RECIPIENT OF THE
LAWRENCE ARTWALK 2010
FEATURED ARTIST AWARD
The recipient of this
year's Lawrence ArtWalk Featured Artist Award, which was voted on by her fellow
ArtWalk artists, is Barbara Solberg. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
Barbara is a very accomplished artist who has been painting subjects related to
the landscape in her adopted state of Kansas, which has provided her with
unending inspiration for over 35 years.
work ranges from pastels to mixed media using found and natural objects, and
the initial creative inspiration for her art is always place, whether familiar
or new. Along with her geographer husband, she has visited many important
Native American sites in the Southwest and Midwest as well as historic places
in Europe. Barbara's fascination with ancient cultures began in England when
she lived there 40 years ago.
Her latest series of
pastel landscapes and collages were inspired by a trip in 2009 to the islands
of Orkney, Shetland and the Outer Hebrides in the British Isles. The islands'
raw landscapes were fascinating because they seemed familiar yet unknown.
Familiar because the treeless rolling hills, green pastures and fields reminded
her of the Kansas Flint Hills - albeit surrounded by water! Familiar, too, because
the kindness and friendliness of the local people were reminiscent of the
people of rural Kansas.
Her series of pastels
included 'Contemplation - Western Isles' (detail above), which is featured on
promotional material for this year's Lawrence ArtWalk and shows another facet
of the islands' landscape that differs physically from Kansas. Barbara was
intrigued by the complex patterns the receding tide made along the shore, and
created an image that exudes a certain quietness and invites restful contemplation.
Collages were inspired by
the islands' many historic rings of standing stones. By stitching natural found
objects to layers of handmade paper, Barbara created deep textures that added
visual strength to the collages.
For over 25 years,
Barbara's work has appeared primarily in Kansas in solo exhibitions, group
shows and juried exhibitions, especially the Smoky Hill Art Exhibition, Hays,
and the Smoky Hill River Festival, Salina. She has also been selected for many
state and national Pastel Society exhibitions; and has received numerous
awards, including Best of Show, Smoky
Hill River Festival, Salina (1986) and First Place, 2D, Mulvane Mountain/Plains
Art Fair, Topeka (2003).
Her work is included in
many institutional collections in Kansas as well as in numerous private
collections in the USA, Europe and Brazil. She is a Signature Member of the
Pastel Society of America.
Barbara has a home studio
near Lecompton and currently works for University of Kansas Continuing
Education. She has a B.F.A., Painting (with Distinction), University of Kansas.
More of Barbara's work may
be seen on her Lawrence ArtWalk 2010 artist's