Signage created by the Oklahoma Arts Council for my 2008 exhibit in the Oklahoma State Capitol
“My art is my meditation and my reprieve from the world of computers,” explained Oklahoma City artist Marc Barker. With more than 12 years experience in the field of interactive media and over 20 years experience in the arts, Barker also draws inspiration equally from his backgrounds in science and art.
“Zoology and research gave me an organic appreciation of animals, man, questioning and a supreme veneration of Nature. Art encounters then led me down a parallel path to visual wonderment involving photography, graphic arts, oil painting and intaglio printmaking.”
For this current series, ‘The Illusion of Mattering’, Barker removed decorative hues in order to work mainly in black against white and textured, veiled grey creating an atmosphere of mystery. Barker describes these images as “places where shadows become sentinels … and places with clouds and all things clouded, places that remind us that anything we learn changes everything we know.”
The images in this exhibit contain signifiers or icons that relate to Barker’s personal story. He hopes these same signifiers will encourage the viewer to reflect on their own personal story and not allow the title to dictate the work’s meaning. “Titles are nearly as important to me as the image; they allow an added poesy of meaning. However, I try not to create titles that are so concrete as to prevent the viewer from bringing in their own stories, which sometimes share icons with mine.”
Both seemingly disparate areas of study prepared him for his current profession in interactive media where he designs, produces and manages websites, CD-ROM and other presentation productions for local and international clients. Previously, Barker’s graduate work at the University of Central Oklahoma led him to teach Principles of Interactivity at UCO where he was also the Production Supervisor for the Multimedia Technology Laboratory, as well as overseeing all printing of posters and collateral projects for the UCO Museum of Art. Prior to that, he served as a workshop assistant at the Oklahoma Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain and worked in printmaking for national artists in a wide variety of mediums. Barker earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater and continued his post-graduate studies in Limnology at the University of Oklahoma, Norman.
Barker has exhibited his work internationally at the Baltic Speleological Congress, Sweden, and the International Congress of Speleology in England. Recent exhibitions in Oklahoma City include Nault Fine Art Gallery, Individual Artists of Oklahoma, City Art Center, Pickard Art Gallery, Untitled [ArtSpace] and the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. His works were also exhibited at Scribner’s Gallery in Enid as well as Suite Oklahoma II at various locations within the state.