Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Barry.
Amanda, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Growing up in Beaumont, Texas my life revolved around being outside and playing soccer competitively. While indoors, for as long as I can remember, I have made art. It wasn’t until I was taking my first real art class in high school that I discovered my true passion for creating. At the same time, I was taking the class, my high school soccer team was involved in a tragic bus wreck that took the lives of my two friends and injured many others. Through contemplations on how short life can be and what I might do with mine, mixed with my parent’s wisdom in pursuing happiness, I landed on art as a major. I started as a painting major for a few years but ended up receiving my BFA in Ceramics from Lamar University in 2013. I was so interested in the science behind glaze chemistry and the unexpected results from the firings. I went on to receive my MFA in Sculpture and Ceramics in 2016 from Houston Baptist University. I was the TA for two years which solidified my love for teaching. I currently run the Ceramics program at Galveston College. I teach Art Appreciation and Art History at Alvin Community College. I live and commute from Houston where I have a home-based studio. There I work on small metal projects, two-dimensional works, and sometimes I will use me at home pottery wheel. I’m also involved in many freelance murals and projects. Life keeps me busy but I still make time for my loved ones, sports, and traveling.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I work in a range of materials: clay, metal, glass, wood, polymer, gouache, ink, acrylic, and many found objects. I am one that never really wanted to keep myself in one box for my whole life. Most people know me as one of two things: a fine artist or a freelance artist. On my fine art side of life, I’m known primarily as a Ceramicist because that’s what I teach and work in mostly. Conceptually, nature and mythology inspire the creation of my quasi-narrative artworks. Many pieces encapsulate moments from my life. These stories are somewhat ambiguous as they tend to represent personal experiences. Animals, bugs, and plants are anthropomorphized as characters in autobiographically based works. Research into the cultural reverence and symbolism of flora and fauna fuel my creative process. Symbiotic relationships of living things and their ever-changing environments are also explored through commentary on their conservation status. My methodology for investigating nature and mythology in my work remains constant despite my use of a wide range of materials and processes. On my freelance side of life, I’m known mostly for my mural works. I have done a range of wall paintings both indoor and outdoor. I love taking someone’s idea for a space and making what they envision come to fruition. I mostly work on murals in the summers when I am not teaching.
What do you know now that you wished you had learned earlier?
My greatest advice for artists is to not give up. Many people in this world will try and break you down and make you think you can’t be successful with art. This is not true, I live a very fulfilling life as an artist. However, I will say along your journey be open to taking those many freelance offers. Not only will it create absolute joy in others’ lives but it will create happiness in yours knowing you made someone happy. My advice to anyone and everyone is finding some type of creative outlet in your life. You’re never too young to start. I have many students that are retired and take my ceramics class. Creating art is so therapeutic. Focusing on an artwork lets our minds rest which in turn is amazing for our mental health. The artworks you make never have to see the light of day but experiment and play; Life’s too short not to!
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
People can visit my website to see works in progress. I have a couple shows I’m working on coming up in over a year so until then following me on social media is the best way to support my fine art. I have some functional items like mugs, pots, and jewelry on my Etsy.
- Website: www.amandabarry.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @murndabee
- Facebook: @murndabee
Kailee Viator, Aldo Roldan