Guest speaker Justice at Art Building – Exhibitor

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Barbara Justice came to the Art Building on main campus on April 27 to give a presentation on her work. Justice is expected to graduate from UW-Madison with an MFA this spring.

His work for his master’s degree focused on the manipulation of photographic material. She uses found and collected photographs to do more retro look pieces and create new stories for the photos used.

Justice’s journey began when she was hired as a teaching assistant at UW-Madison’s Makers’ Space. Here she was able to use new materials and try new ways to play with photos. The type of work she has been able to do has changed during the pandemic, but has inspired Justice with new ways to continue her work.

From her home, Justice still created works of art known as artist’s books created from objects found in her residence. Justice said his work was being used as a physical outlet for the stressors produced by the pandemic.

At the time of his qualifying exhibition to enter his master’s program, Justice created a new way to develop his photos.

She based her exhibition on an interpretation of personal archives and how they provided a new way of thinking. Justice used several photos collected from her family members to ensure that her exhibit was a personal narrative as well as a personal story of herself and her family.

Much of Justice’s exhibit used the artist’s books she had made during the pandemic. She used them as books, but also as a photo album and some sculptural pieces.

Justice strives to tell stories from her found photos and other historical information found in libraries. She uses these historic photos and pieces to create artist book sculptures. She claims to be “drawn to the diversity of accordion form” and often uses it in her artist book sculptures.

When she closed her presentation, Justice encouraged the assembled students to play with their medium and get to know them through experimentation. She told them that “breaking the rules is a good way to learn, but you have to know the original rules”.

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