, family, friends and the outdoor world where I live—the Upper Midwest. I draw inspiration to create art from the abundance of nature that surrounds me. The plants, rivers, lakes and ecosystem where I live are a constant source of joy. My creative process is intrinsically woven into my day-to-day interactions with the natural world, and my art reflects the multitude of feelings nature evokes. My home and studio overlook the Sugar River watershed in southwestern Wisconsin. I design and build custom art—I hand cut hundreds of pieces of sheet glass, layer and melt them in a kiln to varying temperatures. The results are exquisite!

I create art because I love to. I don’t mass produce art. I make art one piece at a time, giving each my full attention and care. I start out with an idea, a drawing and end up with a finely crafted object. My mother taught me art is beautiful, necessary and encouraged my creativity. My father was a design builder in the Chicago area. I grew up with blueprints on the dining room table, seeing people make things by hand and the belief that everything is renewable and capable of transformation.

A long time ago, I gave up a career in banking and traded it for a two degrees in art. I trained with inspiring faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, home of the nation’s first university-based studio program in art glass. I earned a BFA, MFA and served the University of Wisconsin-Platteville as assistant professor of art through 2014 until embarking on a career as a full time artist.

I studied drawing in Los Angeles, California, served on the Pasadena Arts Council and taught art in Wisconsin schools for 15 years. I have trekked throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Caribbean in search of inspirational plants, sunsets and watersheds, a re-occurring theme in my art. My work has won praise from curators, art faculty and ecologists. My art has been featured in books, national magazines and won design awards, including 2016 Glass Artist of the Year from a 25 panel jury in the Art Comes Alive Exhibition in Cincinnati, OH. I have exhibited widely at various juried shows around the U.S. and Canada, and my art is commissioned, collected and enjoyed by clients around the world.
Wescover creator since 2020

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