MIchael Barsanti

Born: Port Edwards, Wisconsin


My work is an ongoing dialogue about the adventures and misadventures of the human species. Humans have become the most influential force on the world around us. As the preeminent toolmaker and alleged thinker, we have evolved to influence every aspect of our social and physical world. Our made world is designed for survival and the fulfillment of our desires. The advances we have made in creating technological forces seem to constantly surpass our ability to socially integrate the use of them. Our shortcoming is the inability to foresee the compromises we will face as a result of hasty implementation.  

As a sculptor I am inspired by the transformational properties of clay: wet to dry, plastic to rigid, soluble to insoluble. I search for ways to blend clay with other materials and processes to create fixed and ephemeral installations. These constructions act as metaphors for my critiques du jour of the follies and endeavors of human existence.

As I reflect on the earliest uses of clay and its enduring power of communication, I am continuing this narrative about the world around us. From my perspective the earliest works in clay became the first 3d printed interpretations from the software we call the mind. With immediate access to information, every installation is a new blend of experience, objects, intuition and memory responding to a particular, site, theme or concept.


Michael Barsanti





Bachelor of Science, 1978

University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, WI


Master of Fine Art, 1980

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN


Recent Projects



2017 Site Specific installation on Fable Farm fields, Barnard, VT


2016 Site specific installations/performance collaboration with Anne Mapplebeck. Sited on the King Farm, Woodstock, VT Curated by Edythe Wright and Jay Mead.

Our piece considered the issue of homelessness.

“Clay Landmarks” 

2016 Site specific installation, Arabia Steamboat Museum, Kansas City, MO

Exhibition Curated by Allison Newsome, Concurrent Exhibition with the NCECA conference




Bird Habitat Collaboration


During my sabbatical in the spring semester of 2015 I created nests made from fired clay and installed them at locations within a 15 mile radius of my studio. The nests were designed to attract Barn Swallow and Eastern Phoebe species. These birds use soil and plant matter to construct their nests, and are also insectivores. Inspired by childhood experience living on a farm with these creatures, coupled with the decline of the Brown Bat (a voracious insectivore) my intent is to attract more of the aforementioned birds to increase insect consumption. Some of the inhabited nests will be retrieved and fired again to see how the organic matter sinters onto the clay in a decorative collaboration with the birds. The inhabited nests will be returned to their former locations and uninhabited nests may be relocated or left for the next season.


Selected Exhibitions


2016                “Clay Landmarks”                                                   Invitational

2016 Site Specific Installation, Arabia Steamboat Museum, Kansas City, MO  Collaboration with Anne Mapplebeck, Curated by Allison Newsome, Concurrent Exhibition with the NCECA conference.                                                              



2015                “Transition”                                                              Invitational      

Vermont Independent School of the Arts, Sharon, VT, October 24th 


2012                19th Annual Juried Summer Exhibition                   Juried exhibition         

                        AVA Gallery, Lebanon, NH                                       


2011                “Art Encounters Preservation”                                 Invitational

Wentworth Coolidge Museum, Portsmouth, NH                               


2010                “On the Planet”                                                        Juried exhibition

Studio Place Arts Gallery, Barre, Vermont                                                     


Vermont Sculpture Fest, Woodstock, Vermont                                Invitational


“Agricultural Encounters Sculpture”                                                Invitational

Allandale Farm, Brookline, MA                      


17th Annual Juried Summer Exhibition

AVA Gallery, Lebanon, NH                                                                Juried exhibition


“In the Style of… American Pottery                                                   Invitational                               in the British Studio Tradition”                                 

Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY


2009                16th Annual Juried Summer Exhibition                     Juried exhibition

                        AVA Gallery, Lebanon, NH                                       


2008                Ceramics Biennial                                                     Juried exhibition

                        New Hampshire Institute of Art, Concord, NH

                        Awarded Best in Show                                               


                  15th Annual Juried Summer Exhibition                           Juried exhibition

                        AVA Gallery, Lebanon, NH                                       


2006                The Fabric of War                                                      Installation/Performance

                        Seven Stars Center, Sharon VT                              


                        14th Annual Juried Summer Exhibition

                        AVA Gallery, Lebanon, NH                                       Juried exhibition


2005                Color By Digital

artSPACE@16, Malden, MA                                                             Juried exhibition


2001-2002       Stone Hill Quarry Art Park, Cazenovia, NY

                        Selected to install a site-specific installation. The project was canceled because of reduced funding following the September 11th event.                 


