Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Talking Neighbors: new work by Susan Barber to open Aug. 6 in Kerredge Gallery

Oriole 3. Sculpture by Susan Barber. (Photos courtesy Copper Country Community Arts Center)

HANCOCK -- The Copper Country Community Arts Council presents its exhibition in the Kerredge Gallery, Talking Neighbors: new work by Susan Barber. The exhibition is filled with clay sculptures of birds vibrantly painted to include their forest surroundings.

Susan Barber earned her B.F.A. in ceramic sculpture, a B.S. in Education, Art and Biology (K-12), and an M.A. in Ceramic Sculpture from Central Michigan University.

After a career of teaching art, photography, and biology in a small rural school district, she and her husband of 36 years moved to a small plot of woods near Sturgeon Bay in Northern Michigan and built a clay studio. Living close to woodland birds in the dense forest, she was inspired to start sculpting once again.

 Susan Barber in her studio.

"I've always loved listening to the birds and the leaves rustling in the wind," Barber says. "When I started working with clay again after 15 years I decided to make something I was familiar with and also to see if I remembered how to work with clay. Feeling great about living in this little patch of woods in northern Michigan, I decided to make the birds that share these woods. It is like a jungle with a huge array of languages shouting, pecking, hooting, squawking, chirping, and whistling -- an utter symphony of sounds. I always wonder what they are saying. Hence, Talking Neighbors. This body of work is my first attempt to rekindle that love of petting clay into life after years of absence."

The public is invited to see the new art and meet the artist at an opening reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 6. The exhibit will be on display through August 29.

This program is supported by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Copper Country Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock. For more information call (906) 482-2333 or visit the website,

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