About Me

The art I create

I create art because I love to. I design and fabricate art one piece at a time, giving each my full attention and care. I draw inspiration from the abundance of nature that surrounds me. My home and studio overlook the Sugar River watershed in Wisconsin. The river, plants, and sunlight are a constant source of joy. My creative process is intrinsically woven into my day-to-day interactions with the natural world, and my art reflects the multitude of feelings nature evokes.

I grew up in a family of makers. My father was a design builder in the Chicago suburbs and I remember watching him unroll blueprints on the dining room table and draft in his office. I watched my mother and grandmother sew and crochet and they all instilled in me a belief that art is beautiful and has an important purpose in our lives and the world.

A long time ago, I gave up a career in banking and traded it for a two degrees in fine art. I trained with inspiring faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, home of the nation’s first university-based studio program in art glass. I earned a BFA, MFA and served the University of Wisconsin-Platteville as assistant professor of art through 2014. I studied drawing in Los Angeles, California, served on the Pasadena Arts Council and I taught art for 18 years in schools and at two University of Wisconsin campuses.

My art has won praise from designers, architects, curators, and art consultants and has been featured in books and magazines. I have won design awards, including 2016 Glass Artist of the Year from a 25 panel jury in the Art Comes Alive Exhibition in Cincinnati, OH. I have exhibited widely at various juried shows around the U.S. and Canada, and my art is commissioned, collected and enjoyed by clients around the world.

In 2012, I started Barbara Westfall Art Glass Design LLC to create, build and install custom art for a variety of environments including healthcare, hospitality and corporate industries. On large-scale public art projects, I employ a team of artisans, including metal and wood fabricators, lighting designers and installation experts to bring your project to life. I am the company's lead designer and I fabricate all of the glass forms. Fused glass can be created in a wide variety of colors, textures and sizes up to 5 ft in length and are fired on-site in our industrial kiln. For projects requiring wood, we use locally sourced materials and customize shapes and textures using Old World carving methods and industry tooling. For art requiring metal elements, we can design and create large and small precise laser-cut shapes in a wide variety of hand-tooled surface textures. If your project requires placement of our design proposal into architectural site plans, let our expert AutoCAD designer help visualize what the art will look like in your intended space through an electronic to-scale drawing.

Whether it’s a flowing river made of melted glass, iconic bluffs and trees carved from wood, or intricate metal buildings and bridges that create the illusion of a city skyline - the results are inspiring. I enjoy helping art consultants, designers, architects and individuals find the right art for their projects and homes. Let me help you and your group develop a remarkable work of art. Email bwestfalldesign@gmail.com to set up a conference call, and SHOP online at my website to purchase ready-to-install artwork that's perfect for your home or office.

In every walk with nature one receives far more than one seeks.
- John Muir

More about Barbara

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