Testimonials

“Meeting Barbara in her studio with my teenage twin granddaughters was a most fulfilling experience. Her studio is a place of light, inspiration, color and an artist who shares her joy with visitors and through her artwork! Upon entering her studio, I saw a particular work of art hanging on the wall, a stainless steel vine with fused glass leaves. I knew this would be the perfect gift for my son, who had been experiencing a really difficult year. When I asked Barbara if a personalized inspirational message could be inscribed into the metal, she volunteered to find a local engraver and have it done. Needless to say, the gift was received with a joyful heart! It’s prominently displayed in my son’s home with the text referencing a favored verse.

Not to be overlooked in this experience is the knowledge, enthusiasm, and professionalism that Barbara shared with my artist granddaughters and me. The girls have taken numerous art classes since they were young and I was on staff at the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass for 35 years, so all of us were very interested in Barbara’s talent. We left that day with much knowledge, enthusiasm, a new friend and the desire to return to spend more time in her magical glass retreat!”

Kathy Smits
Former Visitor Services Coordinator
Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass Art


“Essentia Health recently purchased a commissioned piece of artwork from Barbara Westfall who was asked to create a piece that complimented the newly finished Clinic lobby that also coordinated with existing artwork. Barbara was able to incorporate appropriate colors and natural elements that created a positive backdrop to the new Information Desk. Her ability to incorporate smooth melted glass and sanded branches bring an interest in layering and composition like no other. Patients and staff comment on the depth of texture yet softness of color variation in the piece. This original piece of art will be treasured as a focal point that reflects the natural environment around Lake Superior that so many can relate to.”

Anne Porter
Lead Facility Designer and Interior Design Project Manager
Essentia Health Clinic - St. Mary's Hospital. Duluth, Minnesota


“In the age of everything digital, interacting through screens instead of face to face, I find original art comforting, energizing and thought provoking. Barbara's art gives me a glimpse of the world as viewed through her eyes. Through the unusual treatment of the beautiful glass and wood used in Paddling through the Mangroves , I can see the brackish water and the roots of life so necessary for our beautiful planet earth. I never tire of looking at this piece.”

Dee Lewis
Madison, Wisconsin


“As curator of the Northwestern Mutual art collection it has been a pleasure to work with Barbara and display her work. Since the opening of Milwaukee's Van Buren building in 2011, I have received so many compliments on Barbara's work. Her use of both natural elements and color make her work exceptionally inviting and interesting to the viewer. I will definitely consider purchasing her work for future buildings.”

Tonya Dybdahl
North Western Mutual Corporate Art Administrator, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Workplace Solutions Designer, LEED Green Associate; FMLI; NCAA; APAA


“Our house is decorated with original art, folk/ethnic art from our foreign travel and research, photographs, and “outsider” art. Barbara's art hangs in our living room surrounded by such, but it occupies a particular niche since one of my hobbies is canoeing, and her piece represents an abstraction of what I see when doing so. Associated canoeing photographs include: a living tree overhanging the water; a recently fallen tree with its reflection and fall colors in the background; and a fairly large, long dead, sun-bleached tree stuck in the sand. Her art, which I commissioned, with its different kinds and colors of glass, white bleached willow and paint shows water, rocks and/or mud, leaves, color and branches, which can be seen as either living with leaves attached or as dead and bleached, the whole thus representing, in low relief, what I so much enjoy seeing as I paddle. Lastly, talking with Barbara about her art and its meaning has greatly enhanced my appreciation of it.”

Donald Thompson, Professor Emeritus
Department of Anthropology, University of WI-Madison


“We enjoyed working with Ms. Westfall in the creative process to come up with a piece of art for our front reception area. The media she employs provides dimension and visual interest. We are extremely pleased with the results and receive many compliments from our customers and employees!”

Shawna Schultz, EVP & General Manager - Commercial Division
Data Dimensions, Inc. Clinton, Iowa


“I worked with Barbara on a commissioned work of art for my home. From the beginning, Barbara was attentive to what I wanted. She came to my home, looked at walls and colors and carefully listened to the intention I wished the art to serve. Barbara then met with me again to share sketches of her ideas and a color palette for the piece. She clearly communicated costs and the timeline for completion and kept me informed throughout the process. She finished the piece on time and on budget never failing to contact me if she had any questions during the making of the piece. She then delivered the work and hung it in my home. Barbara was professional throughout the process and created a unique work of art that brought the room to life. I highly recommend Barbara Westfall for commissions, as she is a qualified, creative professional who was a pleasure to work with from beginning to end.”

Lori Nelson
Verona, Wisconsin


“I've been following Barbara's Reflections on Water series for several years. I love water, wood and nature in general and love how she portrays water with paint and glass and uses natural wood and relief in these pieces. I appreciate how her art raises awareness about the importance of protecting our water resources and natural habitats, too. I held off buying a piece initially for the simple (and silly!) reason the colors didn't work well in our home. When my husband Eric and I first saw Electric Eel Orange , we were immediately drawn to it. The rich colors and darker wood combined with the water theme were just what we needed. The piece is now prominently displayed in one of our main hallways and I smile every time I see it. I'm often tempted to touch the smooth wood and glass. We have had many compliments and are proud and happy to own it.”

Jane Carlson, Madison, Wisconsin
Consulting Engineer, Senior Project Manager, Strand Associates


“Barbara's art is the first thing I see when I walk into my room and it fills me with joy EVERY DAY. I love the color combination and the beauty of the mixed mediums. Barbara's spirit radiates out from this piece and reminds me just how much courage she has shown by making the incredible leap from a full-time professor of art, to a full time artist. Her art is a gift and I feel blessed to have it (and her) in my life.”

Jamie Domini
Madison, WI


“The works of art I deign to acquire and value most highly, in addition to appealing to my aesthetic sensibility, have struck me on a personal level and come to represent an indelible reminder of a cherished past experience. Such that when I gaze upon a meaningful artwork it's a touchstone for memories of a notable occurrence usually encountered in a special place along my travels. When I look at Purple Baby Mangrove , I get the immediate sensual gratification its harmony of materials bestows to a blithe pictorial composition and immediately swept back to thoughts of my exciting adventures in the mangrove coastline of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. It is as if the artist has conspired to keep a wonderful time in my life always fresh in my memory.”

Scott Brandt
Madison, Wisconsin