Barbara is a mixed media fiber artist whose work reflects a life-long preoccupation with the “stitch“ (from early childhood hand embroidery and knitting stitches to intensive machine stitching) as a sculptural element to create complex textures and forms.

My parents and grandparents were artists, and in my studio I find comfort in the silent dialogue with my ancestors by surrounding myself with their sewing implements, paint brushes and heirlooms. I find connection to my great grandmother when I look up and see her tiny hand stitches in the 1800€™s quilt that drapes over my studio wall.

My interest in fiber techniques has changed and evolved since I first began exhibiting in juried shows in 1974. It has been a process of building upon previous experiences and works to expand and develop new ways of creating. Over the years, I have exhibited paintings, batiks, fabric collages, art quilts, thread paintings, knitted sculptural forms and hand-embroidered dimensional pieces.

Recent explorations of the sculptural possibilities of fabric as container/vessel have fostered spiritual awareness and personal insight. The theme of memory and fragility, found both in nature and relationships, is a reoccurring direction in my work. The cutting of fabric, textural layering, and the construction process is always challenging as is life; and I find the long hours of stitching meditative, rhythmically soothing and therapeutic.

After earning a M.S. in Creative Art Therapy, I am currently an Artist-in-Residence at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, creating artwork bedside with patients or in waiting areas with family and caregivers to help relieve their stress and anxiety. Many projects involve textile arts with several patient-made quilts currently hanging in the hospital.

In addition to numerous national and international exhibitions, my artwork is represented in public and private collections in the United States as well as Canada, China, South Korea, The Philippines, Europe, Australia, South Africa and India.

Getzville, NY

Fiberart International 2013, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts & Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA, 4/13-8/13.

2012 Fiber Exhibition, Carnegie Arts Center, N. Tonawanda, NY, 11/12-12/12.

Buffalo Society of Artists 116th Catalogue Exhibition, NACC Niagara Arts & Cultural Center, Niagara Falls, NY, 9/12-11/12.

Extraordinary Forms III: Focus on Fiber & Wood, Kenan Center, Lockport, NY, 5/12-7/12.

The Artists Among Us II, The Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY, 5/11-8/12.

Merge 'n Flow, International Surface Design, Katherine Nash Gallery, Regis Center for Art, Univ. of Minnesota, 6/11.

Extraordinary Forms II: 40 Years of Craft Media, Kenan Center, Lockport, NY, 5/10-7/10.

Art in Craft Media 2009, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2000, 1998, 1994, The Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY.

Feasting Eyes: Artists Take on Food, Kenan Center Gallery, Lockport, NY,

Art Embroidery: Still Life, Pfaff Art Embroidery  Challenge, l'Office de Tourisme, Paris; Alexandra Palace, London, 10/07.

Small Expressions 2006, Gerald R. Ford Museum, Grand Rapids, MI, 6/06-8/06.

Miniature Art Textiles: Dallas, 3rd International Invitational Exhibit, Dallas, TX, 3/06.

60th Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY 7/05-9/05.

The Quiltfestival Hori 2005 (ARTQUILTART: Invitational Exhibition), Hori am Bodensee, Lake Constance, Germany, 5/05.

Miniature Art Textiles: Second International Invitational Exhibition, Ocean County Artists' Guild, Island Heights, NJ, 3/05.

ARTQUILTART: An International Invitational Exhibition by Artists Who Work in Fiber, The University Museum, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA, 9/04-1/05.

Primary Colors: A Survey of Contemporary Craft in Red, Yellow & Blue, Artisans Center of Virginia, Waynesboro, VA, 5/04-7/04.

The Quilted Surface II: International Contemporary Art Quilts, Riffe Gallery, Columbus, OH, 5/04-7/04.

Crafts National 37, Zoller Gallery, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA, 6/03-7/03.

80th Annual Spring Show, Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA, 4/03-6/03.

The Quilted Surface: International Contemporary Art Quilts, Palais Rastede, Oldenburg, Germany, 9/02-10/02.

The Quilted Surface: International Contemporary Art Quilts, The Columbus Museum of Art, 5/02-6/02.

Matter: The Material of Contemporary Fine Art & Craft, Chautauqua Center for the Visual Arts, Chautauqua, NY, 8/01-9/01.

© 2013 - Barbara Murak
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