Leslie Barlow is a visual artist who primarily uses oil painting to embrace and investigate the entangled and elaborate web that comprises the intersections of racial identity, community, love, and belonging. Her work often captures community members in intimate forms that reveal vibrant and vital dimensions.
Barlow’s recent solo exhibitions include Within, Between, and Beyond at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (2021), A Familiar Portrait of Labor and Love at Bing Davis Memorial Gallery at the Upper Iowa University in Fayette (2019), and Quiet Enigmas and Familiar Love at St. Mary’s University’s Lillian Davis Hogan Gallery in Winona, Minnesota (2019). Her work has been featured in the group exhibitions Rituals of Resistance at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (2021–2022), In Search of Lost Time at Dreamsong in Minneapolis (2021), and Creative Confinement at Minnesota’s Rochester Center for the Arts (2020–2021), among others. She has received the Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship (2021), the Cultural Community Partnership Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board (2020), and the McKnight Artist Fellowship (2019).
Her work is in the collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the Weisman Art Museum, and US Bank Stadium, among others. Barlow is also a founding member of Creatives After Curfew, a collective of mural artists formed in summer 2020, and a founder of Public Functionary’s PF Studios, an incubator and studio program centering emerging BIPOC artists.
She lives and works in Minneapolis.