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Art at Pres House

The art exhibit in Lower Hall at Pres House is work created over the past several years by Barry Sherbeck for various group art exhibitions at several local Madison galleries and Overture Center for the Arts.

Barry is a photographer, visual artist, writer, and curator. He was born in Wisconsin, grew up in the Middle East where his parents were missionaries, attended high school in Pakistan, and attended college in Texas, Madison, and India. He has lived and traveled in 25 countries and worked for 28 years as a photographer, videographer, interactive multimedia producer, web designer, writer, editor, and communications / marketing consultant. Barry has been creating and exhibiting fine art for several years, coordinating and curating over 15 group exhibits. Barry used to attend InterVarsity meetings at Pres House and study in the lounge, in the early 1980’s. Barry serves several area organizations including Nehemiah, Pres House, and Christians in the Visual Arts.

Artist Statement

The artist Pablo Picasso once said, “It takes a long time to become young,” and “It took me a lifetime to paint like a child.”

Long before Picasso lived or painted, Jesus said, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

What are little children like? They’re awesome. They don’t start out with cumbersome assumptions. They ask questions. They observe. They look up at the wide world. They listen. They distill. They synthesize. They try. They fail, they try again, and they succeed. They incessantly learn. They’re hungry. They want to know why. They giggle. They trust.

The childlike impulse of pure curiosity is the fruition of becoming “like a child” in our approach to life and faith, even as adults. This posture means we can encounter understanding we otherwise never would if we “knew too much,” as adults are so prone to do. Like children, we need to embrace not-knowing it all.

Mystery is good, and so is paradox. We find only by losing. We become great only by becoming servants. We live only by dying. We believe only by crying out, “Help my unbelief.” We harvest deeper layers of faith only through honest doubt. Yes, really.

The quest of seeking makes possible the satisfaction of finding. The discipline of looking leads to the joy of seeing, which informs the art of understanding, which sometimes leads to wisdom. Truth is rarely at the surface, rarely obvious, rarely low hanging fruit. (In fact, beware the low hanging fruit.)

The act of creating is a natural response to the gift of being created in the image of the best artist.

In my exploration of visual art, I often discover things I didn’t know I was looking for. Even my very own images often have things to teach me, slowly, over the span of many years. I keep re-learning that light is brightest near its source, and that while darkness doesn’t go out of its way for light, light is quite happy to shine into darkness.

And I remember that children tend to like light a lot more than darkness. Therefore, so do I.

Barry Sherbeck, November 2015

Deck the Halls!
The art installed in Lower Hall is for sale, you are invited to purchase a piece to donate to the Pres House permanent art collection. If you do so, a permanent label will be created acknowledging your gift along with the title and description of the art. If you would like to make a purchase “in honor of” or “in memory of” someone special, this can be included on the permanent label. If you prefer, you are also welcome to purchase a piece for your own home or art collection.

If you are interested in leaving a lasting legacy on the walls at Pres House please do the following:
1. Select the piece(s) of art you would like to buy for Pres House by coming to visit in person or by viewing them below.
2. Take note of the name and price.
3. Make a donation to Pres House for that amount either by check or online at
4. Include a note with your donation indicating which piece you are purchasing.
5. Pres House will then pay the artist for the work and a permanent label will be created for “your” piece indicating who gifted the art to Pres House. Students for generations to come will be blessed by your gift!

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