About Leslie Barlow

Leslie Barlow is a practicing artist living and working in Minneapolis, MN. Primarily an oil painter, Barlow's current work employs the figure and narrative elements to explore complex social issues like race, multiculturalism, "otherness," representation, and identity. She investigates these through the use of the personal; often creating works depicting family, friends, people in her community, and personal experiences, to reflect the subtle and not-so-subtle integrations of these ideas into individual lives and identities. Barlow received her BFA in 2011 from the University of Wisconsin- Stout and her MFA in 2016 from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Leslie Barlow has received great recognition from her home state of Minnesota. She appeared in the season 7 television segment of tpt's Minnesota Original, airing April 2016, was published in the "Best New Art 2016" list in Minnesota Monthly Magazine, and was published as "Artist of the Year" for 2016 in the City Pages. In 2016 Barlow received the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, and in 2017 she received a Foundation Award in the Minnesota State Fair Juried Exhibition for a large oil painting from her Loving series. Barlow actively exhibits her work throughout the United States and many of her pieces can be found in private and public collections. Her work can be seen at the new US Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis, where in 2016 she was commissioned by the Vikings team to create 6 portrait paintings of iconic Vikings players. Maintaining a vigorous studio practice, Barlow has also recently participated in artist residencies including the 3 x 5 Emerging Artist Residency at The Soap Factory (Minneapolis, MN) and she was the Artist-in-Residence at Whitworth University (Spokane, WA) for the month of October, 2016.  Her studio is located in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. 

In addition to her studio practice, Barlow currently works as an Assistant Instructor at Juxtaposition Arts, does social media for Northern Lights.mn, teaches drawing at the University of Minnesota, participates on the Arts Advisory Panel for Made Here, and is a board member of the Minneapolis Art Lending Library. She also occasionally teaches community classes/workshops and holds public lectures. In 2017 she joined a team of organizers and artists to plan the first-ever MidWest Mixed Conference

Barlow has a keen interest in arts programming and organization management, and has over 400 hours of volunteer work with the Soap Factory, serving as the Public Relations Intern in 2011 and as Co-Director of the Volunteer Biennial exhibition in 2012.  Barlow has also worked as the Gallery Manager for Waiting Room and during her undergraduate education Barlow helped start and manage an artist co-op gallery.

photo Leah Navidi

photo Leah Navidi