top of page

Artist Statement

Barbara Shaiman is a ceramic and mixed-media sculptor whose work references our natural environment and the effect of human activity on it. The waterways, vegetation and rock-forms found in the Northwest play a pivotal role in her imagery and ideas.

For the past few years Shaiman’s work has focused on Northwest rivers, streams, and estuaries but recently the curving lines of her abstract ceramic sculptures started morphing into other natural forms that appear in the same environment, namely branches, roots and vines. The recent work has also begun to feature more fiber, wire, and a variety of surface mediums with stoneware as a smaller element.

About Barbara Shaiman

Barbara Shaiman returned to her original calling as a ceramic artist in 2016 after 24 years at Seattle Art Museum where she was Director/Curator of SAM Gallery. At the gallery, Barbara curated about 12 exhibits a year. Since leaving SAM, Barbara’s focus is on her ceramic and mixed-media sculpture which references our natural environment and the effect of human activity on it.


​Before joining the SAM staff, Barbara taught studio art classes in NYC at Brooklyn College and Brooklyn Museum Art School, at Hawthorne Studio in Missoula, Montana, and, in Seattle, at Seward Park Arts Center and Bellevue College. She was also a studio ceramic artist and the owner/director of Shaiman Gallery, a local contemporary fine crafts and design gallery. Her ceramics were featured in many regional and national exhibits as well as several books and magazines.

Though her primary interest now is pursuing her own sculpture, Barbara is also an independent curator. She presented quarterly art exhibits at Seattle's Alexis Hotel for 12 years until 2017 and currently devotes time to jurying community art exhibits, participating in public art panels, advising local arts organizations and helping emerging artists to become familiar with the business of art by teaching workshops and evaluating portfolios.

bottom of page