Visual Art

Lives, Both Still and Moving

Barbara Shafer displays landscapes, dancers at library

Barbara Arnold |

BELOW: “Excerpt from the Minnesota Ballet”
BELOW: “Excerpt from the Minnesota Ballet”

Barbara Shafer is a sculptor, dancer, advocate, teacher, wife, mother, and more. Throughout the month of November, the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library will celebrate just one of Shafer’s identities by displaying her work as a painter.

Her exhibit, “Painting Dance and Drawing Landscapes,” reflects her interests, although she is quick to say that she learns most about herself through creating her art. Her subjects choose her and draw her in rather than her selecting who and what she wants to paint. The library’s first floor hosts a collection of sketches done quickly with charcoal and watercolors.

Images include views of the shores of Lake Superior near Duluth, the Upper and Lower Cascade, Big Falls, the Rod and Gun Club, and the Cadott dam. The portraits of rock, water, and air take on lives of their own, as if dancing to the pulse of nature. On the library’s stairs, portraits of local dancers draw you into spheres of light, color, and space. On the second floor, the focus is on dancers, light, and negative space. For these, Barbara photographs her subjects at a moment in time, then returns to her studio to re-create them in acrylic.

Perhaps the most impressive is a series of four paintings of a dancer in the studio at Banbury Place. The images were shot over one day as sunlight passes through the windows.

"Painting Dance and Drawing Landscapes” Gallery Show • L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, 400 Eau Claire St., Eau Claire • Through Nov. 26 • • FREE.