Barbara Rogers Bridges has been an artist and a teacher/college professor for over 40 years. Her social practice sculptures have been exhibited in Maine, Miami, the Virgin Islands, Maryland, Chicago, Mexico, Spain, Canada, and throughout Minnesota. Bridges taught K-12 art in Minnesota, Maine and the Virgin Islands and and trained teachers in higher education at the University of Minnesota and Bemidji State University.
Barbara creates social practice art from fabricated components in a variety of media and rescued “power objects.” She manipulates the objects to create meaning and provoke discussions and reflection on a wide variety of social topics.
She is an intervenor. Cambridge educated philosopher, Tim Ingold, holds a unique theory on art making. Dr. Ingold suggests that artists are simply interveners on any particular materials and/or objects the artist manipulates. Any object already has a story, the artist simply recombines these objects to create a new narrative.
Today, I’m Alright Healing Project
The TODAY , I’m Alright workshop invites everyone who has a connection with trauma to join together for two hours of resource sharing, art-making, conversation and most importantly – identifying strategies for change. Working with licenses counselors, primary source participants and a 40 year veteran art teacher, each participant will go to the 23 drawers and cupboards of TODAY to choose a talisman to discuss at the workshop and then take that object home with them to help in their recovery. It will be a physical reminder of what they learned and the recovery strategies they identified.
Your trauma is not terminal. You are not broken.
You can create your own life raft of hope and resilience with practical strategies.
Read More: Today, I’m Alright
Click to Enlarge Pictures
The Today Healing Art Click here to see all the:
Live a Considered Life: The Wise Ones (No Silos) and The Un-Wise Ones (Think Alike Silo)
24” X 36” 2 works.
Mixed Media Fabricated clay, wood, found objects
Inspired by my “Motivationals” series, Live a Considered Life includes two companion works of gender neutral personages sharing how living in a “think alike silo” creates a colorless boring culture feeding on itself. They see nothing, hear nothing and say nothing. Embracing the concept of “no silos” produces a colorful evolving culture full of a positive exchange of ideas, help creating our own personal narratives and leading to positive social change.
“We tell ourselves the tragic story of our lives and then think we can justify us playing the role of the “broken hero” or the “grizzled realist” but the fact of the matter is that if this is the story we chose to tell about ourselves we are leaving out the good parts and doing a terrible disservice to ourselves and anyone who has been good to us along the way.“ Morgan Bridges
It is our choice how we create our own narratives – past, present and future. It is our choice to make each day bring a spot of joy. Plan each day with a joy experience included. For yourself and for others.
Life is a menu. When something you love goes off the menu, replace it with something even more soulful.
Motivationals in the Live a Considered Life series. Mixed Media Fabricated clay, wood, found objects. Click to enlarge.
How to Lose a Democracy
Barbara Rogers Bridges
22” X 24” , Mixed Media
firstname.lastname@example.org 612 845 0416
My coming of age included demonstrations against the Vietnam War in Washington D.C.
50 years later, I am still political.
Having been consistently critical of the U.S. government, I am now feeling deeply patriotic – and fearful.
There are 7 billion people on our little planet and I suggest it is a statistical improbability that any one worldview could have found the only valid truth; it is at the very least breathtakingly arrogant. Are the two camps liberal vs. conservative?
It seems more specific than that, it appears to be
Trumpers vs. Never Trumpers.
Communication appears to have stopped.
Collecting data from credible sources appears to have stopped.
When Communication stops. All is lost.
Up-Cycle Steam Punk Furniture
Triangle Cabinet 2014 NFS
48″W X 42″T X 24″D
Mixed Media, NE Minneapolis 1920’s fence,
antique hinges, dynamite box, solid brass Kohler parts, Con Man Print
This cabinet was designed for a difficult under screen triangle corner and was created using rescued objects from the streets of Minneapolis, wooden dynamite boxes, stained glass, Kohler brass, 130 year old aged fence wood and architectural salvage warehouses. The carpentry is very skilled and finished and all is sealed in matte boat epoxy for durability and a clean non-shedding surface. Many one-of-a-kind details including original art work. I am eager to use YOUR objects for a custom made art work. .Many one-of-a-kind details including limited edition print Con Man Print
Eager to incorporate your historical power/memory objects.
