Barbara Astman's work has received national and international recognition. Since the 1970s she has explored a wide range of photographic and mixed media and her work is represented in many museum, corporate, and private collections in Canada, United States, and Europe. Astman has degrees from the Rochester Institute of Technology, School for American Craftsmen, and the Ontario College of Art. Active in the Toronto arts community, Astman has served on numerous boards and advisory committees and she was a Trustee on the Board of Trustees at the Art Gallery of Ontario. From 2009 to 2013, she was an appointed member of the AGO's Canadian Curatorial Committee.
In 1995 the Art Gallery of Hamilton organized a major touring retrospective exhibition: Barbara Astman - Personal/Persona - A 20 Year Survey, curated by Liz Wylie.
Astman has been commissioned for public art projects beginning in the mid eighties: in 1987 she completed a floor installation for the Calgary Winter Olympics; in 2005, a public art installation for the new Canadian Embassy in Berlin, Germany; and most recently she completed a public art project in Toronto, at the Murano on Bay, comprised of 217 windows with photo-based imagery.
In 2008 Astman and AGO Associate Curator, Canadian Art, Georgiana Uhlyarik collaborated on a curatorial project for the Transformation AGO Exhibition, dealing with Joyce Wieland and early feminist practice.
Astman's photo-based work was included in the AGO exhibition titled: Beautiful Fiction, fall 2009. In May 2011, her recent installation, dancing with che: enter through the gift shop, opened at the Kelowna Art Galley and then toured, showing at: the McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton, ON.; MOCA, Calgary; and MOCCA, Toronto in the spring of 2013.
She was recently in the two group exhibition: Art Gallery of Ontario, Light My Fire Part I: Some Propositions About Portrait and Photography through October 20, 2013; and at the McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton: Flowers and Photography through August 17, 2013.
For the Koffler Gallery's opening exhibition in Toronto November 2013, to February 2014, Astman was commissioned to create a photographic installation and most recently, April 2014, she had a solo show at the McIntosh Gallery, London, ON, accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue.
She is represented by the Corkin Gallery, Toronto.