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About Leona

My Sculpture...

My medium is paper clay. Its flexibility, lightness and strength allow me to sculpt unique personalities infused with energy and movement. By abstracting their forms, I give them a surreal yet expressionistic quality. When I integrate a series of pieces together, conversations seem to happen!

My sculptures are built with thin slabs of clay similar to a hollow vessel. Patterned, textured surface treatments and color expand the dynamics of the pieces.

Whether light-hearted or serious, my bodies of work come from narratives inspired by social issues, mythological and biblical tales, music, dance and my personal experiences.  As I reflect on the world that touches my life, I hope that you, too, will become part of the dialogue.


Ceramics & Soft Sculpture

Exhibitions, Awards, Galleries & Collections:

2019      Upcoming in May: Artists on Santa Fe Gallery, Denver, CO, Echo, A Two Women Exhibition

2018      Parker Arts Center (PACE), Parker, CO, Colorado Showcase, Juried Exhibition

 2018      Niza Knoll Gallery, Hey Diddle Diddle, Juried Exhibition

 2018     Gilpin County Arts Association, Central City, CO, 71st Annual Juried Exhibition

2018      Spark Gallery, Denver, CO, Supporting Members' Show

2017      Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, Arvada, CO, Art and Conflict, Juried Exhibition

2017     Dairy Arts Center, Boulder, CO, Divas, Solo Show

2017     Lakewood Cultural Center, Lakewood, CO, Presence/Absense, 15th Annual Juried Sculpture Show

2017     Spark Gallery, Denver, CO, Supporting Members' Show

2017     Niza Knoll Gallery, Fired, Juried Clay Exhibition

2016     Sculpture in the Park, Loveland Colorado, America's Largest Juried Outdoor Festival 

2016     Spark Gallery, Denver, CO, Supporting Members' Show

2016     Lakewood Cultural Center, Lakewood, CO, The Sculptural Precedent

             14th Annual Sculpture Exhibition

2015     Habitat Gallery, Juried into Best Artists of Santa Fe Art District 2014-2015 Exhibit

2015     Spark Gallery, I Am Music, North Gallery installation

2015     Lakewood Cultural Center, Lakewood CO, First Place Award, the essential FIGURE,

            13th Annual Juried Show

2015     Sculpture in the Park, Loveland Colorado, America's Largest Juried Outdoor Festival

2015     Spark Gallery, Associate Members' Show

2015     40 West Gallery, The Athena Project Festival, Juried Exhibition

2015     Niza Knoll Gallery, 5th Anniversary Celebration, Invitational Exhibition

2014     Sync Gallery, Sync Squared: Group Show, Invitational Guest Artist

2014     Santa Fe Arts District, 2014 Best of Santa Fe District Exhibition

2014     Spark Gallery, Associate Members' Show

2014     Niza Knoll Gallery, Juried Exhibit, Holy Moly: Religious Commentary in Contemporary Art

2014     ArtHaus, Invitational Exhibit, Six Faces of Eve

2014     Public Library, Invitational, Human Trafficking, Arise! For the Sake of One  

2013     ArtHaus, Anti-Defamation League's Invitational Auction: A World Without Hate

2013    Santa Fe Art District, Best Artists of 2012-2013 Exhibit, People's Choice Award

2013    Lakewood Cultural Center, Juried Show, Honorable Mention, Identity:

          Narrative Identity Through the Figure

2013    Art Students League of Denver, Art & Soul Invitational Auction, Private Collection      

2013    Spark Gallery, Associate Member's Show

2012    Niza Knoll Gallery, Invitation Exhibit, Hand Built Clay FIRED

2012    Curtis Arts & Humanities Center, Juried Exhibit, All Colorado Art Show

2012    Niza Knoll Gallery, Invitational Exhibit, The Birth of Venus

2012    VSA Arts of Colorado, Invitational Auction, Private Collection

2012    Jewish Community Center, Invitational Auction, Permanent Collection

2012    Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM, Celebration of Clay

2010    Denver International Airport: Colorado Art Ranch Juried Exhibition

2009    Loveland Museum: Invitational Soft Sculpture Exhibition

2003 – 2011    Art Students League of Denver Open Exhibitions 2003 - 2011

1990 – 2016    Private collections in Chicago, Tucson, San Francisco, and Loveland, Castle Rock and 

