Barbara Heller

Barbara Heller spent many years exploring the fields of painting, print making and fabric arts, before deciding to devote herself full time to tapestry. She has exhibited widely over the past twenty-five years, locally, nationally, and internationally. Her tapestries have been featured in several books and the subject of magazine and newspaper articles. In the summer of 2005, she published Cover Ups and Revelations: the Tapestries of Barbara Heller, available through her studio, the Fibre Art Studio on Granville Island, Vancouver, which is open to the public.

Ms. Heller has organized exhibitions and symposia, written articles and given lectures, edited publications and curated exhibitions. She has represented Canada overseas at symposia and conferences and has lectured on the place of Canadian tapestry in the world. As well she has lectured on her own work, often in conjunction with exhibitions and with teaching workshops. She was the Canadian correspondent for the International Tapestry Journal and sat on the Board of the American Tapestry Alliance for 8 years. Currently she is an ATA volunteer. She founded the B.C. Society of Tapestry Artists, a non-profit society for the promotion of tapestry, which organizes exhibitions and lectures. She is also the founder of the Canadian Tapestry Network and co-editor of the group's newsletter.

Ms. Heller is a passionate proponent of the art of tapestry and of the place of tapestry in contemporary applied art.

For a list of exhibitions at public institutions featuring Barbara Heller's works, click here

1969     BA Magna Cum Laude in Psychology, Brandeis University, Massachusetts
1975     Teaching Certificate in Art Education, the University of British Columbia
1979     Opened Fibre Art Studio on Granville Island, Vancouver
1990     Attended master classes with Muriel Nezhnie and with Archie Brennan
1993     Organized an international tapestry symposium, Making a Place for Tapestry, and produced
              publication of the same name
1995     Founded Canadian Tapestry Network and began publishing quarterly newsletter
1998     Organized travelling exhibition Weaving Between the Lines
1999     Edited publication, Weaving Between the Lines: B.C. Tapestry on the Edge
2001     Co-curated the exhibition, Erosion, as part of Artropolis, an exhibit of contemporary  B.C. art
2002     Organized American Tapestry Biennial 4, opening in Richmond and travelling to the U.S.

