Take 10: Barb Milaccio

From a very young age, Barb Milaccio has had a passion for art. After receiving her degree in illustration and fine arts from the Savannah College of Art & Design in 1990, she began working in an art gallery, where she discovered her other passion: custom framing. Those experiences led her to dream of one day opening her own gallery.

With encouragement from her parents, Barb eventually moved back to her hometown of Peoria, where she combined her two passions and opened Exhibit A Gallery. Located in the heart of downtown Peoria Heights, Exhibit A specializes in professional custom framing and features original works of art by local artists in a variety of mediums, including oil, pastel, photography, glass, ceramics and jewelry.

“For over 22 years, I have been showcasing and offering an exhibit space for local artists,” Barb explains. “I currently represent over 50 artists.” Being a part of Peoria’s arts community has been very rewarding, she adds, while custom framing “lets me be creative in showcasing memorabilia for clients to enjoy for a lifetime.”

Barb is happily married to her caring and compassionate husband, Jay. The couple has one daughter, Savannah Lee, who loves to dance… and is a talented artist as well!

  1. Favorite splurge: Antique shopping.
  2. Favorite artist: Georgia O'Keeffe. As a teenager, I was inspired by this quote: “I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way—things I had no words for.” It was a way for me to express myself on a blank canvas. The simple, yet strong forms in her paintings gave me a start to my creativity.
  3. Childhood dream job: Being an artist.
  4. Proudest achievement: Opening my own business.
  5. Who are your heroes? My parents, for their never-ending faith in me to pursue my dreams.
  6. Do you collect anything unique? Art deco sculptures.
  7. Who or what inspires you? My husband, Jay, inspires me by lending a helping hand with my family—giving me time to focus on my creativity and to have a successful business. He helps my crazy ideas come to life and encourages me to do whatever is in my heart!
  8. What is something that always brings a smile to your face? Watching my daughter dance.
  9. What book do you think everyone should read? The Bible.
  10. My life is: Complete. a&s