Last spring I was commissioned by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts to create the award objects for the August 2018 Governor’s Awards for the Arts recipients. My design proposal for “Cross-Pollinated Bloom” was approved and I spent most of the summer of 2018 creating six unique works of art made with hand-embroidered linen and acryla gouache painted on laser cut wood.
Inspired by the idea of what I might discover in a cross-pollinated secret garden, these sculptures are a compilation and abstraction of real and imagined forms including orchids, ferns, poppies, pomegranates and butterflies. My work is not intended to be an exact likeness of any real plant, but rather a playful and tactile imagining of a flowering form that at once seems familiar and unreal.
Each sculpture is composed of two laser-cut components. These painted, wooden, puzzle-like pieces interlock at the base, to stand on a root ball. A central stem rises just over twelve inches high and fern leaves coil to the side. Embracing the main bud form is a heavily embroidered collar of linen, which draws on the alluring colors of early summer poppies and the rich patterns of butterfly wings, representing the relationship between petal and pollinator. It is my hope that this work makes manifest the value of beauty in our daily lives and serves as a reminder that the ground on which we walk is fertile, and holds potential for new life and growth each spring.
I was happy to be invited to participate in this exhibition with artists I admire, in the stunning venue of Kings Oaks. I look forward to attending the closing reception on Sunday, October 21 from 2 - 5 pm, which is free, and open to the public. So… if you are in the area, please consider visiting.
Art at Kings Oaks reimagines a stone chapel and a 19th-century barn near Newtown, Pennsylvania, as unique settings for art to inhabit. Initiated in 2012 by Bucks County painter Alex Cohen, the artist-lead pop-up exhibition is co-directed by Cohen and theatre artist Clara Weishahn. Art at Kings Oaks is an invitational group exhibition that features the work of local, national, and international artists and traditionally takes place over the first several weekends in October.
Clara and Alex put together a lovely catalog to celebrate the exhibition.
Kings Oaks Farm is located in Bucks County at
756 Worthington Mill Road
Newtown, PA 18940
Admission is free and free onsite parking is readily available.
I am looking forward to this exhibition with wonderful artist and long-time friend, Tai Lipan. Please join us for the reception on Thursday, September 20th from 5 - 7 pm.
The tactile works in this two-person exhibition use the language of painting to create intimate moments. Heidi Leitzke embroiders lush gardens, hiding and revealing layers of color, line, memory and imagination with each thread. Tai Lipan uses hand-cut and painted wood to create complex compositions that symbolically depict dramatic collisions of weather, light and the landscape. Ominous and unnerving or luminous and wonder-filled, these works evoke a sense of place.
Sykes Gallery at Millersville University
46 E. Frederick St.
Millersville, PA 17551
The Gallery is open Monday - Friday from 8 am - 4 pm and by appointment, with the artist.
Baltimore, Maryland based artist Amy Boone-McCreesh recently visited my studio. She brought many thoughtful questions about my work, life and how I try to do it all. The interview is part of her Inertia Studio Visit project. You can read the full interview here: https://inertiastudiovisits.com/2018/06/21/studio-visit-heidi-leitzke/
Thank you, Amy!
I am teaching a workshop this summer at Mount Gretna School of Art!
Often called sun-prints or blue-prints, cyanotype is a fun and vibrant alternate photographic process in which treated paper is exposed to the ultraviolet light from the sun. Objects are laid on the treated paper and as the sun activates the chemicals the exposed areas of the paper becomes a rich cyan-blue creating, almost by magic, a silhouette image.
This workshop will focus on all aspects of how to make a cyanotype print; including the curious history of the process, how to correctly mix the chemicals, the use of cyanotype in contemporary art and creating your own prints. You will leave with one (or more high-quality) work of art that you could hang in your own home!
Who: open to the public
What: Drawing with the Sun, Cyanotype Workshop
Where: Heights Community Center. 62 Pine Ave., Mount Gretna, PA 17064
When: Saturday July 7, 2018
How to Register: http://www.mgsoa.org/2018workshops/july-7th
Curated by Bill Scott, A Starling in Shadow, is on exhibit now at Cerulean Gallery in Philadelphia. The show is a thoughtful selection of small works and I am happy that Bill chose to include one of my recent works, Looking Up. About the title and selection of work, Bill wrote "I've titled the exhibition after Julie Zahn's, A Starling In Shadow, because it is the most poetic way to state -- whether known nationally or recognized primarily within their own communities -- that all these artists deserve to have a brighter light shining on their work."