"Erasing Places"

Paintings by Leah Lewman Laird

March 31 - May 3, 2020

Notice: Due to the COVID-19 crisis, Erasing Places can not be held as an in-person exhibition. Instead, the work will be displayed in Virtual Gallery setting between March 31 and May 3, 2020.

You can view Leah's show by clicking the "Enter Exhibition" link below.

This artwork is available for purchase.

Please support Leah and the Artists' Gallery in these hard times.

We appreciate your continued patronage.

Artist Statement

Much of my recent work is inspired by the places that have meant a great deal in my life – both personally and professionally. In 2017, I said goodbye to Tucson, AZ, my home of three years – a time during which I experienced more personal and artistic growth than I ever had previously. During that time, I spent countless hours bonding with the natural environment – figuring it out, finding what I loved about it, what inspired me… and that inspiration could have fueled me for decades if I had chosen to stay.

When I moved back to the East Coast, my native Ellicott City, I suppose it was inevitable that those beautiful desert landscapes would eventually disappear from my studio work. Several of the pieces you see here were begun immediately after my move back, when Tucson was still fresh in my memory. But these first layers gave way to second, third and fourth layers that came from more urgent surroundings.

My time back home has been wonderful, but it has also been fraught with tragic events happening all across the country. Natural disasters – including the repeated flooding of Historic Ellicott City and the worst fire season that California has ever seen – inspire many of the pieces. The paintings and mixed media work have been my way of coping with the violent shifts that are occurring around me, but also my means of expressing the beauty I see in the haunting presence of nature’s most devastating forces – fire and flood.

Just as my Tucson home is slowly being layered over and blurred by new and fresher places in my memory, so is my first home. Although I can never say they will be completely erased, there is a process of breaking down and building back up that happens in my recollection of these places. A similar kind of wear, tear and rebirth that continues to happen with the cityscapes that surround me. As nature works to regain control of the earth, the human race continues to build overtop of it. The cycle is perpetual. My process of making continues to explore this same ebb and flow that occurs in our ever-changing environments, both natural and manmade. 

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