Biography/Speaker Info

barb class pic3

The Artist


Barbara Bridges has been an artist and a teacher/college professor for almost 40 years. Her sculptures have been exhibited in Guatemala, Mexico, Spain, Canada, the Virgin Islands, Maine, Miami, Maryland, Chicago and throughout Minnesota.

Barbara creates social practice art from fabricated components in a variety of media and eco-rescued “power objects”. She manipulates the objects to create meaning and provoke discussions and reflection on a wide variety of social topics including agricultural practices (Ode to Gluten), living a considered life (Talking Chairs and Academia Nuts), water quality (Found In Our Water), recovery (Reflection Pool) and Feminism (Three Waves and La Mujer).  See  She is a sculptor on a mission to demonstrate how art can serve as a catalyst for social change and is committed to creating, and empowering others to create, high quality art objects which honor their powerful message.

She is a sculptor whose work is based in a variety of influences that are rooted in modern society, personal history and symbolic representation. “Onion/AKA Academia Nuts” was commissioned and lived at the MnSCU system offices for over a decade and focuses on communications and technology. Her  large public work, “Ode to Gluten”, was unveiled at the Annual Art-A-Whirl Event in the NE Arts District of Minneapolis in the last weekend in May 2013 and also appeared at the  Mill City Museum in April 2014.


In 2012, I joined WARM
The Women’s Art Resources of Minnesota (WARM) is located in the Minneapolis/St.Paul area in Minnesota. We are a women’s art organization that serves Midwest women artists through a variety of programming.

Review my interview with my WARM  reporter .   WARM-Blog-Questions1


bglobeThe Educator 


DLiTE received the “Exceptional Program Award from the Higher Continuing Education Association” in 2004. Barbara’s relationship with teachers, students and schools began in Maine where she started teaching art in 1976. She has worked with teachers, artists and students since that time in Maine, Mexico, the Caribbean, and in Minnesota.

Barbara holds a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Minnesota where she taught and supervised student teachers for 5 years, interacting with over 50 metro area school and teachers. Barbara was named 1998 and 2008 Minnesota Art Higher Educator of the Year by the Art Educators of Minnesota. Her doctoral research focused on cross-cultural iconography—how cultures see themselves and represent themselves with symbols (sometimes called “art”). As her students will testify, multiple perspectives and their implication on school pedagogy are a primary interest of hers. Allyn and Bacon recently published her Paradigm Deconstruction Charts.

Dr. Barbara Bridges, the professor, teaches at Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minnesota. Her appointment includes teaching Foundations of Education and Human Relations and Critical and Creative Thinking, as well as designer and architect of the unique DLiTE (Distributed Learning in Teacher Education) – a hybrid online K-8 teacher licensure partnership program and the FasTrack program designed for previously degreed candidates who wish to teach high school. http://

Dr. Bridges served as Coordinator for ArtsNet Minnesota for six years where she coordinated the development of, and wrote curriculum for, this interdisciplinary website as the Walker Art Center, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Frederick R. Weisman Museum, The Minnesota Museum of American Art, teachers and students from around the state of Minnesota contributed their knowledge and expertise. ArtsNet Minnesota was a constituency-based discussion group moderated (600+ members) site (8000+ pages) and the curriculum continues to expand.

Click here to view her programs:

Bemidji DLiTE K-8 teacher licensure program

Bemidji FasTrack Secondary

Letters of Recommendation    Testimonials



1. Human Relations and Diversity Staff Development – it’s not about melanin-it’s about power. One Day $500.00. Dynamic interactive activities designed to help people learn two things: a. Collect the Data EVERY time and b. Get over themselves!
2. Recovering Addicts Family Workshop. One Day. Working with families making art and meaning and healing. $500.00 Sculpture using personal found power objects. See Sculpture for my work. Held in my studio in NE Minneapolis. OR  Illustrated Journal -includes watercolor lesson. Heritage Journal
3. Developing assessment tools for the 21st Century Student. One Day $500.00
4. Mask Workshop; Making a Mask with Meaning $ Two days   $1000.00

5. How to bring your faculty (K-12 or higher education) into the 21st century and to enthusiastically embrace online curriculum delivery options.  I started one of the first online teacher education program, DLiTE 20 years ago.  Bemijdi State, Minnesota,  now has 300 students, 4 full time and 8 adjuncts  in their outreach program. Students pass their teacher license tests the first try.  I have boots on the ground tips and a plethora of knowledge on how to avoid faculty resistance.

