A different kind of art

A strange look at the human condition

Artist Steve Barber discusses his work and its inspiration. Photo by: Will Holden | Torch Photographer

The newest exhibit to be featured at Ferris’ Fine Art Gallery expresses a different approach than exhibits have in the past.

Artist Steve Barber showcases a new perspective for students through his exhibit “Myths, Monsters, and Mystery.” The exhibit is about addressing issues such as greed, honor, trust and other conditions of human experience through images from mythology and folklore.

Ferris gallery director Carrie Weis liked the different style of Barber and wanted to have his pieces featured in the next exhibition. Weis choose Barber to be featured in this exhibit because of the uniqueness of his work and how he is doing something few others have done.

This exhibit is influenced by literary sources, both fiction and non fiction. Barber says it is based off mythology, including Greek, Nordic, Celtic Tibetan Buddhist, Native American, Judeo-Christian and even some pseudoscience: Ancient Aliens.

“My favorite piece is probably the one titled, ‘From within and without.’ It is a self-portrait of me with the antlers of a stag,” Barber said. “This is the appearance of a Celtic deity called Cernunnos. The reason I chose him is because I have a lot of Celtic ancestry. So I have a fondness for Celtic myths.”

Barber hopes people discover a new way of seeing art from his show and hopes to inspire them to feel more alive when they view this exhibit. Barber said his technique and style is unique in that it may show people a different way of seeing the world.

“My work is a visual diary of all that moves me, inspires me, annoys me and makes me laugh,” Barber wrote on his website. “Much of my work is very personal but it also can be inspired by literary sources. For me, to create is a cele- bration of life even if the subject is ominous.”

Barber went to Graceland University for his Bachelor of Arts in painting and drawing in 1990, and Central Michigan University (CMU) for his Master of Fine Arts with a concentration in painting and drawing in 1996. Barber was a professor at CMU for 16 years. He has exhibitions in state, regional, national and international shows.

Ferris human resource management senior Kelsey McGovern has worked for the Fine Art Gallery since her freshman year. McGovern said she likes that the pictures have different animals, which makes it more interesting to her. This exhibit stands out more to McGovern than past exhibits because of the bright colors and the uniqueness of it all.

To see Barber’s “Myths, Monsters, and Mystery” exhibit, visit the Fine Art Gallery between now and Monday, May 27, in University Center 205.