Jennifer Lee Barker has a genuine love for art and artits. She is the woman behind The Quebec Arts Council – a non-profitable and non-governmental organization in Montreal, Canada that aims to bring artists and people interested in arts -together. And she is also a co-founder of DebbieExpert Extermination, a company having very little to do with art, and a lot to do with …bug extermination. Read about the woman who can it ALL!
W-WomenGlobally: What is your activity about?
Jennifer Lee Barker: I co-founded and co-run a non-profit organisation which is called Conseil des arts du Québec (CAQ) or the Quebec Art Council (QAC). We mainly create activities to promote artists and all their forms of art and in different environments … My main activity is the art but to survive I had to do a little something on the side so I also co-founded and co-run another business in the extermination field. DebbieExpert Extermination is owned and operated by women. When we show up at your door we look like we’re there for a business meeting. Our representitives always look top notch, so your neighbours will never guess you have a pest problem. We are the best qualified bed bugs exterminators in the Montreal area!
W-WG: When did you get the idea of creating The Quebec Art Council? when all started? why?
JLB: I worked for 4 years in a small museum and one day there was a hostil take over and the Board kicked the founder and CEO out. I thought it was an outrage and quite my job. I asked the CEO, my former boss to come with me and together we could build a great organisation and help as many artists as we could to be recognized. To my great surprise he accepted and since mid juin 2007 we have been working on this projet together. We are both full time volunteers on this projet. After almost 2 years we have over 2500 members including about 500 artists.
What we do is regularly organizing shows in restaurants and bars across Montreal. Their mission is to give the most visibility to the greatest amount of artists. We create events to give the audience a new and exciting experience by creating multidisciplinary events. This gives the audience the chance to experience different disciplines, mediums and styles. Some of our big shows took place in Montreal, in Ottawa, as well as in Geneva in Switzerland. At the moment we are preparing the show in France, which – once ready – will be shown on tour through Belgium, Sweden and Canada. This will be an ongoing event every year from now on.
W-WG: You paint as well… what is your art alike, your vision? mission to the audience?
JLB: I love to paint, I used to paint alot more but lately I don’t
have time with all the work I do. I do expose my work from time to time but for now
I’m concentrating more on the artists from the art council. These days slowly but
surely i’m getting back into it, but all in it’s time.My art is my way to release and share my feelings with the world. Part of my art is painting, part of my art is putting together these shows I love so much. My own paintings are reflections of the left overs of others, the rejected, the unwanted. I take pieces I find in the garbage and re-paint over them but while always leaving a trace of the past piece. .
W-WG: What is your source of inspiration, idols?
JLB: I don’t really have any idols, but I do look up to those hard working people that get up everyday and just do it. I like daring people who will take chances and risks to do what they think is right, someone who pushes their limits. I like people who understand that we are just human, that no one is perfect…
W-WG: what are your plans for the future? where do you think you will be in 5 years from now?
JLB: I will be doing exactly what I am doing now, except the CAQ willl be a quite bigger and with more members, maybe more economic middles too.. we’ll see. I only hope to keep sharing the art of all our artists around the world and get Quebec artists more global coverage.