First, Second, Third and Fourth Waves
36” W X 18” H X 4” D View of Blazing, Guerrilla Girls and Kate Renee tributes
I have spent a lifetime pondering waves. Hailing from Maine, over the last 67 years I have experienced, and reflected on, the impact of waves on us as biological organisms – often fighting against each other. Where the waves meet is where the action is.
As a scholar, I have spent many hours examining, oftentimes in excruciatingly minute detail, theoretical waves of human thought. Waves deliver tranquility, sustenance and insight – along with trash and terror.
In reconsidering the history of feminist thought, I discovered Christine de Pizan, born in 1365 in Venice, Italy and who left us a collection of brave and still relevant reflections. I have created what I am now calling a sextet. A sextet is a group of six people or objects. Sometimes they sing.
I feel that Three Waves, which has the look and feel of a very elegantly painted Mexican or Russian icon, starts a song which I hope to facilitate with feminists from all Waves – and beyond. When opened, the sextet interior space features an homage to the Guerrilla Girls, one to The Blazing World character, Harriet Burden, by Minnesota author Siri Hustvedt, and finally, one arresting example from Minneapolis Third Wave feminist Kate Renee.
Studio Visit and art making REAL TIME 2323 Monroe St. NE, Minneapolis, MN
Next open studio:
$50 Adults $40 Children – includes most supplies
4 People minimum / 8 people maximum
Studio Visit and art making REAL TIME
Custom studio tour and artmaking for your group of 4-8 people.
Barbara Bridges has been an artist and a teacher/college professor for over 40 years. Her sculptures have been exhibited in Maine, the Virgin Islands, Miami, Maryland, Chicago, Mexico, Spain, Canada and throughout Minnesota. She was voted The Art Teacher of Minnesota -twice.
Barbara creates social practice art from fabricated components in a variety of media and rescued “power objects”. She considers herself an intervener on the journey of the materials and/or objects she uses to create a new artistic narrative. She will provide most supplies OR Bring 2 or 3 of your important objects (or her treasures) and we will engineer them into an artwork. Create healing cuffs, wranklets, sculptures or neckpieces.
See more pictures of the unique property: https://www.arttochangetheworld.org/art365
Limited Space: 8 people Maximum: email@example.com
Motivationals is a series honoring the power of
Define Crazy 2
Mixed media 12″ T X 14″ W X 2 ” D
A general search for a definition for the word “crazy” delivers “ridiculous, absurd, foolish, idiotic, ill-conceived, ludicrous, nonsensical, preposterous, senseless.”
These terms do not describe Steve Jobs.
Why do you suppose Steve used this word in his famous quote? Was he often called crazy? He is famous for not wearing shoes, getting a new car every 6 months so he did not have to display a license plate, firing people without notice, refusing to take a shower and, regrettably, cancer treatment.
It has been speculated that Jobs may have been autistic (along with Bill Gates and Albert Einstein). Other mental illness have also been floated to explain his behavior. I have always disliked the terminology “suffering from a mental illness”. Where is the line between Genius and Madness? Do geniuses “suffer” because they Think Different?
Perhaps we should celebrate Jobs craziness since it has allowed us to carry most human knowledge in our pocket.
I propose we call our geniuses aneurotypicals and the next time someone uses the word crazy in a pejorative way in front of you, ask them to “Define Crazy”.
Intrigues? See Proof
The garden sculptures include many different themes including bird feeders, altars and bird baths. Bring your own special objects.
Florence the Flamingo Dancer in the collection of Layl McDill. Click to See All The Garden Sculptures
Barbara creates social practice art from fabricated components in a variety of media and rescued “power objects”. She considers herself an intervener on the journey of the materials and/or objects she uses to create a new artistic narrative.
Bring your history objects to Barbara and she will engineer them together to create a new narrative for you! Read More
What’s the Big Difference?
24” T X 18” W
Many wars have been fought over perceived religious differences, but as a species, for thousands of years, we have all been worried about the sun going away. This fear is prominent throughout our mythologies – light=good and dark=bad. Hinduism, Christianity and Judaism all have Festivals of Light embedded in their doctrines. They developed rituals which were performed on or near the shortest day of the year. They worked! The days started to get longer again. Light returned.
