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Leisa Rich is a modern day creative archaeologist who pulls inspiration from fine art, fiber art and fine craft techniques and uses new materials, detritus, and found objects in her works. She most often employs the technique of free-motion machine embroidery — a method of drawing and building texture using a sewing machine and thread — and in addition, hand embroidery, sewing, dyeing and more to form dimensional 2D, sculptural and installation works. She continuously explores new materials in unusual ways and builds her repertoire of innovative approaches by using old things in new ways and has recently been incorporating the technology of 3D printing into her art works.
Extreme medical challenges, growing up in rural Canada, and a love for the tactile inspires her passion for creating art works and environments that focus on biological systems and that often create a Utopian “nature” in which to escape the demands of the frenetic life led today. Her work also often invites human interaction through the use of tactile materials and processes that encourage touch. Observations about social, philosophical, psychological, and other challenges humans face conceptually inform her work and sometimes lead in a direction that challenges the viewer to confront uncomfortable issues of personal or universal struggle.
Leisa Rich holds Master of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Education in Art degrees, has been featured on PBS, in dozens of books, magazines and blogs, and on radio and televised programs. She exhibits internationally, and has won prestigious awards. She teaches in colleges, arts centers, educational institutions, at her studio, and also travels to teach. She writes about art for national and local art publications and has just finished writing, illustrating and self-publishing, her first children’s book.
Previous experience includes international fashion designer, set design, a wearable art business and art school director. Leisa installed a permanent, interactive art piece in 2011 in the Dallas Museum of Art, and also has works in the permanent collections of Emory Healthcare; The Kamm Foundation; The University of North Texas; The University of Texas- Pan-American and in private collections.