“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile-” Albert Einstein….. and Gloria and Herb Barker live that philosophy every day.
As owners of Barker Animation Art Gallery in The Village at Gulfstream Park and the Barker Character and Comic Museum in Cheshire, CT., they own one of the largest personal collections of animation and entertainment artwork and character collectible toys and artifacts on the planet.
Best known for their philanthropic contributions, the Barkers have donated over $1.8 million in animation artwork for children’s hospitals during the last nine years, as well as an unbridled enthusiasm for art appreciation. They have also donated over $250,000 of artwork to JAFCO, Jewish Adoption and Foster Care Options, $100,000 of artwork to the Hollywood Boys and Girls Club and recently were awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for their donations. Gloria and Herb became very active with the Embrace Girls Foundation and have sponsored the first “Glo’s Room” makeover at The Lenore B. Smith Elementary School in Liberty City. Gloria also received the Miami Gardens “Excellence in Education” Council Honors Award for her work with that organization. Some of their major donation recipients include: Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Miami Children’s Hospital and Mount Sinai Medical Center.
This year, the Barkers partnered with the Aventura Marketing Council for the second year to donate a magnificent mixed media serigraph of the centennial of the Statue of Liberty, signed in gold by artist Melanie Taylor Kent.
The event was hosted by Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, where over 70 AMC member charities, non-profits, religious organizations and schools received this very generous donation, no strings attached. Some organizations chose to place the artwork on auction, some wanted to present it to a major sponsor, and some wanted to brighten a child’s hospital room with it.
“The Statue of Liberty is our symbol of freedom, hope and opportunity...needed so much today,” said Herb Barker, when asked about his reason for selecting this piece of artwork.
“I was just thrilled to see the happy and delighted faces of the wonderful friends who came to the Art from the Heart event,” said Gloria Barker. “These people dedicate their lives to helping others, and I want to continue living so I can continue giving!”
Herb summed up their philosophy on life, saying “My hope in giving is that I make the world a little bit better of a place.”
Barker Animation Art Gallery is located in The Village of Gulfstream Park at 1270 Seabiscuit Trail, Hallandale Beach 33009. For more information, contact 888.224.2357 or visit www.barkeranimation.com.
Photography by Andrew Goldstein