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bio

Long time Tucson textile artist turned painter, Barbara Brandel’s art has been featured in numerous national publications, including  Fiberarts, American Craft, Ornament, Surface Design Journal, Fiberarts Design Book Five, and Fiberarts Design Book 7,.  Local media includes KUAT-TV’s Arizona Illustrated, Phoenix Home & Garden in the “Masters of The Southwest” edition, 2005, reviews and features in The Tucson Weekly, The Desert Leaf, Tucson Home and Garden. She won awards in Tucson Museum of Art’s AZ Biennial in 1993 and 1997, and a Tucson/Pima Arts Council Fellowship grant in 1995.

Recent one person shows include Rancho Linda Vista (“The Caretakers”) and Tucson Jewish Community Center (“Caretakers and Art Makers”), focused on the health of the planet and the connection of the world’s population, and the human desire to create beauty in the world. Currently, some of her political artworks are included in national and state-wide touring exhibitions.
Barbara’s work is in the collections of the Racine Art Museum, Tucson Country Club, Tohono Chul Park, Tucson Medical Center Foundation, as well as private collections throughout the U.S., and also the U.K., South Korea, and The Netherlands.

Current works include paintings on paper or canvas, mixed media painted collages with postage stamps and maps which often depict figures, costumes, or hands, and 2-D and 3-D mixed media assemblages with recycled buttons used in abundance. Occasionally, a fiber piece fills a need.

Luminous color, humor and beauty reign.  Barbara lives to make art in Tucson, AZ.

 

Artist’s Statement

I am a painter and a collage and assemblage artist. Previously, I was I was a fiber artist for 25 years. In each phase of my artworks, I have developed my own ways of working with my materials, and I strive to push boundaries within each genre, while creating beauty.

Currently, my focus has been on my painted collage, in which I use recycled world postage stamps to create an image, usually a face or figure. By using stamps from everywhere/anywhere in the world in one figure, the seemingly tattooed bodies suggest that we are all connected.

In some of my paintings, I pay homage to the anonymous artisans whose skill and care created beautiful objects to use in their lives. Some of those objects are now museum treasures.
And every so often, just to stay in the world of textiles, I make something with recycled button assemblages. For instance, I paid homage to Ansel Adams by reproducing four of his landscape images in black, white, and gray buttons sewn onto black velvet.

When I was a fiber artist, my focus was on wearable pictorial tapestry, in which I used my early graphic arts and drawing skills. Making textiles and tapestry is slow work, and is under-appreciated in our culture. Working in that way opened my eyes and heart to the world’s history of the hand-made object. It only took several hundred years for many of those skills and art forms to disappear from the face of the earth. I considered making art with hand woven cloth to be a noble fight.

– Barbara Brandel, Tucson, AZ

 

 

 

 
         
  © 2014 Barbara Brandel - All rights reserved.