Barbara Fast

Barbara Fast


Main Campus, Harrisonburg

Office Location: n/a


Visual & Communication Arts Dept

Fast, a paper maker, has recently been combining interests in art history, politics, and current events in a series of “Madonna” mixed media pieces inspired by Medieval altarpieces.They involve such diverse media as gold leaf and handmade barbed wire and techniques such as collage, computer printing, and machine quilting on both fabric and hand made paper.

In the fall of 2011 Fast was one of 11 Mennonite Artists selected to have work placed in the new Mennonite Church, USA building in Elkhart Indiana. Her piece, Good Seed on the Land is a 9 ½’x 3 ½’ triptych of abaca hand made paper and pigments.

For a second year, she enjoyed being part of a three-person team as juror for the Art Exhibition at VMRC which draws hundreds of submissions from around the country. The exhibit has won the reputation as one of the top art shows in the area.

Spring semester of ’08, Fast was granted a sabbatical term in Egypt. In addition to a teaching assignment at the Coptic Cathedral under Mennonite Central Committee in Cairo, she studied major ancient monuments and artifacts in Cairo, Giza, Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Alexandria, and the Sinai.

A second interest was an investigation into contemporary art in Egypt where she visited galleries in Cairo and Alexandria. She was also fascinated by life in one of the largest developing cities in the world and learning about the complexities of Muslim/Christian relationships in the Middle East.


M.F.A., James Madison University
B.A., Bethel College


Public Commission: _Good Seen on the Land, _ 9 ½’x 3 ½’ triptych, Mennonite Church USA/Mennonite Mission Network main offices, Elkhart, IN, 2011.

_Publication of Madonna of the Rio Grande: Border Patrol in PRISM, Summer issue, 2009

Scholarly Presentations and Abstracts

Madonna and Child: Imagery as Contemporary Critique, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries Conference, My Spirit Rejoices in God, my Savior: Mary in Anabaptist Dress, AMBS, March 25, 2011.

Getting Here from There, BRCC Fine Arts Series, Blue Ridge Community College, September 21, 2010.

Still Bringing the Magnificat into the World, Gallery Presentation, Asbury United Methodist Church, December 5, 2010.

Exhibits, Performances and Productions

Juried Art Exhibition(National), May 26—June 30, 2013, Park Gables Gallery, VMRC. Peru: Terracing and Tapestry I.

Contemporary Christian Art, (Invitational), September—December, 2011, The Savior Pastoral Center in Kansas City, Kansas. Madonna of the Milagros: Beanfield Wars Revisited, Madonna of the Dome: Ishmael and Isaac.

Juried Art Exhibition (National), May 29—June 30, 2011, Park Gables Gallery, VMRC. Homage to the Lords of Spin.

Still Bringing the Magnificat into the World, (Invitational), November 28, 2010 –January 2, 2011 Asbury United Methodist Church.

Faculty Art Show: Heart/Soul: (re)seeing the familiar. (Department of Visual and Communication Art), October 9—17.Eastern Mennonite University Hartzler Library Gallery.

EMU Visual and Communication Arts Faculty Show (Invitational), August 18—September 27,
2010, Blue Ridge Community College.

Beauchamp Gallery, Topkea, KS and Kansas City area, Annual Christian Themes Exhibit, Invitational, April – August, 2010 and throughout the central Kansas Catholic Archdioceses though August, 2010.

Juried Art Exhibition(National), June 2010, VMRC. Madonna of Mashrabeya: Hidden Virtues.

Juried Art Exhibition (National), June, 2009, VMRC. Madonna of the Milagros: Beanfield Wars Revisited.

We the Mennonites. (National) March 1 – 31, 2009, Juried. Black Walnut Gallery, Chicago, IL. Madonna of the Milagros: Beanfield Wars Revisited.

2009 Juried Biblical Art Exhibition. (National) White Stone Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, January 16 – February 15, 2009. Madonna of the Dome: Ishmael and Isaac and
Madonna of the Rio Grande: Border Patrol

Mary, Mary, Mary: Visions of Grace.(National) November 9 – December 24, 2008, Juried. Via Creativa Gallery, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Madonna of the Dome: Ishmael and Isaac and Madonna of the Great Wave: Import/Export

Faculty Art Show (Department of Visual and Communication Art), Eastern Mennonite University Hartzler Library Gallery, October 11 – November 10, 2008. Madonna of Philae: Isis and Horus; Madonna of the Zabbalean: Garbage City; Madonna of Mashrabiya: Hidden Virtues; Bab el-Futuh; Wadi Natrun.

Honorable Mention for the mixed media art piece Madonna of the Dome: Ishmael and Isaac, Annual VMRC Art Exhibition, June, 2008

Juror, VMRC Annual National Art Exhibiton, May, 2007

Visiting Artist, Pathways Visual Arts Vocations Symposium, Papermaking Workshops, Bluffton University, Bluffton, OH. October 29-31, 2006

Solo Exhibit, Bluffton University, Bluffton, OH. October 29-November 17, 2006

Church, Community and Professional Service

Juror, VMRC 2012 Art Exhibition

Early Christian Art, Elective class, Park View Mennonite Church, March, 2012

_Art for Christmas, Park View Mennonite Church, December, 2011

The Annunciation in Art, Faith and Issues class, Park View Mennonite Church, December 2010

Art for Advent, Faith and Issues class, Park View Mennonite Church, December 2009

Hidden Symbols: Art of the Northern Renaissance, Shalom class, Park View Mennonite Church, 2009

Presentation on Egypt sabbatical, Park View Mennonite Church, July 2008 and VMRC October, 2008

Worship planner and leader, Mennonite Central Committee EME (Europe/Middle East) Retreat, Alexandria, Egypt, May 15-20, 2008

Church Council member, Park View Mennonite Church

Visual Arts Committee, member. Park View Mennonite Church

Choir Member. Park View Mennonite Church

Honors, Awards and Grants

Summer Teaching Grant to develop new course, Modern and Contemporary Art History. Summer 2007

Professional Memberships

National Art Education Association, member

American Craft Council, member

New Courses Taught

College Writing for Transitions, two sections, fall 2008

Modern and Contemporary Art, fall 2007

EMU Service

EMU Mission/Goals Task Force, Strategic Planning Committee 2013-14

Lecture on Art and Healing, Graduate Bio Medicine course, 2014

Undergraduate Dean Search Committee, 2012-13

Lecture on Northern Renaissance art, Renaissance and Reformation History class, January 2011

Lecture on Gothic, Medieval, and Byzantine Art, Seminary, 2010, 2009

Lecture on Suffering in Art, Senior Seminar, Suffering, 2008

Lecture on artist Miriam Schapiro for Visual Communication Theory course, 2007

Committee on Teacher Education

Teacher Education Admissions Committee

General Education Curriculum Committee

Writing Committee