Barbara A. Merchant
With moving to North Las Vegas, Nevada in 2002 from South Jersey, Barbara Merchant wanted her new home filled with art. Hanging her own photos and paintings as well as artwork from fellow artist friends, she also wanted to grace her large windows with stained glass art. Always creating her own art, she found a local studio that taught the art of Tiffany-style stained glass. As soon as she cut that first piece of glass, she knew that this was the art form into which she yearned to put her artistic energy and imagination.
Growing up during the ‘60s & ‘70s, she loved learning and practicing all art forms (except oil painting. She hated oil painting). Her father, a carpenter, was able to build anything, so through him she discovered architecture, the Arts & Craft era, Frank Lloyd Wright, and her love of stained glass. After high school she continued her ‘art’ training by going to Lincoln Technical Institute for Architectural Drafting, which then led her into a career in drafting for land surveyors and civil engineers. Though her career was not considered a true art, she continued to keep art active in her career, exemplified by receiving the Drafting Excellence Award - Survey Division from the Consulting Engineers Council of New Jersey for a very clear and precise condominium plan. Continuing to maintain art in her work as her tasks moved into the computer world, she also kept active in sketching, painting, and photography. And with the help of a photographer friend, she sold a few of her photographs.
It took until 2003, for her to take her first stained glass class. In a matter of two years, she took five more classes, learning Tiffany style and leaded glass, learning how to make larger pieces, and how to incorporate other materials into her pieces. Soon, bored with the store-bought patterns, she went back to her roots and began sketching her own patterns and then making them work with glass. She asked friends, what they would like to see in glass and then worked with them to hone her designing skills. It did not take long before these people were purchasing her pieces. By 2007 she had her custom designed stained-glass art displayed in homes and offices all over the United States, a few pieces in Canada, and even a piece in Seoul, Korea.
Wanting to be active in the Las Vegas artist community, Barbara joined the Las Vegas Art Guild, the Moapa Valley Art Guild, and the Boulder City Art Guild. Her pieces have hung in the Boulder City Art Guild Gallery, the Hoover Dam Lodge, the Lost City Museum, and the Art House LV Gallery as well as various art shows held in Clark County. Also, wanting to give back, she has donated many square feet of custom stained glass to various non-profit organizations in Las Vegas, such as Adam’s Place (a grieving center for kids), Chefs for Kids (warm meals for kids program), American Lung Association, and the UNLV Fine Arts Hall of Fame Fund Raiser.