I was born and raised in Rockford, Illinois. During my early years, I wanted to become a dancer and took ballet lessons, but it was not to be. In my early teens I had a knee injury. I came from a very pragmatic family. They encouraged me to take typing over art classes. As I grew older I would travel to my grandparents during the summers. They lived in Queens, New York and owned a small neighborhood grocery store. It was a kid's dream. They lived above the store and had a deck over the garages. I would travel there for a few weeks or a couple of months, going to day camp and generally having fun running around the store and neighborhood. As I grew older I would head into New York City and the excitement. I always knew that I wanted to go to school out east.

I came east the summer of my 16th year looking at colleges. We visited several colleges along the way but once we crossed the line into Vermont I knew this was the right place for me. It didn't matter what school I chose. I had found my first love, Vermont. When I graduated from Goddard College I joined the Bread and Puppet Theater, which was a theater in residence at the school. The theater started in NYC as a political street theater. It had a strong presence at demonstrations against the war in Viet Nam.

In the early 1970's as a puppeteer I traveled throughout the United States, Europe and South America. I learned to stilt dance, which I continue today. I worked with an incredible artist, Peter Schumann, founder and director of Bread and Puppet Theater. During the late l970's I started to draw and paint, being inspired by the work of the theater. "Cheap Art" was a term that the theater used, meaning that art is not a privilege of the museums and rich. Art is for everybody and should be available to everyone.

In the mid 1980's I left the full time position at Bread and Puppet. I got my real estate license and sold real estate for the next 22 years. I never stopped painting and each year I would create a pop-up store, at my real estate office for the holidays. I would invite other artists to participate and we would sell our work at prices that people could afford.

Today, I work at the Vermont State House during the legislative session and paint, exhibit and sell my work the rest of the year. I am a presence at the Montpelier Farmer's Market most Saturdays during the summer. I continue to have a pop-up store during the holiday season that includes other people's work.

 


Email: baleber@gmail.com | Phone: 802-225-6628 | Copyright Barbara Leber, All Rights Reserved