MIDDLEBURY — WomenSafe announces that Addison County artist Patricia LeBon Herb’s artwork will grace the 2014 Mother’s Day card — the 13th annual Mother’s Day card in WomenSafe’s Local Women Artist Series.
LeBon Herb started her early professional career as a graphic artist and illustrator. She later became a fine arts painter by profession. She and her husband, Guntram, live in Middlebury. They have two grown children, who have left home for college, which they attend on opposite coasts.
When not painting, LeBon Herb runs a bed-and-breakfast called A Room in the Village. As part of her continual support to WomenSafe over the years LeBon Herb was the featured artist of the 2002 WomenSafe annual Local Women Artist Series and in 2009, she organized a fundraiser for WomenSafe by creating and producing a communal cookbook and calendar involving our local community and Middlebury College students.
LeBon Herb’s first card in 2002 was in black and white; this year’s image has an interesting palette of bright reds, oranges, and purple. This year’s card features Patricia’s mother. It is titled “Barbara: My Mom in the ’50s in Arlington Heights, Illinois.”
“It is a story of new beginnings,” says LeBon Herb. “My Belgian father came to the U.S. as a foreign exchange art student and met my mother who is part native American (Ojibwa), sometime in the early1950s. They married and later moved out of their apartment in Chicago to their first house in Arlington Heights where they had their first child, Christine.
“My mother loved to sew and embroider. They had a small dachshund. This image is based on an unfinished painting that my father did of her a long time ago. While painting it, I wondered what life was like for my mother back then. My father worked long hours, she went from living in the bustling city to living in a low-income suburb, she was home alone a lot with her three babies.
“My mother was dark, tall and lanky. Unlike the traditional Indian way of wearing long hair with braids, my father liked that she wore her hair short; that was the style back then. I have a vague recollection of the wallpaper and the view from my mother’s window.”
Making a donation to WomenSafe in the name of one’s mother or friend will help those women who may not be safe this Mother’s Day. Donations may be sent to WomenSafe, PO Box 67, Middlebury VT 05753, along with the name and address of the chosen honoree. WomenSafe will acknowledge the gift by sending that person this year’s card.