1990    Attended master classes with Muriel Nezhnie and with Archie Brennan
1975    Teaching Certificate in Art Education, the University of British Columbia
1969    BA Magna Cum Laude in Psychology, Brandeis University, Massachusetts
Solo Exhibitions
2009     Future Reliquaries, Elliott Louis Gallery, Vancouver BC
2007     Dreams, Visions, Memories, Elliott Louis Gallery, Vancouver BC
2007     Cover Ups and Further Revelations, Comox Valley Art Centre, Comox BC        
2006     Cover Ups and Further Revelations, Prairie Art Gallery, Grande Prairie AB
2005     Cover Ups and Further Revelations, Alberta Crafts Council, Edmonton, AB
2005     Cover Ups and Revelations, Fiber Art Center, Amherst MA
2005     Cover Ups and revelations, Ridley Gallery, Sierra College, CA
2005     Cover Ups and Revelations, Kootenay Gallery, Castlegar, BC
2003     Cover Ups, Pierro Gallery of South Orange, New Jersey
2002     Cover-ups and Revelations, Simon Patrich Gallery, Vancouver
1995     Barbara Heller / B.C. Stars, University Women's Club, Vancouver  
1992     Palimpsests, Voices from the Past, The Gallery at Temple Sholom, Vancouver
1992     Broken Promises, Craft House Gallery, Vancouver, BC
1987     Inner Visions, Faculty Club Gallery, University of B.C., Vancouver
1984     Cats, Cradles, and Other Fascinations, Muttart Gallery, Calgary AB
1983     Cats, Cradles, and Other Fascinations, Shalom Gallery, Vancouver, BC        
1977     Looking West, Unitarian Church, Vancouver
2009    Tapestry Topics, The Beauty of the Bones”, Fall
2009    Galleries West, Barbara Heller, Future Reliquaries, previews and profiles, Summer  
2009    Galleries West, “Woman’s Work”, Fall-Winter                    
2009    Jewish Independent, The Tapestries’ Stories,  Vancouver BC, May 15
2007    American Style Magazine, February
2007    Multifaith Calendar, Vancouver BC,
2006    TextileForum, Hanover, Germany, Autumn
2006    American Style Magazine, October
2003    Fiberarts Magazine, Cover Ups: Tapestries by Barbara Heller, Nov/Dec
2003    International Tapestry Journal, , Tapestry and Meaning September
2003    Artichoke Magazine.  Barbara Heller: The Cover-Up Tapestries, by Bettina  Matzkuhn, pp.14-17,
               photo p. 11, Winter
2003    Fiber Focus. Memorial Tapestry Project, photo of  “Requiem”, Autumn , pp 18-20
2002    Artichoke Magazine, Fall
2002    Georgia Straight, , , The Warp and Woof of Weaving” , August 1
2002    Shuttle, Spindle, and Dyepot, Uncovered:Barbara Heller’s Tapestries, Summer
1993    The Vancouver Courier, Tapestry Artists Rise Up from Anonymity, Sept 15,
1993    The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Tapestry Artists Bring Modern Invention to
              Old Technique, September 17
1991    Heddle Magazine,   cover photo, March/April 1991,
1990    Western News, Artist Explores an Ancient Art Form,  Vancouver Community Newspaper, April 12
1990    Fiberarts Magazine, Tapestry Now - point for the Past and Future, March/April  
1990    Jewish Western Bulletin, Heller Looms Works of Art, Vancouver, B.C., November 29
1989    Heddle Magazine, personality profile by Jackie Jessup,
1988    Craft Focus Three, Ontario Craft Council, Winter
1987    Fiberarts Calenda, published by Lark Books, Asheville, N.C., August
1986    Shuttle, Spindle, and Dyepot, Stones and Symbols, Winter            
1986    Fiberarts Magazine, The Spirit Tracings of Barbara Heller, July/August  
1986    Shuttle, Spindle, and Dyepot, Spring
1980    Fiberarts Magazine, Sacred Places, the Tapestry Landscapes of Barbara Heller, May/June  
2009    Hilde Gerson Award for excellence, innovation and leadership in the BC craft community.  
2006    B.C. Society of Tapestry Artists nominee, Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in the Crafts
2005    Crafts Assoc. of B.C. nominee for the Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in the Crafts
2004 Crafts Assoc. of B.C. nominee for the Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in the Crafts
2004 Second prize, “The Artist as Shaman,” international online symbolist art show
1996 Canada Council Travel Grant to attend fibre symposium in Kherson, Ukraine and take part in
                  international exhibition
1994 Recipient of a N'Shei Chabad award for Women in the Arts for 'enriching the community'
1992 Crafts Assoc. of B.C. nominee for the Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in the Crafts
1975    Canadian Federation of Artists, honourable mention
Selected Group Exhibitions
2010    By Hand: BC & Yukon,  Vancouver Museum, Vancouver, BC
2009    Connections: Small Tapestry International, San Jose Museum of Textiles, CA and Leeds Gallery,
               Richmond, IN
2009    Unity and Diversity, Canadian Pavillion, Cheongju International Biennale, Cheongju,South Korea
2008    Contemporary Craft in BC: Excellence within Diversity, Vancouver Museum,Vancouver BC
2008    American Tapestry Biennial 7,Scarfone/Hartley Gallery,Tampa,Florida,and Kentucky Museum of
               Art & Craft, Louisville, KY
2007    Canadian Tapestry, Burlington Art Centre, Burlington ON
2007    Narrative Tapestry, Craft Alliance, Saint Louis, MO
2007    Work Over Time online exhibit at  
2007    Canadian Tapestry,  Burlington Art Centre, Burlington ON
2006    Tzedakah, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta
2006    Tapestry On the Edge Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle WA
2005    American Tapestry Biennial 5, Rochester Art Center, Rochester MN
2005    Weave Me This; Stories in Fiber, The Children’s Hospital, Denver Colorado
2005     Karpit Two, Budapest, Hungary
2005     Demise of Democracy, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art
2005     Findinghome, Canadian/Australian invitational travelling exhibition of tapestry postcards touring
               Australia, and Canada in 2006
2004     Friends Across the Water: Canada/US/Japan, Yufuin Station Art Gallery, Japan
2004     Synopsis@10, Pierro Gallery of South Orange, NJ
2004     The Artist as Shaman, international online symbolist art,
2004     Six of One…, The Assembly Gallery, Denver, CO
2004     American Tapestry Biennial 5,  Denver CO, and Guild, New Hampshire
2003     Thirty Years of Circle Craft, Vancouver, B.C.
2002     International Biennial of Contemporary Tapestry, Beauvais, France
2002     Small Expressions, Pendulum Gallery, Vancouver  
2001     Threads of Life, Roundhouse Gallery, Vancouver
2001     Half-passed 12: Moments in Tapestry, The Fine Line Center, Saint Charles, IL
2001     Artropolis, exhibition of contemporary B.C. art
2000     American Tapestry Biennial III, Cincinnati, OH and Denver, CO
2000     Contemporary West Coast Tapestry, Seattle, WA
2000     Tapestries at the Millennium – on-line juried exhibition
1999     Weaving Between the Lines, Alberta Crafts Gallery, Edmonton, AB
1999     The Woven Image: 20th Century Tapestry, Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago, IL
1999     Pacific Edge, Mendocino Art Center, CA and Coos Art Center, OR
1999     Remembrances Toward Peace, St. Andrew’s-Wesley Church, Van.
1998     Weaving Between the Lines, Canadian Craft Museum, Vancouver, and travelling
1998     Tapestry Weavers West, Sinclair Community College, Dayton, Ohio
1998     Made by Hand – Silver Edition, Canadian Craft Museum, Vancouver
1998     The Soft Wall, Winnipeg, MB
1997     Fiberart International '97, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA
1997    17th  Northwest International Art Competition, Whatcom Museum, Bellingham WA
1997    Canadian Craft Collection 1997, The Atrium, Hong Kong Bank, Vancouver
1997    Weaving Between the Lines, Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna, B.C.
1996    Passages: Tapestries of the Northwest, Oregon History Museum, Portland, OR
1996    Strands of Time, Margo Jacobsen Gallery,  Portland, OR
1996    High Fibre Diet, West Vancouver Ferry Building
1995    Destination tapisserie 1995, curated by M. Marois, Maison Hamel-Bruneau, Ste. Foy,  PQ
1995    Vancouver Tapestry, Unitarian Church, Vancouver
1995    A New View of Jewish Art, Pittsburgh, PA
1994    Contemporary Tapestry: 1990 to the Present, California Crafts Museum, San Francisco, CA
1994    Tapestry Visions, international exhibit for Convergence 94, Saint Paul, MN
1993    1993 National Tapestry Invitational, N. Arizona University Art Gallery, Flagstaff, AZ
1993    Northwest Tapestry 1993, Seattle WA, Portland, OR, and Richmond, BC
1993    Fiberart International '93, Pittsburgh, PA
1993    Making a Place for Tapestry, a show of Canadian tapestry, Granville Island, Vancouver
1993    Contemporary Tapestry at the Rosicrucian Museum, San Jose, CA
1992    Northern Lights, Signature Gallery, San Diego, California
1992    Fibreworks '92, The Gallery, Cambridge, Ontario
1991    Tapestry from the Western Edge, Kelowna, Victoria, and Castlegar, BC Grande Prairie, AB
1991    Human Presence, Human Absence, Hand and Spirit Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona
1991    The Age of Chivalry, Anchorage Museum History and Art, Anchorage, Alaska
1991    Human Shelter, four-person show, Center for Tapestry Arts, New York
1991    Fiberart International 1991, Pittsburgh, PA
1990    International Tapestry Network (ITNET) First Exhibit, Anchorage and Fairbanks, AK and travelling to
              other venues  in the US
1990    A Fine Line, miniature tapestries, OSAC, Portland, and the Center for Tapestry Arts, New York
1990    Tapestry from the Western Edge, travelling to Prince George, B.C. and Toronto, ON
1990    From the Western Edge: Four B.C. Artists, Cartwright Gallery,  Vancouver
1990    Tapestry Now, Lukenbach Mill Gallery, PA
1988    Fibreworks 2, juried Canadian show, Cambridge Gallery, Cambridge ON
1988    Contemporary Artefacts, National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia, PA
1988    Small Expressions '88, miniature textiles, Sunday Afternoon Gallery, Chicago, IL
1987    Small Expressions '87, juried show of miniature textiles, San Jose, CA
1987    A Canadian Collection '87, invitational show, Calgary, AB
1987    Fibers Unlimited, exhibition Whatcom County Museum, Bellingham, WA.
1987    Out of Context, invitational show, Cartwright Gallery, Vancouver BC
1987    International Textile Fair '87, Kyoto, Japan
1986    Sixth International Biennial of Miniature Textiles, Szombathely, Hungary
1986    Tapestry Canada, Barnicke Gallery, Toronto,  and Homer Watson Gallery, Kitchener, ON
1986    Panorama of Tapestry, juried show, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Selected Collections and Commissions
Seaboard Life Building, Vancouver, B.C.
Vancouver Jewish Community Centre, Vancouver, B.C.
M. et Mme. Robelin, Casablanca, Morocco
The Eye Care Centre, Vancouver General Hospital
College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia, Vancouver        
Comdata Holdings Inc., Nashville, Tennessee
Mr. and Mrs. Kamin, Houston, Texas
Temple Sholom, Vancouver
Susan Mendelson and Jack Lutsky, Vancouver
Mr. And Mrs. Jacobs, Hilton Head, South Carolina
Mr. John Lefebvre, Vancouver, Salt Spring Island and California

