~ A few client testimonials & kudos over the years~

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Town of Moreau Municipal Center, Moreau, NY
-3/29/2012 "You are wonderful!!!!! My word this looks like a picture!!!!! Things look very nice…this does exactly what I had hoped for."
Ethan Hall, Partner, Rucinski Hall Architecture, Saratoga Springs, NY
Hollingsworth & Vose facility
-11/29/2011 "...thank you for an exceptional effort!" "This looks terrific!!”
Dan DeNero, Partner, Haanen Engineering, Glens Falls, NY
Bladensburg Archaeological Project Suite, Bladensburg, MD
(Bladensburg was an 18-month long project, which produced 3 original artworks based on recent archaeological research.)
Embrace of the Enemies/War of 1812:
-6/16/2011 "It was a smashing hit. ...standing room only. I gave the presentation on the archaeology of Bladensburg and then read a few paragraphs from Anthony Pitch's book that set the scene for the painting with the painting next to me covered. The tension was mounting and then the painting revealed. There was a pause and the room burst in applause. The audience, including Barney's descendents, all wanted prints from it. Rick gave background on the players and painting and people loved it. Looks like it was a home run Les. You out did yourself. "
-6/7/2011 "There is NO comparison between the real painting and a computer image....the detail and even subtle texture of the paint/brush strokes is not picked up---the difference in quality REALLY surprised me. Just make sure to remind people that this is literally a snap shot and the real piece is 100% better. In a sense, the painting is a living thing and it would be the difference between seeing someone through a photograph, versus seeing/meeting them in person. It sounds strange since we are talking about an inanimate object, but the "teams" essence was captured in there somehow."
-6/6/2011 "Just unpacked it and we are all speechless...it is a beautiful piece and all of the blood, sweat, and tears that went into it can be seen in your work...Thank you for your work on this....this is just the beginning of the positive things that will be said about the piece...my favorite details are the missing and dangling buttons."
Open for Business/Market Master's House
-11/3/2010 "Just got back from the reception and your paintings were very well received and everyone LOVED them. They appreciated we took the time to figure out the type of flowers in bloom in May and in August as well as the food on the dining room table. It was a big hit and I had all of these people wanting to post the paintings on websites and use them in publications not to mention museums. The community partners also really want to meet you. All the blood, sweat, and tears pays off in the end. Thank you again for doing such a wonderful job and being patient with my complicated schedule and the moments we needed to shift around a bit."
-10/12/2010 "...Les, you are truly talented and gifted. We just received the paintings and opened them up. You are right, the computer images do not do them justice. The detail is absolutely amazing. Everyone saw them in our office and is blown away...Anyway, I am still blown away by your paintings..."
Port and Politics/Magruder House
-4/23/2010 "Awesome!!!!"
-4/15/2010 "Your work is amazing."
-3/19/2010 "I may be biased, but I think the Magruder House may be the best historical piece you will have painted yet. The composition is wonderful and there are a lot of significant meanings behind all of the objects and the choices we made. Love it."
-3/5/2010 "WHOA. This is out of control amazing. I am so happy I found you. "
Dr. Julie Schablitsky, Chief Archaeologist,
Cultural Resources Section, Maryland State Highway Administration, Baltimore, MD
George Washington's Boyhood home, Ferry Farm, VA
Ferry Farm was a 3-month long historical project, which produced 2 original hand painted
artworks and 1 digitally mastered artwork based on years of research by the George Washington Foundation and its partners.)
-8/20/2008 "...we continue to get nothing but rave reviews from folks seeing your painting. Thank you again."
Paula Raudenbush, Director of Marketing and Communication
The George Washington Foundation, VA
-7/3/2008 "Wed AM we spoke to about 15 reporters by conference call from National Geo headquarters in Washington. After that we all got in the car and dashed Fredericksburg, where Governor Tim Kane unveiled the rendering. It was well received by all, and one of the higher-ups on the staff came to me and said how useful the image had been. It went out beforehand in a press packet to the reporters who were on the conference call. A few questions about the house in the morning... In all it was a very successful rollout. Thanks for your hard work in making it possible."
