About Me

The art I create

I create art because I love to. I design and fabricate custom art one piece at a time, giving each my full attention and care. I draw inspiration to create art from the abundance of nature that surrounds me. I am motivated by my family, friends, community and the outdoor world where I live — the Upper Midwest. The plants, rivers, lakes 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 taught art in two Wisconsin universities and the public schools for 20 years. My art has won praise from designers, architects, curators, and art consultants and has been featured in books and magazines. My company has 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.

My company, Barbara Westfall Art Glass Design, develops and builds custom art for a variety of business and home environments including healthcare, hospitality, software developers, finance and residental properties. Our past projects include themes that pay homage to regional natural beauty and concepts that promote community enrichment. The site-specific murals are often built in sections to span large footprints and attach directly to walls and at varying depths. I fabricate glass forms in a wide variety of colors and textures up to 4 ft in length which are melted in an industrial kiln on site. I source local and exotic woods and create custom shapes and textures using Old World carving methods and industrial tooling. My team of metal artisans custom fabricate metal forms up to 8 ft in length using contemporary laser-cut technologies. 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 skyline - the results are inspiring.

I enjoy helping art consultants, designers, architects and individuals find the right art for their projects and homes. Contact me to discuss your art vision at bwestfalldesign@gmail.com, or 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

CV Document