Although born in Arizona, Sean spent his early years in the high desert farmland of Eastern Oregon and Western Idaho. The cultural and environmental desolation of the area gave him the opportunity to observe and learn from the natural world. Growing up in the country taught him the practical skills to work with the machinery, tools and materials used to make the objects of our daily lives.
A desire to continue making things led to years in the building trades around the country. This experience improved his craftsmanship and expanded the range of materials and processes he could use effectively. He began studying digital art in the mid ‘90’s as a way to design and visualize his ideas in the digital workspace before making them in the physical world. This training also led to him entering the stock photography industry at the end of the last century, where he remains active.
Wanting to improve his building and design skills, Sean spent two years studying Engineering in Seattle before transferring to Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. At Evergreen he studied sustainable design and sculpture, improved his craft through studies of traditional Japanese woodworking and architecture, and worked as a student teacher in the Art department’s wood and metal shops. His time at Evergreen allowed him to explore in more depth his skills, values and personal artistic voice.
Sean’s work covers a wide swath of the built world. He has designed and built science exhibits, custom motorcycles, large sculptures and props for TV, many pieces of custom furniture and everything in between. He doesn’t subscribe to any one style or movement, but pulls inspiration from the natural world, cutting-edge science, historical methods and many cultures. To give his hands a break from making things, he also enjoys writing, photography and creating digital art.
He currently lives in Astoria with his wife, Shannon, and cat, Cheese.
Residency: July 2016 - September 2016
Sean Barrow's website