Bart Vargas is from Bellevue, Nebraska. He received his BFA in Sculpture from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and his MFA at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, and his work can be found in many collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. His works have also been featured in many publications, including Sculpture Magazine, New American Paintings, and HGTV Magazine. Vargas has received many awards including a 2010 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award from the International Sculpture Center, and the 2012 Omaha Entertainment and Arts Award for Best Visual Artist. Vargas has taught at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Metropolitan Community College, as well as the Kent Bellows Studio. [headshot photo credit: Sam Herron]
I am an object maker. I grew up in my father's upholstery shop. There I learned the use of tools, three-dimensional relationships, and how to explore the nature of materials. Those three sets of lessons have followed me throughout my life, education and career as a Professional Artist, as well as an Arts Educator. As an Educator, I primarily teach three-dimensional foundations courses where I introduce and reinforce basic three-dimensional design concepts to students through sculptural exercises. Where the two-dimensional Arts are dominated by imagery and illusion, three-dimensional objects are tangible and real, they are honest, they are what they are. I remind the students that they have had a relationship to objects their whole lives, I teach them the vocabulary of objects, and empower them with the ability to make their own. In my Artistic practice, I explore the artistic potential of trash, surplus and recyclables to build paintings, sculptures, and installations that blur the identity of these everyday materials, transforming them into playful, thought-provoking objects. I want my creations to act as artifacts and evidence of the early 21st century, and hope to do so by using materials that are no longer needed or valued in an era of limited resources and extraordinary consumption and waste.
Research and Creative Activity Interests
Painting, sculpture, recycled media
BFA, University of Nebraska at Omaha; MFA, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Foundations Drawing and Design II: 3-D, Elementary Sculpture, Intermediate Sculpture, Special Topics in Studio Art: Art/work