1999                Place Wares Exhibit                                                 Invitational

                        Vermont Clay Studio, Waterbury, VT


                        The Chandler Gallery                                              Group show

                        Randolph, VT


1998                Faculty Exhibit                                                         Group show

1998 cont.       School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Site Specific Installation. Placement of Clay Trees to mark dowsed underground river cutting through the Museum School property.


1998    Green Mountain Visions                                                     Group show

                        The Works Gallery, Philadelphia PA                         


1997                Faculty Exhibition                                                    Group show

School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA


1996                Group Exhibit                                                          Invitational

                        Clark Gallery, Lincoln, MA


Blithwald Mansion Arboretum , Bristol, RI                                      Invitational

                        Site Specific Installation                                             

In conjunction with the National Sculpture Conference held in RI.

I installed 2 ceramic, hand built trees on the grounds. The trees were markers for underground domes of water that exist on the property. The locations were map dowsed from my studio in Vermont and verified by dowsing on site.


1995                Group Show

                        Copley Society, Boston, MA                                   Invitational


                        Vermont Council on the Arts Sculpture Fest           Invitational

                        Woodstock, VT


1994                Vermont Council on the Arts Sculpture Fest           Invitational

                        Woodstock, VT


1993                Vermont Council on the Arts Sculpture Fest           Invitational

                        Woodstock, VT


1992                Stratton Arts Festival                                               Group show

                        Juried Exhibit of Vermont Artists       

                        Stratton, VT


1991                DAS Gallery                                                             Solo show

                        Lebanon, NH


Lime Library Exhibit                                                                        Two-person show

Lyme, NH


1990                The Chandler Gallery                                              Group show

                        Randolph, VT


1989                Faculty Exhibit                                                         Group show

                        School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA


1989 cont.       The Awakening Center                                            Group show

Shelburne, VT


1988                Society of Arts and Crafts                                       Group show

Boston, MA


1987                Faculty Exhibit                                                         Group show

                        School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA


1984                Ceramics & Mixed Media                                        Group show

Lopoukhine Gallery, Boston, MA


Ceramic Constructions                                                                    Solo show

Museum School Gallery, Boston, MA


1983                Clay Invitational                                                        Group show show                                        Hera Gallery, Wakefield, RI


1982                Innovations Craft "82"                                                Invitational

                        Rhode Island College, Providence, RI


1981                Sheffield Gallery                                                        Invitational                  

                        Chicago, IL


                        Marietta National                                                       Group show

                        Marietta College, Marietta, OH


1980                Tradition in The Making                                             Group show

                        Traveling Exhibit: Atlanta, Madison

and La Grange, GA


                        "Just Passing Threw"                                                 Solo show

                        Coffman Gallery, Minneapolis, MN


1980                Minnesota Sculptures "80"                                         Group show

                        St. Paul, MN


1979                Midwest Craft Competitive Exhibition                        Group show

                        Rochester Art Center, Rochester, MN


Marietta National

Marietta College, Marietta, OH                                                          Group show

Best in Show


Ceramics "79"/ Minnesota Ceramics Invitational                               Group show

Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, St. Paul, MN


1978                Priebe Gallery, Oshkosh, WI                                      Solo show


1976                Supermud “76”                                                          Group show

                        Penn State University, State College, PA


34th International Competition of Artistic                   Group show

Ceramics, Faenza, Italy








Review of  “Art Encounters Preservation” by Judith Tolnick Champa, Ceramics: Art and Perception No. 89 2012

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