Leah Lopez

15th Annual ARC Salon (2020-2021)

Leah Lopez

United States

American, b. 1977. Born and native to New Mexico, Leah is a lifelong artist. She studied traditional drawing and painting methods in Western states and found success selling her oil paintings, in Santa Fe and in Edmond before moving to New York in 2007. She came to New York City when it was time to catch new inspirations and meet new challenges.

From the beginning, Leah embraced a fascination with the mystic and creative atmosphere of her surroundings. Tales and metaphors were a common part of the culture and language where she grew up, in New Mexico. The tapestry of her early life would always serve as an inspiration for her vision and expression as an artist. Despite Leah’s early ability to render what she could see, her ambitions revealed an interest in incorporating conceptual narrative into compositions. Not sure what that would look like, she set out on a journey to find out. “Having a creative focus, made me realize a simple, yet, infinite truth…there is an endless supply of beauty to be discovered in every moment, all around.”

Leah’s early education comes from classical and traditional drawing and painting methods, past from artists to artist. Early mentors all instilled in her the value of working from life. To this day, she maintains the tradition of painting by natural light and working from life. She also learned the value of sharing the joys of art through exhibiting and teaching. In 2005, Leah was exhibiting and represented by a well-known gallery at 225 Canyon Road and in the historic Santa Fe Plaza. Soon to follow, collectors in Edmond, OK would discover the young artist’s still life and landscape paintings through the Shadid Fine Art Gallery. In 2007, Leah moved to New York City to expand horizons. That year, she studied at the Art Students League with Gregg Kreutz in the famed “Studio 7” coveted for its history and the beautiful Northern exposure skylight. Shortly thereafter, Leah began teaching again at the New York Academy of Art. By 2012, a number of students began to attend Atelier classes in her private studio at Union Square. The space was amazing, previous occupants included one of her early mentors, Sherrie McGraw next door was the former studio of David Leffel. Students, having access to a real traditional art studio, began to understand Leah’s inspiration and obsession with light and shadow in her compositions. Over the years people from all over the states took classes in the historical 41 Union Square location. Nearby stands the Salmagundi Club where Leah frequently exhibits her paintings and has been honored her with numerous awards. The Salmagundi Club has been the location for the Leah Lopez Atelier Annual Student Exhibitions.

When 2019 arrived, Leah turned her focus toward a new body of work at a new studio location in Peekskill, NY off the Hudson River. Still teaching in Manhattan, Leah could split her time between the Hudson River Valley and the NYC. Nonetheless, the next project was on the horizon. Build the Leah Lopez Atelier online so that students can access from anywhere and make the lessons virtual, highly visual, and easily accessible. Now in 2020, Leah Lopez Atelier is operating online. Using video and 21st-century web technology, Leah continues to teach from her studio, offering weekly lessons, and demonstrations. She is passing on the traditions she values and the techniques that students want to learn to keep flourishing on their own creative journey.

* This statement has been provided directly by the artist in association to their 15th International ARC Salon entries. This content has not been edited for typos or grammatical errors and has not been vetted for accuracy.