Artist Statement 2016
As a species we are fairly fragile, yet we have managed to transform much of our planet; some of it good and some of it bad. I have been interested in outer space and physics during the last few years and the more I learn the less I understand…and the smaller and less significant I feel. Still I am an artist and continue making work, because artists are driven to do so. After any disaster most people wring their hands, artists make more work. We are collectively unique in this strange phenomenon. I choose to embrace this odd reality and move forward. The future is some unknown scary thing or some exciting opportunity; depending on which mountaintop you are standing. I choose exciting opportunity since choice is a large part of an artist’s life. We constantly choose one thing over another, putting together what is pleasing to us and then sending it out into the world to be appreciated or ignored.
Each decade of life presents its challenges and rewards. At a time in life when time should be my own I find myself in a caregiver situation and it has not only changed my life but my work. I am a little more thoughtful and a lot more organized to use the time I have to its best advantage.
As a non-objective artist, I expect the viewer to experience my work on their own, foreseeing an interpretation that is different for each person. I use short titles that are pretty obscure but help give a direction, after which it is up to the viewer. Line is important in my work; it represents our collective tenacity and ability to move along. Solid shapes seem to represent strength for me, of character and ideas.
Barbara Mason is an artist/printmaker working in her own printmaking studio in Hillsboro, 18 miles west of Portland, Oregon. A lifelong artist, she began studying printmaking in the early 80’s and was immediately enamored with the medium. Barbara made viscosity monotypes almost exclusively for 20 years until she discovered Solarplate etching. She has been an enthusiast of this process since 2001 and has taught the process in workshops since 2002.
Barbara is an arts advocate and active in the community. She has been a resource person for the Beaverton School District since 1976. Serving 8 years on the board of the Vivian and Gordon Gilkey Center for Graphic Arts at the Portland Art Museum, she was also a founding board member of the 12 year old Art in the Pearl, an outdoor community arts fair taking place on Labor Day Weekend. She has been on the board of Crow’s Shadow Institute of Art on the Umatilla Indian Reservation, is a past President of the Board of Print Arts Northwest the gallery and studio of the Northwest Print Council. She is past director and an active artist of WaterstoneGallery, an artist owned gallery, in Portland, OR. She currently serves on the board of the Hillsboro Arts and Cultural Council. She was a founding member on the board of “The Right Brain Initiative”, a coalition of cultural organizations that are bringing art, music and drama back to local schools on a weekly basis and she continues to support this amazing initiative. The results are in and test scores in other areas are soaring! Art is indeed necessary.
Barbara spends many hours each year as a volunteer teaching printmaking. She also teaches classes at Atelier Meridian and in her own studio at Sequoia Studios. Her enthusiasm for printmaking is translated into wonderful works by students ages 8-80 who thought they couldn’t draw and therefore couldn’t make art. They were mistaken, Barbara is sure anyone can make art and everyone should be doing so.
Barbara’s has shown her work nationally and internationally for the last 25 years, her works are in the collections of the Portland Art Museum, Intel Corporation, Crow’s Shadow Art Institute Pacific University, the City of Hillsboro, the Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence, Kansas, the New York Public Library Collection, the Halle Ford Museum, the National Museum of Kampala Uganda, the Applied Sciences University of Amman, Jordan, the Jordon Schnitzer Collection, the American Print Alliance Memorial Collection and numerous private individuals and corporations.
University of Washington
Oregon College of Arts and Crafts
Portland State University
Pacific Northwest College of Art
Printmaking workshops from: Lise Drost, Kim Fink, Myrna Burk, Jim Hibbard, Christy Wycoff, Tom Porchaska, Brian Shannon, Non Toxic Printmaking with Raymon Murilla and Dan Welden and traditional water-soluble woodblock with Graham Scholes, David Bull and Richard Steiner
Sequoia Studio, Hillsboro, Oregon
Waterstone Gallery, Portland, Oregon
Print Arts Northwest, Portland, Oregon
Sequoia Gallery and Studios, Hillsboro, Oregon