Mark Wenger, Architectural Historian
Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker Architects, Williamsburg, VA
-7/3/2008 "I got requests for your name from local NPS curators...Everyone loves the images."
-6/17/2008 "We have scheduled our special announcement for July 2... Keep an eye out for your wonderful images."
-4/28/2008 "The landscape painting and the house image were very well received this weekend. On Friday, I made a short presentation to our board. The board is made up of professionals outside the museum world and they were very happy that they could now really get a feel for what we found. On Saturday, I made a presentation to our regents (very similar in structure to the Ladies of Mt. Vernon). They are the foundation's ambassadors and representatives in all 50 states. They were very excited about both images. Got lots of questions about the color and the lack of symmetry with the dormers. It was a very good meeting for the foundation, particularly the archaeology department and a lot of the credit is due to your hard work on this project."
-4/24/2008 "The images are still working their way to me, but I just wanted to thank you for all your hard work."
David Muraca, Director of Archaeology
George Washington Foundation, Fredericksburg, VA
-5/8/2008 "I neglected to mention that as the rendering was downloading on my computer the image came through very large on my screen, and I could see all the beautiful "painterly" brush strokes that make up the mosaic of your technique-where just a dash of color makes a blossom, a blade of grass, a log rail, or a boatsman's sleeve. The beauty of all this is lost in the smaller repros...Think I want to get a 48 x 68 blow up to really appreciate all your handiwork!
-5/8/2008 "We have just printed the rendering out at 22.5" x 34" and it is splendid-the first time I have seen it at that scale...Again, my thanks for your devotion, perspicacity, and talent- "
John Mesick, Partner
Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker Architects, Albany, NY
Historic St. Mary's City St. John's Site Museum
(The St. John's Site Museum Suite was worked on over almost a two year period. Twenty eight original digitally painted artworks were produced based on years of research by Historic St. Mary's City.)
-6/25/2009 "I just love the St. John's pieces. Garry Stone commented on the two I sent him (small Jpg). He was most thrilled...found the innkeeper and 1820s pieces magnificent. From Garry, that is well deserved praise."
-1/15/2007 "...For my talk on the architecture of Van Sweringen, I used the Council Chamber scene and, as predicted, it got a great "wow" response from the audience... Another sign of the exceptional nature of your effort."
Dr. Henry M. Miller, Director of Research
Historic St. Mary's City, St. Mary's City, MD
-6/25/2009 "...Henry and everyone here is deeply appreciative of the work you have done for HSMC. Thanks! "
Regina Faden, Executive Director
Historic St. Mary's City, St. Mary's City, MD
-6/16/2009 "You have provided such splendid talent for the museum and we do wish your aunt could have visited the new exhibits here at the "ancient and chief seat of government." But your fine art captures the essence of the first city in ways that would otherwise be impossible and I am so pleased that she was able to view and admire those outstanding depictions you have produced..."
-6/12/2009 "...The series is really outstanding, and each piece has its own unique qualities that draw the eye and make one want to study the scene. These are SO GOOD! They express an immense amount of scholarly work and an equal amount of artistic work and inspiration on your part. I see these as having important uses beyond St. John's. Subjects of land use and environmental change are of great relevance and this series is a magnificent teaching aid for that. It is going to be wonderful to have the exhibit completed at St. John's but these pictures will appear in my Human Use of the Chesapeake Bay presentation very soon, and will have other applications. Your attention to detail, hard work, ability to express visually my interpretations and all the while creating beautiful pieces of art is a rare gift. We are forever in your debt. Indeed, you have become the means by which hundreds of thousands of people will gain their perspective on Maryland's first capital and its key sites, Les. When we think of your efforts, beginning at the Chapel in 1998, then Van Sweringen site, next the St. John's house exhibit, site and now the aerial views of the freehold of St. John's, you are truly the museum's artist. No one before has ever created such varied yet equally superb images of 17th-century Maryland...We are highly appreciative of the incredible amount of effort you have given to making this art possible...We recognize that immense contribution, Les, and are so very grateful for everything. While the public will enjoy the images and you have really helped shape their concept of what one significant time period in our past was like, they fail to recognize the enormous effort required to produce such beautiful and accurate depictions of the seventeenth century. I hope that we can give presentations to the public about this series, showing the many versions and the amount of labor it took to make just one, let alone six, such rich and information-filled pictures...On behalf of everyone here at the museum, and especially Dorsey, Don and myself, thank you Les for another truly outstanding job in creating historical art. We are so very lucky to be associated with a person having such rare and remarkable talents! "
-6/9/2009 "I showed some of these to people and they love them. Keep looking at the images, seeing all the little things. This will be a superb addition to the St. John's interpretation."
