Past Tour Exhibitor
Barbara writes, “I decided that I wanted to be an artist when as a small child I observed a portrait of an old woman being painted out of doors. My mother turned thumbs down on this because during the Depression all thoughts were on earning enough to pay the rent. My father, on the other hand, thought everything I did was wonderful. My family made, repaired, or created everything necessary for survival without money. I grew up believing that anything a human being could do with their hands or their brains, I could do as well, from re-webbing the sagging sofa to carpentry. (This notion ended with the arrival of the electronic age.) The notion of spending money on art supplies never entered anybody’s mind. I used paper napkins, wire, and milk bottle caps to ‘make things.’ At Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn I chose art as a 5th major. I came under the tutelage of a blessed teacher, Harry Allen. He basically taught ceramics and sculpture, but what he really taught was how to ‘see’ things whether material or intellectual. He advised me that going to art school was a lovely idea but you could not beat a teaching license for security. I ended up with a degree in sociology and masters in library science but took art courses whenever I could including the entire studio art program at Kean College. My working life was spent as Senior Librarian mostly at Maplewood Memorial Library. I spent several years doing stone sculpture under Larry Umbreit at Riker Hill Art Park until my hands began to hurt. I then switched to painting which I enjoy very much.” Barbara and husband Marty, longtime members of the Ethical Culture Society, reside in Maplewood.