The Gardener


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The Gardener by Jessica Libor

“The Gardener,” oil on panel, 11″ x 14″, by Jessica Libor

This piece I finished today!  “The Gardener,” oil on panel, 11″ x 14″.  This portrait painted from life shows a woman surveying her handiwork over the landscape; there is pride and satisfaction in tending the vast gardens, but also a weariness with battling the endless cycles of nature.  The romantic grisaille landscape provides a soft contrast to the strength of her features.  This piece is being submitted today to the 14th Annual International Arc Salon.  Wish me luck!


Spring Dreaming


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Jessica Libor

What are you looking forward to in the Spring? I am looking forward to turning over a new leaf in my work, making some work that is more fine and delicate, and traveling. I went for a run this week and was encouraged to see the very first signs of Spring on the forest floor.

I am planning a trip to California in April with a painter friend and we are going to paint our way up the coast! I’m excited about feeling the freedom and beauty of the sun and salty air. I’m also very excited about coming together with the Actors Lab Philly and Era Contemporary in creating a group show in May, “The Art of Performance.” Tell me what you are excited about for when the weather begins to turn a bit warmer?

Photo credit: Kerasan Lamar Photography for the portrait image, Jessica Libor for the nature image.

Call to artists: The Art of Performance


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“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts…” —As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII, by William Shakespeare.

For the last 2 years, I have been privileged to work with some amazing artists in creating beautiful exhibitions hosted by dynamic companies and supporters of the arts.  For this exhibition, The Art of Performance, we have our most dynamic idea yet.  I am thrilled to curate this exhibition and cannot wait to see it come together.

A ballet dancer flits across the stage, while backstage, each performer waits for her cue.  At a theater, the actors run lines in their dressing rooms and prepare their costumes.  A storyteller in Australia passes down the stories of his ancestors around the fire.  On a film set, the directors and crew work together to capture the nuances of the actors’ emotions and create a story.  There is not one of us who has not been touched by the performing arts; whether by being part of it, or enjoying the stories and experiences that they produce.

The Art of Performance is an event that celebrates both the visual arts, and the performing arts.  We will have a curated art exhibition of paintings that relate to the performing arts, and also a special 35 minute performance by actors from the Actor’s Lab drawing from material that deals with themes of visual arts. To find out more about the Actor’s Lab, click here.  In this unique exchange we honor and give vibrance to both art forms.

There will be light refreshments for guests, and the event is free and open to the public!

The Art of Performance art exhibition will be held at the Actor’s Lab at 110 West Lancaster Ave, #150, Wayne, PA 19087 on Saturday, May 4, 2019 from 6 to 9pm.  The performance by Actor’s Lab students will begin at 8pm.  For the curated art exhibition, all artwork that deals with the performing arts such as dance, theater, film, spoken word, miming, or more, will be considered.      All work must be in 2 dimensional media, within the dimensions of 30″ in any direction and properly framed or presented.  Entry fee for submitting up to 3 paintings is $20.  Submission of work is not guarantee of showing.

Curator for this exhibition is gallery director (me), Jessica Libor.  Jessica received her MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Arts in 2014 and has been painting, exhibiting and curating since then.


Jessica Libor

Deadline to submit your work digitally: March 16

Work chosen by juror Jessica Libor: March 16–29

Included artists sent an email regarding work: March 30–31

All physical work must be received by: April 20

EXHIBITION DATE: Saturday, May 4th.  This is a one night exhibition, and artists may take any unsold work with them at 9pm the night of the exhibition.  If you are unable to attend, you can pick up the work or have it shipped.

HOW TO SUBMIT: to submit your work, please follow the full submission guidelines at

Wedding Painting


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It was an honor to paint this commission wedding portrait for a recent project. The finished piece is oil on canvas, 11″ x 14″. I started the piece before the wedding, and painted the bulk of it during the couple’s wedding reception at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. It was wonderful speaking to guests about my process and being a part of the couple’s wedding day! I feel honored to have added a joyous experience to the occasion by immortalizing the moment in a painting.

