Stacy Isenbarger creates dialog through her works by highlighting perceived boundaries built from one’s environment. When materials are crafted in both expected and unexpected ways within one artwork, contradictions can communicate a human struggle against cultural expectations. Like watching a good debate where both sides makes strong impressions but only one side seems to feel right to you, she seeks material-driven paradoxes that challenge audiences’ viewpoints. Through a variety of constructed material collisions, Isenbarger continuously seeks ways to express our complex negotiations of place and the desire to feel whole within it. As her forms seem to pull themselves together or break apart, they act as stand-ins for complex personas confronting themselves and the boundaries they have given themselves.
Isenbarger seeks to understand a richer perspective of community environments—their common structures, poetic narratives, shared iconography, and collective engagement. How does one confront and establish themselves among others’ directives? How does one find their place and their understanding when boundary lines are drawn by others? What is lost and gained through our layered understandings of home, difference, and relevance? Inspired by these complex perspectives, she works to understand how these outside dynamics weave our collective community conscious.
Isenbarger has taught Art + Design at the University of Idaho in Moscow, ID since 2011 where she is now an Associate Professor. She received her BFA at Clemson University & her MFA from the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia—two places she has tremendous gratitude for especially in regards to how both experiences shaped her approach to teaching. Michigan born, South Carolina raised, and Appalachian Tennessee adopted, she now finds herself attempting to make the Northwest United States home. She is the VP of Communications for FATE (Foundations in Art: Theory & Education).
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