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, most recently in Artichoke’s fall 2002 issue and Fiberarts’ Nov/Dec 2003 issue. In the summer of 2005, she published Cover Ups and Revelations: the Tapestries of Barbara Heller.
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 sat on the Board of the American Tapestry Alliance for 8 years and currently is a 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 quarterly newsletter.
Since 1979, Ms. Heller has operated the Fibre Art Studio on Granville Island, a working studio with five current members, where she weaves tapestries on commission and for exhibition. The studio is open to the public several hours a day Monday through Saturday, and the members enjoy the opportunity to demonstrate and promote their artistry. Ms. Heller is a passionate proponent of the art of tapestry and of the place of tapestry in contemporary applied art.