A native of Virginia, Barri Jean Lester earned her B.F.A from James Madison University, Virginia in 1993. Lester received her MFA in painting and printmaking from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut in 2002 and held the position of Assistant Professor at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. She is currently living in Santa Fe, New Mexico.Lester was the artist-in-residence of the Des Moines Art Center when she worked with the youth of Orchard Place to design the mural “The Puzzle of Life.” Lester’s composition spans two adjoining exterior walls of the facility at 620 8th Street. She painted the mural with the assistance of David Culbertson and countless volunteers.
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