The Christian Festival of Lights, called Christmas, springs from a pagan ritual connected to the winter solstice (December 21) on the Roman calendar. The current connection is to the birth of Christ which may or may not have been at this time of year. The Druids and Vikings started bringing the tree that stayed green all year round inside for good luck and it is believed the Germans were the first recorded to put lights on the fir tree in the 16th century.
The Jewish Festival of Lights, called Chanukah, is also celebrated near the winter solstice. Although the historical story is connected with Judah Maccabee’s famous victory over the Seleucids, there is a ritual of lighting the Menorah to commemorate oil which should have lasted for one day and lasted for eight.
The Hindu Festival of Lights, called Diwali, celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. The brass or clay diya lamp, fueled with gee butter, is lighted over the five days of Diwali.
My philosophical belief system supports artists using any and all symbols which promote a social justice message of unity and community among our species. If symbols divide us – they should and could be used to unite us – because at the end of the day – WE’RE ALL MAMMALS!
I invite your dialogue on this issue of who owns symbols. Let’s discuss: What’s the Big Difference?
Read Barbara’s 2020 Festival of Lights message and poem! https://www.arttochangetheworld.org/festival-of-lights-message-from-the-acw-director/
Ode To Gluten
7′ T X 4′ X 4′
Artist, Barbara Bridges’ Ode to Gluten is a large sculptural work created to celebrate wheat’s history here and to engage viewers in a dialogue about wheat: about its past, present and future role in the American diet, as well as in shaping the political, economic and social development of our city, state and country. Consider where support for the arts in the Twin Cities would be without the legacy and philanthropy of wheat? McGrath Poem on Bread
This large assemblage sculpture incorporates iconic historical artifacts, wood fabrication, bronze patina resin and ceramic construction. The nine foot tall work is distressed and has the appearance of a vintage “something” that one might stumbled upon in the corner of an old General Mills factory. The flattened Summit beer caps and Schell’s vintage beer cans provide a comfortingly predictable pattern, while the filigree of the Grain Belt artifacts creates contrast with the worn wooden Gold Medal packing crates. Read More: http://bridgescreate.com/installation/ode-to-gluten/
Can’t Wash it Away
24″ T X 48″ W X 5” D
“Can’t Wash it Away” explores the social impact of suicide by gun and how it effects those left behind and was created as a response to a gun buy-back project and a partnership between the Minneapolis police and Minnesota artists. Pieces of the dismantled guns were used as a catalyst to create works focused on gun violence.
My research revealed that citizens of the United States own over 50% of the guns on our planet of 7.7 billion people. Why? The population of the United States is 330,000 million. The U.S. homicide by gun statistics are frightening – over 14,000 in 2016 – but the research that knocked me off my chair was the suicide by gun statistics – over 20,000. Who chooses this exit and why?
Read More: Art is My Weapon Outcomes
Inspired by Robert Kramer’s 1987 Documentary Route 1 USA, I am creating art works-sometimes collaboratively – inviting local artists -from objects I am finding in our waters from Key West, Florida to Fort Kent, Maine.
Exhibitions, panel discussions, student workshops, artist invitationals, school visits and adult events are being planned at many sites along Route 1, especially the previous Kramer locations. Are you aware of Kramer’s Route 1 project? Funding is also being sought to preserve the entire experience as a video documentary.
The ongoing curriculum development will be informed by the results of the research and the invited input of community members, salt sea workers of all kinds, city planners, museums, galleries and sustainability groups. Please join me. Invite me to include your Route 1 town or city. Read More
Transcending Race: But Not The 24″ Waist
96”W X 38” H X 6 “ D
Mixed Media Clay fabrication, manikins, fabric, beads and found objects
The social practice art work called Transcending Race: But Not The 24″ Waist explores the challenges faced by 60 something women as they were ” allowed” to enter the workforce.
We started seeing the term ” wonder women ” about 15 years ago. This term was used to describe how the then 50 something women had been “allowed” to go to work as long as they continued to cover the childcare, shopping, cooking and cleaning. They truly were “wonder women”. It worked for everyone until their age started to catch up with them. They started asking for help. This was not received well. THEN I started reading articles about how bitchy those baby boomer women were in their menopausal years. Darn right they were grouchy…they were exhausted!