Dr. Henry M. Miller, Director of Research
Historic St. Mary's City, St. Mary's City, MD
Historic St. Mary's City Van Sweringen Suite
(The Van Sweringen Suite was worked on over a 14 month long period. It produced 5 original hand painted artworks based on years of research by Historic St. Mary's City.)
The Suite and project:
-1/15/2007 "...For my talk on the architecture of Van Sweringen, I used the Council Chamber scene and, as predicted, it got a great "wow" response from the audience... Another sign of the exceptional nature of your effort."
-10/3/2006 "I love the painting. Just saw it yesterday afternoon. Marvelous detail and the midden is great, as are the other aspects. The cat is quite visible too...This is a unique and wonderful series Les, and I do think that the authentic method of painting adds so much quality to a piece that a computer cannot match. The same is true with archaeological plans; an inked drawing has much better detail and character than a crude computer map, and is also more appealing to the eye...This really is a unique series to my knowledge. Others are single works or on general topics, even at Jamestown. You have created something very special. And thank you for the image with the plants identified. That is a superb way of doing it and the image will be of much use. You think of so many valuable ways of doing things."
-2/06/2006 "Wow, are we impressed. They are just wonderful!!! The computer images do not do justice to these. I become convinced that I like the aerial the best, then look at the kitchen and say, no - that is the best, and then turn to the Council Chamber and rethink - that one must be the tops. But then, the lodging room scene has such richness and visual depth that it is maybe the best. To summarize, this is real proof that all are excellent and complement each other in a marvelous way. People are drawn to these and keep looking at them, finding more details and interesting items. We are delighted in every way! You have taken archaeology, history, architecture, costume, material culture and biological data and integrated them into a remarkable series of artistic depictions of a single day in Maryland history. These will form the principal view of 1690s Maryland and its capital for millions of people over the coming years. I am in awe of your abilities and how you can capture the settings and people in such realistic ways. These are going to be the center pieces of the exhibit and will be a huge factor in its success. Indeed, these alone would make it a great exhibit, but with the reconstructions, actual archaeology remains, audio presentations, text and other graphics, they form what will probably be the most successful exhibit we have ever mounted. And your work is the vital heart of this effort. So, thank you for an absolutely magnificent product...All of us at St. Mary's City offer our gratitude, praise and profound respect for you..."
Arrival Scene:
-9/27/2006 "You are just spectacular, Les. We are so very lucky to have been able to work with you on this project…I have learned much from working with you and hope we can do so again on some future project …wanted to express my deep gratitude to you for everything you have done. It is a rare pleasure to work with someone dedicated to accuracy and doing things right...This exhibit will be successful because of your efforts, Les. I do not think another artist would have captured the era and feel of 17th-century Maryland like you have…"
-9/26/2006 "We are appreciative of all the marvelous work you are doing. I wish I had the talent you possess to recreate a moment in time with such clarity and beauty…just wanted to take a moment to say how exceedingly grateful we are to have someone of your talent, skills and vision to be creating these works of art. The details are so essential for accuracy and you understand that and strive for perfection in a painting. We will always be in your debt for the extraordinary effort you have made to produce this Van Sweringen series…"
The Aerial:
-2/02/2006 "We are excited...It has been a wonderful experience for me to be involved with and a great learning experience in so many ways."
-9/272006 "It is marvelous… The focus is the site and it really sings..."
Kitchen Scene:
-2/01/2006 "…the overall accuracy, quality and creative inspiration these images display is something we have never been able to accomplish before, and would not now except for your amazing talent and perceptions… Yesterday is a good case in point. We had a surprise visit of a former field school student here...I showed him the pictures and his response was absolutely thrilling with statements such as: "These are beautiful!" "What a wonderful artist!"…He was truly impressed. You really have painted a marvelous series of images unlike anything ever before created for a 17th-century Chesapeake site. I am so pleased (although not surprised) that people not associated with this project have the same response as the museum staff does to your work."
