River, Stream, Tap grew out of a crisis that was brewing for a long time. My work revolves around a story of people and land that has been negatively impacted by others as well as ourselves. In 2014 the water in Charleston, West Virginia was poisoned by coal cleaning chemicals. We were told not to touch the water: no bathing, washing, or drinking. The chemicals stuck to the plastic pipes in our homes. When the water was cleaned up, the fouled pipes made our water smell. Conferences at our convention bureau were cancelled, businesses closed, our citizens felt betrayed.
This exhibit examines the importance of water. Pipes are a strong part of the imagery. They become a container for a chemical that no one knew much about and no one could get rid of for a long time. In 2013 I began working in glass in the Czech Republic. I found it to be the perfect vehicle for making the statements I want to make. It’s reflective quality is like water, and translates my imagery from my printmaking practice into a sculptural form.
This work is sponsored in part by the generosity of the Pittsburgh Glass Center and Blenko Glass in West Virginia.
- Barrie Kaufman
About the Artist:
Barrie Kaufman is a West Virginia artist working in the media of prints, painting and glass. Her work often addresses a narrative story. Currently, she focuses on the environment in West Virginia, bringing attention to issues of clean water and destructive practices in the fossil fuel industry. Barrie Kaufman has exhibited internationally at Sotheby’s Stockholm, Sweden, the 5th and 10th International Print Biennial, Taipei, Taiwan - where she won the Taipei City Mayor’s Award - and Press Papier, Trois Riviers, Quebec. She has won awards and grants from the Kentucky Foundation for WOmen, the Painted Bride, Philadelphia, the Mid Atlantic Foundation Fellowship for the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the West Virginia Artist of the Year 2014, West Virginia Fellowship for Painting and Crafts and a recent residency at the Pittsburgh Glass Center in blown glass. Kaufman has had one woman shows at the Montpelier Center for the Arts, Montpelier, VA, the Juliet Museum of Art, Charleston, WV, the Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, WV, and participated in the SOFA Chicago, 2015. She has work in the permanent collections of the Taipei Fine Art Museum, Jane Vorhees Museum of Art, Rutgers University, Univeristy of Charleston, Charleston, WV, Marshall University, Huntington, WV, the Juliet Museum of Art, Charleston, WV (see resume for complete listing).