A library gif from me to you

mcm-p-9895-975aRecently at work I have been exploring the power of social media for libraries. My friend and collaborator, Arielle Middleman and I are hoping to bring historic collections to life with our endeavors while having loads of fun experimenting in the process. Above is a GIF I created from a glass plate negative from the Morris Family photograph collection at the Library Company (you should check it out!).

You can read more about the above pic on the LCP Tumblr page or follow them on Instagram too!  Nothing is better than having a chance to be creative at you job.

Bonnie [dog] with ball. [Sea Girt, NJ] by Marriott C. Morris. 


FUTURE HISTORY – Opening Tomorrow!!


Hello hello! I know I haven’t posted here in a while, but I have indeed been a busy bee making art for FUTURE HISTORY that opens TOMORROW at The Art Dept. in Fishtown. I will be showing alongside the talented Stefanie Fuoco. For more info check out the flyer below. I hope to see you there!!

PS above is one of my mini cities –
Gouache and Pentel Brush Pen on Panel


Thank you!!!!


Boom Town opened on Friday, and I have to say a big thank you to everyone who stopped by, especially because of the weather. Every time I see my friends and colleagues at my shows, I am touched and humbled by their support.

Watch this space for some more shots of the Boom Town, and the show will be up through February 5th at the Last Drop, so stop on by and grab a cup of joe.



Boom Town opens today!!


Tonight is the opening reception of BOOM TOWN folks, and here is a sneak peek!! A total of 18 pieces, 40 gocco prints, and 120 pins were created for the show. I had a lot of fun experimenting with color – BRIGHT COLOR – and playing with the details.

I hope to see YOU tonight!
Last Drop Coffee House // 1300 Pine Street, Philadelphia // 5PM-8PM

Ephemera! extended & online!


Hello hello,

Fantastic news everyone, FANTASTIC. The Philadelphia Cartoonist Society’s EPHEMERA! exhibit has been extended!! What’s that you say? You haven’t been to see it yet? Well now you have through FEB 18TH, 2014 to take a gander of the wonder that is our show. Need further enticement? Well, click no further than this link: http://www.librarycompany.org/cartoonist and feast your eyes on the online exhibit!

Remember folks, the majority of this visual delight is for sale!! Any interest feel free to contact me.

Big thanks to the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Ephemera Society of America and the general positive response we’ve been getting.

The Library Company of Philadelphia
1314 Locust Street
Open M-F, 9am-445pm

Boom Town


Opening Friday, December 6th I will be exhibiting new works, and in FULL COLOR! Below is a slideshow of my process adding color. It has been really fun, and a lot looser than I usually work.

Boom Town
Opening Reception:
Friday, December 6th, 5PM-8PM
Showing through Feb 5th.
Last Drop Coffee House
1300 Pine Street
Philadelphia, PA

You can get more info and RSVP to the event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1418276238402587
Don’t forget to like me on Facebook to follow my progress: https://www.facebook.com/cmbarbera.art

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Ephemera! Ephemera!

You may have noticed I am a bit Ephemera daft lately – at least if you follow me on Twitter, or Facebook, you would see the theme. It is not just because historical ephemera is one of the most amazing and eclectic visual resources available, but because I co-curated an exhibit inspired by the Library Company’s vast ephemera collection.

Together with Christian Patchell (my long-time exhibition collaborator) and fellow member of the Philadelphia Cartoonist Society, we invited 9 cartoonists to participate in a show that compliments Remnants of Everyday Life, a show on historical ephemera, at LCP.

Basically, this show rules, and you should come see it. Both shows actually.

I’ll post some of my art soon! You can find out more here – just scroll down to “Getting Creative with Ephemera”.

Ephemera! is open now through December 13, 2013 at the Library Company of Philadelphia.
1314 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Hours: M thru F, 9am – 4:45pm

Tonight! Required Reading


Hello Folks! I am participating in a group show organized by Phantom Hand and hosted by the Art Dept. in Fishtown, Philly. The theme is Required Reading, and how could I choose any other book than my website’s namesake? The Phantom Tollbooth! I actually had too many ideas for this show, which lead me to an idea for a new zine. So keep a look out! I also tried to do something different than my normal pen drawings, so wallah! a painting! The Way to Rhyme and Reason. (If you don’t know, it is through the Mountains of Ignorance to the Castle in the Air)

The opening reception is tonight folks, so if you are nearby stop in and take a gander at all the wonderful reading related works.


“The only thing you can do easily is be wrong, and that’s hardly worth the effort”
― Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth


A Coat of Arms


Hello everyone! Above is an illustrated piece I put together for the Scottish band, The Last Battle (check them out!). If you did not know already, I lived in Edinburgh, Scotland for just over a year for grad school (2005/6).

Scott (the lead singer) and I have been friends since my residence in Edinburgh (interesting story), and he and I always threw around the idea of me illustrating something for the band. This was my first commercial collaboration, so it was a learning process (I think, for both of us), but the end result is something I am quite proud of. I know that Leith is at the core of The Last Battle, so I tried to refer to Leith a lot in my imagery – you can see elements of the Leith coat of arms as well as some Leith landmarks. Scott gave me a bunch of photographs of current and former band members, and friends. Drawing the portraits was actually quite fun (I have to say it is much easier to draw someone you know). I also included imagery that refers to specific songs on the album. I feel like the illustration became a coat of arms in its own right. It has many layers, and I think because of that it is quite nostalgic.

The image above is without the final text and the band logo. You can see that here, and the illustration is on a t-shirt!