Lodging Scene:
-10/8/2005 "The Commissioners loved the paintings. It was a real home run. Even Barbara Carson, a major social history and decorative arts expert, was very impressed… Thought you should know how well received your work is among a knowledgeable group."
Dr. Henry M. Miller, Director of Research
Historic St. Mary's City, St. Mary's City, MD
The Suite:
-2/06/2006 "…For the last hour, Henry and I have had a gallery showing of your pictures. Staff has been coming in and out and all are absolutely amazed at what you have done. One of the business officers went right up to one and said this is a photograph isn't it? She could not believe the detail and was sure it was a photo. People are already hoping we will eventually reproduce some as prints so they can buy them...I could go on but I think you have the idea that they are a huge success with our staff which means that they will be just as well-received by our visitors…Thanks for making our day!"
The Aerial:
-2/02/2006 "We are excited...It has been a wonderful experience for me to be involved with and a great learning experience in so many ways."
-9/27/2006 "It is marvelous...The focus is the site and it really sings..."
Arbor Scene
-11/15/2005 "I zoomed in to look at things up close and the green fabric in Browne's coat looks like real fabric on the screen. I absolutely cannot figure out how you can mix colors, brush strokes, talent, black magic, etc., and get something on a computer screen to have such a feeling of depth."
Dorsey Bodeman, Director of Public Programs
Historic St. Mary's City, St Mary's City, MD
Schermerhorn Real Estate Holdings Proposal
-5/8/2006 "This looks great!!!!! I know Rich will be very happy with it. You sure did put in alot of time over the weekend. Great job."
Ethan Hall, Partner, Rucinski Hall Architecture, Saratoga Springs, NY
Beachfront South, Atlantic City, NJ
-3/3/2005 "Thank you very much for the rendering. They loved it. As a matter of fact, they could not believe it was hand drawn, they thought it was a computer rendering. And we loved working with you…"
Nory Hazeveh, Partner, SOSH, New York, NY
Alpha Pregnancy Care Center, Albany, NY
-5/12/03 "The initial response has been good…Thanks for your hard work!"
Chris Bovenzi, Architect, Wyanatskill, NY
La Salle School addition, Suite of Three, Albany, NY
-1/29/1999 "Your illustrations started being put to use immediately after you delivered them here to La Salle...The paintings coupled with La Salle photographs amount to a terrific representation of our future. Once again, thanks for all your hard work - we would not be where we are today without it."
-1/12/1999 "Les, thank you for your patience with us as we went through this process. We enjoyed working with you to envision the La Salle campus as it will appear later this year…Your paintings will add to that excitement ten-fold!"
Marita Jadlos, Development Associate, La Salle School, Albany, NY
Office of General Services, New York State, Police Station, Suite of Two
-9/24/1998 "I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the excellent work you did in creating the renderings for the State Police Station. The quality and realism was exceptional, and prompt delivery under a very tight schedule much appreciated. Your professional approach and attention to every detail resulted in an image that precisely conveys the building as designed. I recommend your services, and would not hesitate to use them again."
Douglas W. Scott, AIA, Project Director
Division of Design, OGS, New York State
St. Anne School Addition, Albany, NY, Suite of Two
-8/15/1997 "Your beautiful rendering of our proposed expansion has elicited strong, favorable responses from our board members. The colors, detail and perspective in the rendering have made our vision come to life…It was my pleasure to work with you. Your regular contact with me during production along with your extra effort to deliver the rendering ahead of deadline were truly appreciated by all of the staff…"
Alta S. Schallehn, Director of Development, St Anne Foundation, Albany, NY
Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, NY
-2/14/1997 "I wanted to drop you a note to tell you how pleased we are with the rendering you did for the College. If this is what it takes to have a successful capital campaign, we'll have nothing but clear sailing ahead…We were all astounded with the detail you included in this work. The rendering makes one feel that you should be able to walk out of this building and see the new building fully operational. It is hard to believe this was created from "whole cloth"…Thank you for your efforts particularly meeting the time line we had established. I know you had to put in some extra effort on this project. The results testify to your considerable skills."
