Colorado artist to document climate change through traveling art exhibit
Ryan Summerlin May 3, 2012
Former Breckenridge Tin Shop guest artist Rebecca Barfoot is heading to Greenland in July to complete an artist’s residency in the Arctic Circle.
The Tin Shop is part of Breck’s growing arts district and provides studio space and scholarships for artists to create their work and provide workshops to the public.
Barfoot is a full time resident of Durango and a nationally renowned ceramics artist and instructor. Her month-long residency at the Upernavik Museum in Northwest Greenland will take up the month of July, with several weeks for travel and additional research on either side of that.
“I just found it online and sent in an application for it and was accepted,” she said. “I’m wanting my work to move in a direction that’s embracing more global concerns. So I’ll be doing preliminary work in Greenland for a final body of work that I’ll complete in my studio in Durango, and that will be a traveling exhibit.”
During her time at the Upernavik Museum residency, Barfoot will study the natural environment, examine museum collections and speak with local people about their experience living in a changing landscape. Her time at the residency will be spent conducting research and creating preliminary works for a planned her traveling art exhibit tentatively entitled Last Places.
The body of work will document the effects of climate change on the land, people, and culture of Greenland, according to Barfoot. Her documentation will include ceramics work, sketches, photo and video journals and interviews, and will become the primary resources for her traveling exhibit.
“I believe that what is happening in the Arctic affects us all,” Barfoot said. Her concern about the urgency of global warming will be the primary inspiration for the construction of the Last Places exhibit, which will open in late Fall 2012 and will continue into 2013.
“Greenland has been home to humans for 10,000 years, but as glaciers melt and sea levels rise, indigenous Arctic Inuit communities, their land, and native species are poised at the brink of an uncertain future,” she said. Last Places will be created to raise awareness about humanitarian and ecological concerns through the medium of art. She is particularly interested in the interaction of art, science and education.
Barfoot teaches workshops nationwide and is currently developing techniques with alternative photographic processes, image transfer and ceramics. This arctic art expedition is her most unique opportunity to date, with plans to continue her Last Places work in the Yukon and Arctic Finland.
She is a full-time studio artist whose work combines ceramics, printmaking and painting in a fusion of modern and vintage aesthetics. She has received awards for her innovative works in multiple media. She is a fellow of Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center in Denmark, has been a ceramics resident at the Women’s Studio Workshop in New York and received painting fellowships at Anderson Ranch Art Center in Snowmass, Colo, in addition to her residency in Breckenridge in 2009.
Her work has been featured at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Woman Made Gallery in Chicago, BoxHeart Gallery in Pittsburgh, and internationally in Denmark and Norway. She is currently schedule to teach and show work at the Plinth Gallery in Denver.
“Art is my passion, so it’s not hard to stay motivated,” she said. To support her project, visit her campaign at Kickstarter before May 12 at http://kck.st/IDEo3G. To view more of Barfoot’s work, visit her online gallery at www.rebeccabarfoot.com.