Barber returns to MSU for Split Decision art exhibition

Barber returns to MSU for Split Decision art exhibition

Barber returns to MSU for Split Decision art exhibition

In his travels through rural America, sculptor Robbie Barber was drawn to architecture that some might consider eyesores - dilapidated farmhouses, run-down mobile homes. He found a hidden beauty that was complex in color, texture, and shape. He saw a "subtle nobility in these castles of the mundane."

Barber, a former Midwestern State University assistant professor of art, will return to the campus for an exhibition of his work at the Fain College of Fine Arts' Juanita Harvey Art Gallery. "Split Decision" will open with an artist reception from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, at the gallery.

"Split Decision" is a blend of two different series of Barber's works that he created over the past 20 years. The "House" series celebrates the neglected or vintage architecture that appealed to Barber. "Cast Portrait" reflects his interests in folk art, toy design, and children's art. Barber says that although the two series are separate bodies of work, they have similarities, and each has influenced the other.

"They reflect my interest in both folk and outsider art, as well as my infatuation with toys," Barber states in his artist statement. "Vintage lap-board houses, mobile homes, and agriculture-related structures have become regional icons that ultimately tell the stories of their inhabitants and builders. This implied history interests me deeply. Typically considered eyesores, these structures are glaring reminders of the social and economic plight of much of our society."

The works in "Cast Portrait" reflect Barber's interest in children's art, and both folk and outsider art. He often uses his son and daughter's drawings for inspiration. "My portrait busts are intended to be tongue-in-cheek, goofy in a sophisticated way, and in contrast to the æserious' portrait busts that have been created throughout art history. Hopefully they put a smile on the viewer's face," Barber said in a statement.

Barber has been Associate Professor of Art, Sculpture & 3D Design at Baylor University since 2000. His architecture-related sculptures have been shown in galleries across the nation, including the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU Texas. Barber was Assistant Professor of Art at MSU from 1994-2000. He received his BFA in Sculpture from East Carolina University in 1987 and his MFA in Sculpture from the University of Arizona in 1991.

The exhibition will be on display through Oct. 11. Call 940-397-4264 or email for more information.