Stephenson Showcase – Leah Leach’s “Boosting the Signal: Women’s History Through Art”

Stephenson Showcase – Leah Leach’s “Boosting the Signal: Women’s History Through Art”

Artist Leah Leach has an honorary doctorate in metaphysics—the study of life, taking things apart and putting them back together again, which sounds an awful lot like her chosen medium, torn paper art. Inspired by an episode of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood in which the author Eric Carle demonstrated his method of torn paper, Leah took the form in her own direction.

Dr. Leah Leach
Gal’s Guide Library

A self-proclaimed closeted artist until she arrived at the Nickel Plate Arts campus in 2020 with Gal’s Guide Library, Leah kept her torn paper art at home or with very close friends. Meeting the Nickel Plate Arts community helped Leah expand her comfort zone and she began showing her art publicly. “The world didn’t end and y’all put it on a wall.” This has inspired Leah to create new art and to push herself to learn new things with each piece.

“Paper is forgiving – if I don’t like it and I can remove it before I glue it, but if I [make a painting and don’t like it], it feels like more of a failure. I really love paper – [I’ve] always been playing with paper, making anything.” Leah enjoys using different mediums and manipulating paper to create the visual effect of something else – like fish scales, feathers, and replicating the texture of silk. Leah has used her art to shine a light on women and women in history.

Leah started the nonprofit Gal’s Guide to the Galaxy in 2016 with 1,000 books by and about women. This exhibit, “Boosting the Signal: Women’s History in Art”, will showcase the work of local female-identifying artists as well as artists whose work celebrates women.  “Not everybody likes to read a book, so art is another way to learn about women’s history. That is why Gal’s Guide wanted to have this exhibit, as it’s another method to spread women’s history into the world.”

“Boosting the Signal: Women’s History in Art” will be on display in the Stephenson House March 4-26 and can be visited during regular business hours. You can also view the exhibit online here. Meet Leah and all of the artists at their free public reception on March 11, 2022 from 6pm to 9pm.

Les Reinhardt
lreinhardt@nickelplatearts.org