Award Winners / Artist Profile

About the Artist

Abstract painter Barbara Sternberger (Bellingham) was born in Vancouver, Canada in 1957. In 1980, she earned her BFA and MFA in 1983 from the University of California at Irvine. Barbara has lived and worked in Bellingham since 1993.

For 20 years, Elizabeth Leach Gallery in Portland, Oregon has represented Barbara and recently she also shows with Linda Hodges Gallery in Seattle. Solo museum exhibitions include the Museum of Northwest Art, the Whatcom Museum, and her work was featured in the U.S. Art in Embassies Program. Since 1996, Barbara has taught painting at Western Washington University every summer and she also teaches private classes.

To better express her elusive subject matter, she stopped the traditional use of oil paint application in favor of unique “handheld oil paint bars” that she makes herself. Her exhibition Confluence debuted these paintings and was reviewed by Richard Speer in October 2013 ARTnews Magazine.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.
From the Artist

I am incredibly grateful to Artist Trust and the selection panelists for this award. Beyond providing the much needed and greatly appreciated financial support, this award offers valued recognition and encouragement from Washington’s arts community.

At this particular juncture in my career, the timing of this award couldn’t be better. Several years ago, my painting subject matter necessitated a transformation of how I apply paint to canvas. After extensive experimenting, I gradually developed handheld oil paint bars. These bars have become an integral and indispensable part to my painting process. However, making these bars is extremely labor and time intensive. As a recipient of the Artist Trust Fellowship, I will use the funds to upgrade my ‘paint bar-making’ equipment. The new equipment will substantially reduce the time it takes to make the bars, thereby freeing my time for more painting.

Barbara Sternberger