Joe Barrington "It always rains in Vicinity"
photos by Katy Anderson
Joe Barrington has participated in well over 50 juried, invitational, one man and group shows, including the sculpture project’s 2015 exhibition, with his delightful sculpture, “Sock Monkey.” Barrington’s kinetic sculpture for True North 2023, “It always rains in Vicinity,” is created from found objects, fabricated welded steel and paint and depicts a soaring water tower, dotted with Vietnam-war-era graffiti and circled by a weathervane of ravens, for the fictional town of Vicinity—a place where meteorologists often predict rain. Barrington says, “In the last few years, the idea of using the raven as messengers in my work has become more prominent. Ravens are very social birds, with interesting interactions, and symbolize mythology and folklore in numerous cultures throughout history.”
Born from two previous generations of welders and metal workers, his father gave him his first welding hood when he was two years old. Cutting, welding and bending steel was in his blood and naturally evolved into a discovery of art. Known for works drawn from a lifetime of living in rural Texas, people, animals and folklore are all integral parts of the stories he shares with the viewer. Barrington says, “I think the best stories always involve humor; therefore, humor finds its way into my work.”
Born, raised and, until 2022, his home and studio in Throckmorton, Texas, he recently moved his sculpture, architectural steel business and home to nearby Albany. Barrington’s public art can be found in the Rio Grande Zoo, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Hall Office Park, Frisco, Texas, Bozeman Public Library, Bozeman, Montana, Plum Creek Park, Frisco, Texas, the City of Stamford, Texas, National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Old Jail Art Center, Albany, Texas, Museum of the Southwest, Midland, Texas, Texas Tech University Public Art Collection, Lubbock, Texas, the City of Fort Worth, Texas, a monumental stainless steel Bulldog for Heights High School (the school’s mascot—commissioned by Spark School Park Program, Houston) and numerous private collections.