Fairley Barnes

I celebrate the complexity and beauty of nature in sculpture and land art. Primarily using forged and welded steel, wood and fiber, I create works that address human sensations and actions, reactions with weather, interactions among species, and notions of evolution.    I am a retired ecologist, and this scientific background drives me to create unique views of natural processes.  I am intrigued with the interactions between individuals, societies and the environment, with a constant attention to the impacts of climate change on our Earth and our children’s future.   In the last 2 years, I have increasingly investigated the use of silks dyed with natural plant materials and I find that I am integrating the vibrance and movement of these fabrics with the subtle surfaces and colors of steel.


  • Red Dot Gallery, Santa Fe NM; April – May 2014
  • SFCC NM Student Art Exhibit, May – August 2014
  • SFCC NM Student Art Exhibit, May – August 2013
  • SFCC NM Student Art Exhibit, May – August 2012
  • Sculpture Showcase, SFCC NM School of Arts and Design.  Jan – Mar 2012
  • The Santa Fe Arts Commission Gallery; April – June 2010 “MEANDER”, works inspired by the Santa Fe River Durango Arts Center, June 2009.
  • 33rd Annual Juried Exhibition. Durango CO Abecedarian Gallery, Denver CO.  Modest in Scale. September 19-November 8, 2008. 
  • 5th International Book & Paper Arts Triennial, Columbia College for Book & Paper Arts, Chicago Illinois, 2008.  Catalog available.
  • 23 Sandy Gallery, Portland OR. 
  • Juried show Secrets and Lies, 2008. On-line catalog.
  • Gallery Zipp Annual Book Arts Invitational Shows, Santa Fe NM. 2006 , 2007, and 2008
  • Santa Fe Book Arts Group Show at the New Mexico State Capital Rotunda, 2005, 2007 and 2009.
  • 2005 Post Card Art Competition/Exhibition, Lake County Museum, Illinois.  October 2005- October 2006.
  • Santa Fe Book Arts Group Show at the Durango Arts Center, September 2005. Durango CO 


  • TOUCHED BY FIRE: invited participation ​PEEC Art Show, Mesa Public Library, Los Alamos, NM. April 2010
  • “OLD TREE”: Invited installation on the set of Parted Waters, a play by Robert Benjamin at Teatro Paraguas, Santa Fe, February 2010.
  • “MEMORY STRINGS”. Installation at Fine Arts Center, Santa Fe  Community College, May 2009
  • Invitational participation in John Common Boxes, July 2009.  Abecedarian Gallery, Denver CO.
  • “GROWTH”, a collaborative art installation over the course on 30 days at  Mesa Public Library, Los Alamos, NM. Nov 1-30, 2008.  Journal:  http://growth2008.wordpress.com
  • 2008 Lake Plantaginet Invitational, Bemidji, MN.  Installation of sculptures within the North Woods environment.
  • Ongoing land art installation 2007-2010: Conversations with Time, Santa Fe NM.  Ephemeral sculptures including abstract, whimsical, and interactive pieces in a woodland setting. http://fairleybarnes.wordpress.com
  • Participation in The Cradle Project, sculpture show and benefit, June 7 – July 30 2008. On-line catalog.


  • On a Wandering Wind,  India Flint 2014.  Publ. Prophet of Bloom, PO Box 209, Mount Pleasant, S. Australia 5235, Australia
  • Modest in Scale, Abecedarian Gallery, Denver CO. Online catalog PDF http://www.abecedariangallery.com
  • 5th International Book & Paper Arts Triennial, catalog, July 25 – September 12, 2008.  Columbia College Chicago, Center for Book & Paper Arts, Chicago IL
  • 500 Handmade Books, Lark Books, July 2008
  • The Cradle Project, June 2008, Albuquerque NM. On-line catalog for all sculptures (www.thecradleproject.org) no longer available; published catalog p. 14, item #118.
  • Secrets and Lies, March 20 - April 26, 2008; 23 Sandy Gallery, Portland OR; On-line catalog  www.23sandy.com. 
  • NM State Fair Awards 2006.  First Place and Second Place awards in professional categories, Book Arts.
  • 2005 Post Card Art Competition/Exhibition, Lake County Museum, Illinois.  October 2005- October 2006. On-line catalog (www.lcfpd.org/html_lc/pace) no longer available. 


  • ​BA 1964 University of California, Berkeley CA, Biophysics;
  • MA 1979 California State University San Jose, Ecology;
  • PhD 1986 New Mexico State University, Las Cruces NM, Ecology.
  • Paper and Book Intensive 2006 ;
  • Independent study with several artists in California and New Mexico from 1990 to present;
  • ​1992-2004 Los Alamos National Laboratory NM : Extensive work with indigenous peoples in Alaska and the Pacific islands, documenting their cultural and historical knowledge of climate change impacts; managed contracts that utilized the on-site material to produce interactive video kiosks for schools and libraries in several places; initiated school science enrichment programs in the Pacific islands using teacher training, curricula enhancement and multi-disciplinary approaches.1986-2004 Los Alamos National Laboratory NM:  Research in pinon-juniper ecosystems, hydrology, and global change issues; administration of research projects and research groups. 
  • 2008– present:  Santa Fe Community College, Fine Arts Department; Santa Fe NM

artist's statement

If you want to see more recent works, browse my Portfolio.