We had the good fortune of connecting with Joe Barrington and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Joe, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
My work is based on a life lived in rural Texas. I grew up in my Dad’s welding shop in Throckmorton, Texas. My images are of the flora, fauna and the characters from one of the least populated counties in Texas. (Less than 2,000 people in 900 square miles.) Put another way, there were not many distractions other then the outdoors and work.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I graduated from Midwestern State University in 1980 with a BFA degree in sculpture and a minor in printmaking.

I chose to return to Throckmorton and work for my Dad until I could get a studio and tools necessary to build sculpture. Getting the studio going was not too difficult, making the transition to building sculpture full time was the difficult task. I left Dad’s business after a few years. I had to have a way to supplement my income. I started building one off furniture, and doing architectural elements for custom homes. This gave me the financial support for the sculpture I was building.

I knew no one would find my work in Throckmorton, Texas. I had to get it out where people could see it. I was fortunate to get my work in Shidoni Gallery in Santa Fe, NM in 1983. They were a nationally know sculpture power house for half a century. I also entered shows and hauled sculpture to any show I could get in. These shows were in Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee, California, New Mexico and others. My idea was if you put enough work out there and its not terrible, something good will happen. I began to sell works from those shows, and by word of mouth.

Has it been easy? Depends on your outlook. I say it was because I was getting to live the life I wanted to live. Am I satisfied with where I am career wise? Yes, I have some really good sculptor friends, some really good patrons who collect my work that are also friends.

I am often asked if I will retire, and the answer is no. I like to work and I feel driven to create, plus I am fighting to not let the old man in.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Heart and Hand Tattoo Hotel ZaZa
Belmont Hotel
Bishops Art District
Perry’s Steakhouse
The Keesler Theater
S&D Oyster Co

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My Dad, Eddie Barrington, life time Throckmorton resident. He was the ultimate repairman, builder, welder, etc. He taught me a myriad of skills that i use while creating my work today. He also introduced me to the hunting and fishing rural Texas has to offer .

Richard Martin Ash, printmaking instructor at Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas. Richard payed a huge role for me as a mentor and taught me more than anyone about being an artist. He taught me how to present art, how to install a show, how to network and encouraged me to show my work. He encourage local collectors to buy my work and sparked the idea that I could make a career building and selling art.

Instagram: sculpture4thelongrun

Facebook: Joe Barrington

Other: google has tons of images of my work

Image Credits
credit: Texas Tech University (sculpture: We are in the business of changing the world) credit: Stephen F Austin University (sculpture: West Texas Shaman)

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