My life size assemblage art work called Transcending Race: But Not The 24″ Waist, with a supporting research study, is an homage and a critique of the DC Comic (owned by Time Warner) Wonder Woman.
Transcending features very tired eyes in a clay mask of the artist’s face, breasts in a cage and the lasso of NO TRUTH. She wears a princess crown which embraces the multiple worldviews of the Empirical, Interpretive and Critical Theory and a 50’s style apron finished with clothespin lace and with pockets ready to receive more answers to the study question, “As a woman, what is an important life decision you have made influenced by money? “
To participate in the study: http://bridgescreate.com/women-and-money/
To view the results: http://www.bridgescreate.com/newsletter-signup
Found In Our Waters
Totis 1 (Treasures of the inland Sea)
Mixed Media: Collected from the shores of our Inland Sea.
6 feet H x 10 feet W x 6 ” D
Our concern for the quality of our water should be a national and international dialogue. The Maine shrimp disappeared in 2013. The clam and oyster shells are 40% thinner than a decade ago. There is a toxic alert on the salmon caught in Lake Superior. The future water concerns are here today.
I seek collaborators to stage exhibitions, panel discussions, student workshops, school visits and adult events around the country. It is my belief that social practice art invites the participants to consider serious social issues while experiencing the joy of collaborative creating. Here you will view authentic voices and pictures taken with cell phones, professional and unprofessional cameras and videographers and uncut videos from the Art-A-Whirl event. Please enjoy the dynamic sound of people at an art show looking, making, and learning. Read More
Vida, Muerte y Amor
24″ T X 18″ W X 18″ D Found Objects: Arbol de Vidas, hand blown glass heart, wooden skulls, beads, resin constructions, re-purposed wood.
The Mexican culture has a very healthy attitude towards cycles of life, death and love. Inspired by the aesthetic of my second home, my indigenous ethnic origins and my age, this series asks “Is love a social construct? “How do YOU want to grow old and die.” My discussions with the elders and millennials in Zihuatenjo informed my choices of power objects in this series,
” Over the years, I have spent many intriguing hours visiting the cemeteries of Mexico. Each plot is a space simply waiting for the next visit from loved ones who remember the food, music, culture and art the person who has passed by bringing gifts, playing music and leaving food and memorabilia.
My discussions with the elders and millennials in Zihuatenjo informed my choices of power objects in this series and is created from a variety of precious materials to celebrate our universal human experience.
Free Covid Masks for Essential workers.
Others Pay to Support the Project.
Hand Made. One of a Kind. $20.00- $40.00. Frida fabric is very expensive, postage is $4.50 and Cabochons are handmade and time intensive.
I have been fascinated with mask making for decades. I have around 50 masks from Mexico here in my bedroom (inspired by Frida, of course). I have created mask making lesson plans: http://recordari.com/ and visited Cajun country and was one of the first women to ride in Mardi Gras “Run for a Chicken” traditional parade. http://recordari.com/links.php?link=mask. People throughout history have always been drawn to wearing masks- they allow the wearer to adopt a different persona. It is seductive.
“I received your beautiful mask two days ago and hope you got my note. I love the colors, the style, the comfortable fit and the options for wearing it. Most of all, I the Bridges artistry behind it and will wear it proudly knowing how it will also benefit those caregivers in this pandemic.” Bonnie Brooks
See all Masks; https://www.arttochangetheworld.org/covid-masks-2/
Cognitive Dissonance occurs when what you believe to be true is in direct conflict with what you see to be true. It happens when you realize that your truth is A truth- not THE truth.
Every community enjoys many different people with different life journeys which have brought them to different belief systems. Conflict emerges when one person or group believes that their truth is THE truth. There are 7 billion people on our little planet. Is statistically improbable, and possibly breathtakingly arrogant, to believe your truth is THE truth. I have had some success facilitating events which are designed by leaders in the community from MANY viewpoints. REAL social change can be effected when the participants collect data from each other, participate in authentic dialogue AND commit to action plans…IF they let go of the idea that their truth is THE truth.