Barbara Favro, an older woman with short, white hair holds up the artwork "Norwegian Winter" from the 2023 IOD Calendar.

Barbara Favro holds up the artwork "Norwegian Winter" from the 2023 IOD Calendar.

In 2012, Barbara Favro, age 80, was encouraged by her daughter, Mary Alice, to submit one of her original works of art to the IOD in hopes of being featured in the 2013 IOD Calendar. Mary Alice was familiar with the IOD due to her work with Vermont LEND as well as her connection to the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion at the University of Vermont. Both mother and daughter were thrilled to learn that Barbara’s watercolor “Norwegian Winter” had been selected to represent the month of February in the 2013 IOD Calendar. Ten years later, Barbara couldn’t believe her piece was selected again as part of the IOD’s 2023 “Special Edition” Calendar.

Since 2002, the IOD has produced beautiful, full-color calendars featuring original works of art coupled with inspirational quotes. To commemorate this 20-year milestone, this year’s calendar is a “best of” and features some of the IOD’s favorite pieces along with their original quotes.  

Artist Barbara Favro grew up on her family farm in Canton, NY—the seventh generation of her family to live on the farm outside the small village in upstate New York. She began drawing and painting in high school art class, creating lifelike sketches of the horse “Man of War” as well as various watercolors. After high school, Barbara worked as a secretary at Carrier Corporation, a multinational heating, ventilation, and air conditioning company. Once married, Barbara took a break from working outside of the home to raise her four children and focus on being a homemaker. Barbara returned to work when her children were a bit older and was employed at a gift shop in Cazenovia called “The Cheshire Cat” where she was instructed to “sell, sell, sell.” 

Barbara returned to painting in her 70s, focusing on her favorite medium—watercolors. She was a member of the Cazenovia Watercolor Society and much of her work features beautiful depictions of local landscapes, particularly her piece “Backyard Memories,” a watercolor of a red building on a hill in her backyard, known as “the schoolhouse,” surrounded by snowdrifts covered in light and shadow. “Norwegian Winter”—the February selection for the IOD’s 2023 calendar—was painted from a photo given to Barbara by a Norwegian exchange student named Merete who stayed with her family. The companion piece to “Norwegian Winter” is a watercolor titled “Sunrise.”

Barbara, now age 90, lives with her daughter Holly in Glens Falls, NY. She is not currently painting, but after news regarding the selection of “Norwegian Winter” for this year’s calendar, she admits she may be ready to pick up a brush again and submit something for 2024!