About Leslie Barlow

Leslie Barlow is an artist living and working in Minneapolis, MN. Primarily an oil painter, Barlow shares stories through figural relationships that explore the politics of representation, identity, otherness, and racial constructs. 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. In 2019 she was awarded both the McKnight Visual Artist Fellowship and the 20/20 Springboard Fellowship. 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 both 2018 and 2016 Barlow received the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, and in 2018 she received the Minnesota Museum of American Art Purchase 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. From February to May 2018, Barlow was the Artist-in-Residence at Marcy Open School, facilitated through the Marcy Arts Partnership. Her studio is located in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. 

The collaborative work Barlow does with other artists and folks in the community is just as important to her as her studio practice. Barlow is currently teaching courses at the University of Minnesota, Metro State University, and Juxtaposition Arts, and leads the studio collective project Studio 400. 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, which has now grown into the organization MidWest Mixed with ongoing programming. 

photo Ryan Stopera

photo Ryan Stopera

photo Bobby Rogers

photo Bobby Rogers