The Tapestry Handbook (revised and updated), Carol Russell, Lark Press, 2007
To Weave or Not to Weave, Dirk Holger, 2010
Cover Ups and Revelations, the Tapestries of Barbara Heller, 2005
Design Book One (1980), Design Book Two (1983), Design Book Three (1988),Design Book Four (1991), Design Book Five (1995), Design Book Six (1999), and Design Book Seven (2003) Lark Books, Asheville, N.C.
The Tapestry Handbook, Carol Russell, Lark Press, 1990
Professional Achievements
Cultural Arts Committee, Jewish Community Centre, Vancouver
Portfolio Committee, Tapestry Weavers West
Board Member, American Tapestry Alliance – 1998-2006
Canadian Correspondent, International Tapestry Journal – 1995-2005
Organized American Tapestry Biennial 4, opening in Richmond and travelling in the US, 2002
Co-curated the Erosion, part of Artropolis, an exhibit of contemporary BC art, 2001
Editor of  Making a Place for Tapestry and Weaving Between the Lines: BC Tapestry on  the Edge,
         two books published by BC Stars
Organized the Weaving Between the Lines, travelling in BC and Alberta, 1998
Founded of the Canadian Tapestry Network and co-edit of the quarterly Newsletter, 1995
Founded the British Columbia Society of Tapestry Artists (BC Stars), 1993
Organized an international symposium, Making a Place for Tapestry, and concurrent exhibits, 1993
Opened the Fiber Art Studio on Granville Island in 1979