William C. Ferrero, Vice President for Administration
Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, NY
Paradox Designs, Private Residence
-11/6/1996 "Thanks for your help on this project. You did an outstanding job on this rendering.
Thank you."
Charles Johnson, AIA, Paradox Designs, Saratoga Springs, NY
Bennington Bypass, Bennington, VT
-7/26/1996 "I wanted to take a few minutes to pass along my praise to you for the fine work that you did on the panoramic photograph sequence for the proposed Bypass project. The superimposed highway/bridge renderings that you completed were outstanding, not only in my opinion, but also in the opinions of the project managers for the Vermont Agency of Transportation involved in the project…I should also take this opportunity to convey similar accolades for the work that you completed quite some time ago for CHA on the proposed Susquehanna River Crossing project. We have just completed a second public hearing on the project for New York State Department of Transportation where your "works" were presented to the public. The displays truly exemplify the addage that "a picture is worth a thousand words", and I think the renderings were an important factor in the great degree of success that we had at the hearing…Thank you for your prompt attention and professionalism in assisting my staff and me on these projects…"
Thomas P. Karis, P.E., Associate Transportation Section Manager
Clough Harbour & Associates, Albany, NY
Taconic State Parkway, Massachusetts Impact Statement
-5/19/1995 "Recently you completed two (2) photosimulations of the Taconic State Parkway as part of a Visual Impact Assessment to be submitted to the NYS Department of Transportation. Our firm was very pleased with the quality of your work and the time it took to complete the project. Personally, as a first time client, I was impressed with the level of detail that went into these photosimulations and the amount of accuracy. I appreciate your skill, which is very difficult to come by in today's day and age and look forward to working with you again."
Michelle Capuano, ASLA Land Use Planner
Clough Harbour & Associates, Albany, NY
Retouching Portraits for the Annual Report
-5/2/1995 "This letter is to express my sincere appreciation for the fantastic retouching job you did on the photos for our Annual Report this year. I've used a number of "retouchers" over the years, and I've got to tell you, your work is absolutely superb…I very much appreciate the rapid turnaround you gave us. Keep up the good work, and thanks again for an A-1 job!"
Timothy C. Badger Hire President and Director of Marketing,
Arrow Financial Corporation, Glens Falls, NY
Acknowledgement of service
3/27/1995 "Our firm has worked with Les Barker over the past eight (8) years. Les has provided us with excellent photo simulations on a wide variety of projects. The product has always been completed in a timely fashion that have meet our project schedules and within the estimated budgets…Les Barker is very professional and we will continue to use her services for that reason. We would highly recommend Les for any type of visual type projects."
Peter Conway, R.L.A., Clough Harbour & Associates, Albany, NY
-3/16/1995 "…The LA Group is a 45-person land planning firm, consulting in landscape architecture, civic engineering, community planning and environmental permitting. Les has proven to be an invaluable resource whom we have utilized for complicated or sensitive visual photo-representation. The more than twenty projects on which we have collaborated include lake side development, public and private utility work, mining plans and recreation facilities. In each case, Les has proven her technical excellence and uncanny artistic ability to create realistic photographic simulations of built structures in highly complex visual environments. The accuracy of the subtle shading and realism of the texture and colors is far superior to that which could be obtained by computer manipulations of photographic images…Les displays a professional attitude and has delivered on every promise she has made…"
Russell Pittenger, ASLA, Principal, LA Group, Saratoga Springs, NY
Shenendehowa Central School Redistricting Visual
-3/14/1995 "We often rush from one project to the next without a pause. We did not want to rush forward, in your case, however, without formally letting you know how pleased our staff and Board of Education were with the maps you took from plain black lines to works of art. Both the presentation maps and the smaller versions more than met our expectations…Your extra efforts, particularly encouraging our local newspaper to go public with the map, probably saved us hundreds of phone calls and mailings. I would like to personally thank you for going the extra mile to meet our probably unrealistic expectations."
John Yagielski, Superintendent of Schools
Shenendehowa Central School District, Clifton Park, NY