Libbie Masterson is endlessly curious and enjoys working in many different media and genres ranging from photography, sculpture, installation, and set design. A consistent fascination with light has played a prevalent role in her study of landscapes, taking her to the far reaches of Scandinavia, Antarctica, Africa, Iceland, Alaska, Japan, and much of Western Europe.
Her interest in photography began accidentally while painting on these extensive travels. These journeys first inspired the series Ís (Ice). Large-scale photographs, illuminated with light panels, some 70 feet in length, have been exhibited at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, the Houston Arts Alliance and the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. They were the inspiration for a stage set for the Dominic Walsh Dance Theatre and the Sarasota Ballet, The Mozart Trilogy, performed in Houston, Dallas, New York and Tokyo.
In 2009, Masterson received an Individual Artists Grant from the Houston Arts Alliance, and ventured to West Texas to develop a nighttime photographic essay of the Mars-like landscapes found there. She continued this series in France, with a Brown Foundation Fellowship awarded by the MFAH, with a residency at the Dora Maar House in Menérbes. This series was adapted for the creation of a second ballet set design for Dominic Walsh, Claudel. In the Spring of 2013, with the help of a crowd of volunteers and a Kickstarter campaign, she created a temporary site-specific installation in Hermann Park, Houston, of large floating waterlilies that lit up at night. This ran in concurrence with designing a set for the Houston Grand Opera, HGOco. Titled Memory Stone, the opera is based on the Japanese garden in that same park and on the Tsunami that struck Japan in March, 2011. In 2014, in collaboration with filmmaker Ford Gunter, Masterson was commissioned by the Houston Symphony to create a video accompaniment to Karim Al-Zand’s City Scenes, performed at Jones Hall, Houston. In 2015 she completed a large commission for Southwest Airlines at the new Hobby Airport International Wing. With her team she constructed a large glass mosaic, 36 feet in length. She is currently developing a body of work titled Spectrum. It explores the relationship between the visual and aural spectrums, entailing glass mosaics based on colors of the spectrum. The pieces are accompanied by short compositions arranged and performed by ROCO of Houston.