If you are interested in commissioning a painting, please email me at for all the details.

A painting of an actress


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One of my favorite paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection! Doesn’t she seem to have a lovely spark about her, like she lived an interesting life? He painter captured it well, because the lady in the painting was an actress of the time. Painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence in 1790, the work depicts the Irish actress Elizabeth Farren. She made her London first performance as Kate Hardcastle in “She Stoops to Conquer” on stage. She continued to act and later married the 12th Earl of Derby. What I love about this painting is her mischievous, very alive expression, and the gorgeous melting of the white fabric texture with the landscape.

The December collection of painting studies


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My December collection of painting studies has been released! These artworks will be up and available until January 15, 2019. Many are water and snow inspired, impasto landscapes in oil. To view the full collection please visit

“Enchanted Woodlands” Art show December 7


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“A Winter’s Eve” by Erik Koeppel, oil on panel. Am over the moon to be exhibiting with Erik and a dozen or so more talented and diverse artists in “Enchanted Woodlands” exhibition presented by Era Contemporary gallery in a ONE NIGHT SHOW on Friday, December 7, 2018 from 6 to 9pm. It will be held at the Mill Studios in Philadelphia ( 123 Leverington Avenue) central gallery, and everyone who collects a piece at this show will be gifted a small live evergreen tree to plant to support forestry. Light bites and refreshments for all, FREE admission, and free plentiful parking in the adjacent parking lot specifically for the event. Click the link below for the event page and to RSVP! Please share and bring your friends. Hope to see you there!


Creativity takes courage


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Creativity takes COURAGE. It is terrifying to put all you are into a work, and let the world see it. That is why art makes an impact; really good art lingers long after you have seen or heard it because the artist has had the courage to express something real. May all of us who call ourselves artists have that same courage. This view from the Berthe Morisot exhibition at the Barnes Foundation.

All of Life’s a Stage


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“All of life’s a stage, and we are merely players.” —Shakespeare. Decide who you want to be today, and be her. This helped me today while giving a talk to students at Rowan College about art, curating and structuring your life as a creative. It was my first time giving a full length lecture to students and I was a little nervous! What helped was actually thinking about the things I really wanted these students to know. I tried to put myself in their shoes as soon to graduate artists, and impart every useful tip I could about the artist life. Although I certainly don’t know it all and learn more every day, I’m hopeful what I did have to say was helpful to someone. One point in the talk was about loving your work. You really gotta love each piece. Put your heart and soul into it, and truly believe it’s something you’re proud of. When you do, other people will recognize the value you put on your own work and respond to it. A big thanks to Michelle Haberll who organized this talk and is a fabulous teacher and artist in her own right! Photo is from the mysterious interior of Philadelphia’s City Hall, dress from Free People.

“Being” goals rather than “having” goals


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Snapped this photo on my run on Thanksgiving morning! I love where I live because of it’s close proximity to both nature and the city. I feel so lucky to get a taste of both.

As we only have one more month left in the year, I’ve been thinking about the goals I set last year and how it worked out for me. Many of the lofty goals I set for myself I did not accomplish. But then, many great things happened that I had no way of predicting! The goals that didn’t work for me this year included such things as: show at such and such gallery, sell my work for x amount, be written about in this magazine, win this contest, etc. What I’ve noticed is that these kinds of goals are counterproductive because they can make you feel helpless if you don’t achieve them–and much of achieving them depends on things or people outside of your control. Also, these are HAVING goals, not BEING goals. Really, we are happy when we are BEING a person we are proud of and excited to be, rather than HAVING a certain accomplishment or milestone. So this year’s goals will be all about BEING. Being the kind of artist who works for several hours a day in her studio, making the best work she can. Visiting galleries and museums. Thoughtfully curating exhibitions. A work ethic that is not dependent on the outcome, but on who I think of myself to be. These are the kinds of goals, I believe, that are more worthwhile long term, and will produce integrity in an art practice. What do you think, what kinds of goals do you have for the upcoming New Year?