Barbara Browner Schiller was born in New York City. During her
high school years she took art classes and, despite her young
age, won an art award. Thereafter, she went on to the State University
of New York at Cortland and entered their Teacher’s Education
program. Although her major area of study was history, all of
her electives were used to take art and music courses. After college
graduation, she studied sculpture at the New School for Social
Research-Parsons School of Design under the tutelage of Manolo
Pasqual and later with Martin Holiday. It was also at this time
that she earned her Masters degree in teaching the visually impaired.
Despite her hectic schedule, her evenings were spent with mallet
and chisel in hand, working on stone sculptures.
As an artist and, more specifically,
as a sculptor, Barbara sees her role as being able to sense and
mirror needs and feelings which she can then transcribe into her
art to evoke similar responses in the viewer. Some of the themes
which can be found in her work are those of mothers, fathers and
their children. To Barbara, the idea of family is particularly
inspiring and most of her creative ideas come from watching children
at play and interacting with their families. It is at those moments
that Barbara is washed with feelings of love, happiness or elation.
The universality, timelessness, and continuity of the family,
its unity and expressiveness, its containment of all of humanity’s
emotions, form the core meaning of her work. These are the ideas
and feelings that she tries to recapture and express to others
within her works of art.
Reaching for a chunk of clay, a
sheet of wax, or a mallet and chisel to work on stone, her hands
appear to simply move by themselves as if having a life of their
own. For Barbara, her hands are really an extension of an overwhelming,
all encompassing need to create and render for others, so that
they can see and feel that which she has already experienced.
After some time, Barbara found
that she enjoyed working in a medium new to her, wax. She found
wax to be very rewarding since it was possible for her to create
extension and motion that was not possible in stone. Of course,
working in wax was her first step towards creating bronze sculptures.
was at this time that a noted sculptor, a professor at SUNY Purchase,
Phillip Listengart, became her teacher. SUNY had its own foundry
and it was possible for Barbara to create her sculptures in wax,
pour the bronze, and complete all the needed metal work there.
In addition to the sculptures cast at the Purchase Foundry, others
have been cast at the internationally renowned Tallix Foundry
and at the Argos Foundry. In every case, all the castings were
completed under her direct supervision.
As more time passed, Barbara found
herself wanting to also experiment in additional mediums. Over
the years she has created etchings and monoprints, generated stained
glass murals, designed one-of-a-kind hats, formal handbags, cloth
dolls and quilted non-traditional wall hangings. Every one of
these artistic modes has become one more way for Barbara to creatively
Since having retired from teaching,
Barbara has found it easier to find daylight time to create her
sculptures. Now, to her great pleasure, her days are predominately
filled with the creation of her art.
Since winning her first award when
she was in High School, Barbara has exhibited her works and won
awards from many places including the Hechscher Museum, Knickerbocker
Artists of New York at the Salmagundi Club, the New England Exhibition
at the Silvermine Guild Center and the Katonah Museum, as well
as numerous galleries. She has had a one person show and was invited
to be in a 7 person show. She has been asked many times to showcase
her work in Suny Purchase. She has been featured at Bloomingdale’s
in Westchester and she has won many awards for sculpture in local
exhibitions. She had a two person show at the Gallery at the Marmara-Manhattan
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