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Barbara Schulman

Barbara Schulman

Mediums: Fiber Arts
Studio: 250

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Artist statement
My life path began as a child artist in Pittsburgh where I began drawing and stitching under the influence of my primary school art teacher and early mentor, Joan Veleff, who also awakened a desire to teach. (I noticed that she enjoyed travel and studio time in the summer and was not dependent on the financial support of a husband.) Under her direction, my artistic talent developed… a lucky thing because it was difficult for me to grasp the basics of reading, numbers, and sports; my understanding of the world around me was entirely comprehended through visuals and drawing. (I did learn to read but I still don’t understand sports)

I am currently a full-time studio artist residing in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania with a Master of Fine Arts degree in Fiber Arts from Kent State University in Ohio. I was Professor of Art and Head of the Fibers Program at Kutztown University from 1992-2011, and I have also taught at several other universities around the country.

Travel has always been a source of inspiration, particularly the color and architectural details in Venice, Moroccan tile patterns, Antonio Gaudi’s architecture in Barcelona, and mysterious sites like Machu Picchu and the Grand Canyon. My background in weaving and embroidery informs my love of detailed repeat patterns, and obsessive sewing machine stitching is prominent in my work because empty space makes me nervous. I work intuitively, without preliminary sketches, and routinely cut apart completed work to redevelop the forms. Designing my own fabric is more personal than using commercial fabric, so I design with dye, batik, paint, and digital printing, and enjoy deconstructing familiar images and text so that they can be “read,” but not logically, and abstracting familiar or provocative images. In my work there is always a plethora of detail to enjoy and study.

 

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