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Artist Name

Stephanie Barenz

Born: 1983

Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Based in: Madison, WI

Shanghai-based artist Stephanie Barenz creates mixed media works inspired by the layered experience of moving between point A and point B. Her work merges photography, printmaking, painting, and collage.

Barenz received her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. Before living in China, she taught at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and ran her own studio + gallery in Milwaukee, WI. She completed residencies at the Art Students' League of New York, Chicago Printmakers’ Collaborative, and the Pfister Hotel in Wisconsin. Selected exhibitions include Sino ArtSpace in Shanghai, Art Canton Contemporary Art Fair in Guangzhou, Solonia Art Center in Suzhou, Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin Artist Biennial at the Museum of Wisconsin Art, John Michael Kohler Art Center, and the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts in Milwaukee.


Stephanie Barenz In The Studio

I use several different processes, which include printmaking, collage, painting, and digital tools. In this series, I used tools such as a garden hose, large brooms and mops, buckets of water, and the force of motion to create abstract marks. I also let nature dictate what would happen to the paintings and left them out in the rain to create different textures on the canvas.

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More About Stephanie Barenz

Question IconWhat inspires you?

I am inspired by the way water, in all of its forms, mimics the human experiences of transition and transformation. I could spend endless hours on the seashore painting and taking notes on how the water changes form and color depending on the time of day or the weather..

Question IconDescribe your creative process.

Formally, my work uses several processes, which include printmaking, collage, painting, and digital photography. The subject matter includes imagery of places I am a part of and abstract mark-making. The layered experience of one’s journey influences the way I layer different materials and imagery. Often, I paint over digital collages that I create or pool layers of paint over and over again. My background in printmaking has fostered within me a love for iteration, using matrixes in new ways, and the playfulness and chance involved with creating.

Question IconWhat are 3 words that best describe your work?

Water, Poetry, Travel

Question IconWho are some artists that have influenced your work?

Helen Frankenthaler, Julie Mehretu, and the tradition and philosophy of Chinese ink painting

Question IconWhat is the most important tool when creating your work?

Flow-Aid, which is an additive that helps you paint flow and move like water

Question IconWhat is the best piece of advice you have been given?

Be patient and show up consistently. Good things take time.

Question IconWhere do you go for inspiration?

Walking in nature

Collections Featuring Stephanie Barenz

3 Collections

Pint-Sized Prints

Pint-Sized Prints

44 Artists, 62 Products

Last updated: March 15, 2023

Holiday Corporate Gifting 2021

Holiday Corporate Gifting 2021

42 Artists, 69 Products

Last updated: October 3, 2022

Nautical Artworks

Nautical Artworks

16 Artists, 27 Products

Last updated: May 31, 2022

Articles Featuring Stephanie Barenz

1 Article



Washington University in St. Louis

United States of America, 2009

Bethany Lutheran College

United States of America, 2006

Santa Reparata International School of Art

Italy, 2005


SACI Artist Award


Ruth Katzman Scholarship


Pfister Artist-in-Residence


Yilvasaker Purchase Award



The Artist Story

France, 2021

The Art of Water V

United States of America, 2021

Why Do Fish Jump Out of Water?

China, 2020

What Keeps the Water in the Sea?

China, 2020

Art Canton Contemporary Art Fair

China, 2020

Indian Green Invitational

United States of America, 2017


United States of America, 2017

Marn Mentor Exhibition

United States of America, 2017

Who Where We

United States of America, 2016


United States of America, 2016

Sense of Place

United States of America, 2016

Wisconsin Artist Biennial

United States of America, 2014