National Art Educators Fellowship Institute 2008

More Info on Fellows Institute

Sandy Point Student Arts Retreat 2008

E-mail Barbara at: or

Other Past Workshops 

Morgan’s Wedding


More intriguing data ; / 0                   FIRSTS

I am the anti-professor who prepares teachers for the new millennium. These new teachers must be the guides-on-the-side who will have the courage to empower their students to expose our world’s internal contradictions and the academic rigor to help their students recognize the plethora of opportunities emerging every minute of every day.

1951-Until       Living a Creative Life Out Loud

1996 First Color Photographs in a PhD dissertation at the University of

1996 Multiple World View Paradigm Charts Sold to Allyn and Bacon for $10,000.

1997   Designer: First online museum education virtual learning community -Walker Art Center, Weisman Art Museum and Minneapolis Institute of Art Award: Museums and the Web.

1998 + 2008  Minnesota Art Teacher and Higher Ed Art Teacher of the Year. Awarded by the  Art Educators of  Minnesota

2000  Designer/Survivor: First general and secondary online teacher licensure virtual learning community in the nation. Brought 100-year-old bricks and mortar state university to the digital age. Award: The Association for Continuing Higher Education (ACHE) Online Credit Program.

1999 First ePublication accepted for promotion and tenure at MnSCU
(Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. MnSCU is the Minnesota state university system, which includes 32 institutions.

2008 First Digital PDP (Professional Development Plan, the document
historically 6 inches thick)

What am I passionate about?

●       Empowering my students to believe, REALLY believe, that THEIR TRUTH may be only one of many valid worldviews which are equally TRUE.

●          Creating, and inspiring others to create  a message (sometimes called art) that could change the planet.

●       Translating the language of the intellectuals to language which might actually effect change.

●       Identifying the self-involvement of the ruling elite and then helping them evolve into a population who may be willing to empower those who have not been born or educated to privilege.

You need to know that I am a simple country girl from Maine who values brevity of word and wit but has a passionate need to gather and share data which will empower our teachers and students to step away from the shroud which has smothered them into becoming observers of their own lives. Mainstream media has replaced religion as the opiate of the masses.


From my student, Peter Scholtes: Dr. Bridges was my advisor and professor for two courses at Bemidji State University (Foundations of American Education and Human Relations in Education), and never failed to captivate and provoke her students while keeping the class active, moving, and creatively engaged. Her kickoff class for Human Relations last spring was a model for me when it comes to first days of class–the perfect balance of activity, humor, and disequilibrium. The class is a bit complicated to describe in detail, but I’ll at least say it involved cooperative group work, lecturing in a costume, various masks from around the world, and plenty of questions. Bridges is beloved for her vigor, intellect, and   principles.  Memorable anecdote.


I am a record keeper. When I travel, I create a small journals using Koi travel paints and found memory necklaces by discovering a representational power object from each destination.  I often bring materials and encourage others to create similar art works supporting my belief that collaborative creating builds community.  When I had thyroid cancer…I, as many other do, created a bucket list.  Touring Penobscot Bay (where I have lived for 40 years) by sea  was one of them. What an experience. An all wooden schooner.  Enjoy.

Heritage Schooner Journal


How the Acadians Became the Cajuns: Ethnic Cleansing in North America. I am a Franco-American. This is a curriculum project in process developed for middle school. The last chapter will outline how my great-grandfather changed his name from LeBlanc to White after the first KKK march against the Franco-Americans in Old Town, Maine in the 1920’s.


Curriculum Repositories.

As an online teacher for a decade, I found it such a loss  when the Course was finisihed-all the developed curriculum was lost.  I created what I call   “Island of Knowledge” . The students’ final projects are generally lost to each other when an online class is finished. I create these Wiki’s so the students have ongoing access to the curriculum.

First MnSCU Digital CV/PDP
(Professional Development Plan) the document (historically a 6 inch thick binder) which is reviewed for promotion and tenure.