Denver, Colorado



2012 -           PROFESSIONAL ARTIST
2000-2011    ART STUDENTS LEAGUE OF DENVER:  Executive Director
1995-2000    MIZEL MUSEUM OF JUDAICA: Director
1991-1995    ALLIED JEWISH APARTMENTS:  Community & Public Relations / Volunteer Director
1988-1991    ANOTHER PRODUCTION COMPANY:  Video Marketing / Producer
1987-1988    FREELANCE:  Exhibit and Display Consultant / Producer
1983-1987    DESIGN DYNAMICS/EXHIBITS:  Account Executive
1982-1983    CENTER FOR IDEA ART:  Director of Development
1978-1982    INDEPENDENT PRODUCER: Producer, Interactive Children's Exhibits  

Clients included:  Children's Museum of Denver, Denver Museum of Science and History (Natural History Museum), Central Agency for Jewish Education, Georgetown Historical Society

AWARDS & PUBLICATIONS: Select from 1997 - 2017

  • Boulder Weekly, June, 2017
  • 5280 Magazine, January 2012:  150 Best Places to Go in Denver – Art Students League’s Summer Art Market
  • Best Art School in Denver, Art Students League of Denver:  2009 - 5280 Magazine
  • 150 Unsung Heroes Award:  City of Denver’s 150 Years Celebration
  • 2009 Mayors Award for Excellence in the Arts, Nominee 
  • 1998 Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts: Mizel Museum
  • 1998 & 1999 Westword Newspaper, “Best of Denver” Awards for three exhibitions:  Mizel Museum of Judaica
  • 1998 Lay Award, Excellence in Education, presented by Phi Delta Kappa, Honorary Education Fraternity
  • 1998 Honorable Mention of Exhibits Brochure for Small Museums by American Association of Museums

1997 Silver Halo Award, Denver Advertising Federation, pro-bono design of fundraising invitation/program by member of board



Over the past decade, I have had the privilege to study with some of the most recognized ceramics sculptors who greatly influenced my work. They included Deborah Fritts, Esther Shimazu, Arthur Gonzalez, Richard Notkin, Claudia Alvarez, Brad Miller, Del Harrow, Peter Durst, Jeff Wenzel and other noted artists. The Anderson Ranch, The Medocino Art Center, Santa Fe Clay and the Art Students League of Denver provided the creative and supportive environments in which my art could flourish.

Webster College - St. Louis, Missouri
Master of Arts:  Interrelated Arts for Children

International University of Art - Florence, Italy
Italian Art History

University of Denver - Denver, Colorado
Elementary Education Certificate

University of Wisconsin - Madison, Wisconsin
Bachelor of Science:  Art Major


Building Bridges, Advisory Board 

Juried Political Art Show, Core Gallery

City of Denver Public Art Panelist: Community Center – Swimming Area Mural 
Stapleton Public Art Panelist: Westerly Creek Installation
Denver Foundation/CRC:  Conference Inclusiveness for Non-profits, Panelist
Council of American Jewish Museums:  Chairperson, National Conference 2000
Celebrate Colorado Artists, Founding Member of Board of Directors, Chairperson, Artists Relations Committee
Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, Judge for Annual 1999 Awards
American Jewish Committee, Board member & Chairperson and Host, Naturalization Ceremony 2000
Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Artists and Community Relations Committees
Greater Denver Chamber of Commerce, Cultural Affairs Task Force
Mosaic of Aging Conference, Chairperson, Public Relations

Biographical Information

Inspired by my love of art and community out-reach, for over 30 years I have designed my career path to follow these passions.  The foundation was initiated through my studies in art at the University of Wisconsin and my Master’s work in Interrelated Arts for Children from Webster College, leading to teaching in the public schools as an art consultant and producing participatory exhibits for kids in museums.  This entre into the non-profit world set the stage for creative positions that included public and community relations, volunteer coordination, film production, sales with an exhibit company, marketing, development including grant writing and special events, and development for an alternative art gallery, among other challenging forays.

In the mid-90s, I held the position of director at a grass-roots, multi-cultural museum.  It afforded me opportunities to take innovative concepts and actualize them in the forms of art exhibitions, educational programs and collaborations with a broad range of people from diverse ethnic and religious communities. 

In 2000, I accepted the position of Executive Director of the Art Students League of Denver, holding the position for twelve years.   Committed to making the school a vibrant organization, I spearheaded community out-reach through partnerships and collaborations, using the arts to build relationships and become more inclusive of Denver’s diversity. As the school flourished, we fully supported the students and faculty in reaching their highest potential.

Currently I am fulfilling my life-long dream of being a full time sculptor.