Donna Zarbin-Byrne, Texas Sculpture Group

From Dallas, Texas

Artist Statement:

As an avid gardener, observations of the botanical world fuels my practice as a way to explore the human condition. I consider myself a gardener of the dreamscape because my projects are cultivated from nature as well as reverie. Beauty in nature is a force that is both fragile and powerful.

Being inspired by this thought, I create objects and images that transform this duality into poetic form. Nature as expressed through metaphorical imagery is symbolic of the human condition; the beauty and fragility of our existence.

Biomorphic abstractions are created with referential imagery; forms that are cognizable yet re-envisioned.I start with a vocabulary of forms which I collect, cast, fabricate, and assemble. Elements such as seedpods, cast thorns, and hammered bronze are combined into whimsical assemblages. I merge the ephemeral, delicate elements from nature with the structure and strength of metal. I explore dualities of whimsy, scale, fantasy and truth.

My art practice is informed by process, craft and the alchemy of transformed substances. As a mixed media sculptor, the tactile nature of materials impacted by the mark of my hand is an important aspect of my work.  

As in poetry and dreams, I aspire to engage the viewer on an intuitive and evocative level to imagine and reflect.

Artist Biography:

Donna Zarbin-Byrne’s projects range from site-specific interior and exterior installations to small, individual sculptural objects and works on paper. Critic Ann-Sargent Wooster has described Zarbin-Byrne as “the gardener of the dreamscape”. She integrates a vast array of materials including encaustic, bronze, ceramics, and found objects.  

Zarbin-Byrne holds her BFA and MFA from the University of Texas, San Antonio, with a     concentration in ceramic sculpture. She is a recipient of an Individual Artists Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and has been awarded grants and exhibitions through the Artist in Education program, Illinois Arts Council and a residency with Kipaipai. 

Nationally exhibited across the country from New York (The Jewish Museum) to Hawaii (Schaefer International Art Gallery, Maui). Collections include the University of Texas at San Antonio. She has received numerous public and private commissions including a large interior installation at Moriah Congregation, Deerfield, IL. Outdoor sculpture for the city of Evanston, IL, a multi-site installation for the Gardens at San Juan, San Antonio, TX. Most recently she completed an outdoor memorial installation for St. Phillips Church in the Chicago area. 

Donna resides and maintains a studio in Dallas, Texas and Haiku, Hi.