Winter 2020

Visual magic

Liz Banfield

What’s in Chase Barney’s backpack? “A sketchbook,” says the artist, who completed his B.F.A. in December 2019. 

A longtime hair stylist, Barney grew up in Salt Lake City, moved to Minneapolis in 2013, and worked as a manager for Aveda. “Then my husband signed us up for a ceramics class,” he says. “I fell in love with it.” That led to studying art for two years at Minneapolis Community and Technical College before transferring into the highly selective B.F.A. program at the University of Minnesota. 

“I benefited greatly from my time at the U,” he says. “My professors were wonderful mentors and helped curate my portfolio.” Scholarship support from the Zelda and Max Berman Scholarship Fund and the Joel and Aja Ceramics Fund helped cover tuition.

Barney’s work was recently featured in two shows at U of M galleries. The Quarter Gallery’s annual undergraduate scholarship show displayed the work of scholarship recipients. “Queer Forms” at the Katherine E. Nash Gallery showcased national and international artists in celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. Barney was the only current student whose work was included—“a remarkable experience,” he says. 

Barney also was one of only six B.F.A. students chosen to travel to Germany in 2019 to study gentrification in city centers and the benefits of making art in rural areas. 

This year, he will take part in the winter residency program at North Carolina’s Penland School of Craft. As for long-term goals, teaching is an option. “But my priority is to be a studio artist,” he says.