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Nan Leiter


Making art is like any other professional endeavor. It evolves over time through experimentation, investigation, trial and error, encouragement from mentors and demands of the market.

I grew up in Kansas with a family of mentors, with adults who demonstrated life-long learning and live life as a quest for understanding and improvement. My parents gave me confidence to trust my own instincts and supported me through my under graduate years at Boston University. At the B.U., School of Fine Arts, I had very traditional training in representational art, drawing from the figure every day, keeping sketchbooks, investigating materials and methods, and studying art history and theory. This structured study helped me to develop my craft. It gave me the skills and confidence that is needed to work in the solitude of an art studio.

My artwork has gradually become less representational. It has become less real and more surreal, less about the natural world and more about the surreal world, a place where human experience intersects with the natural world. Art is an investigation into human experience and where it intersects with the natural world. It is a search for understanding our place in the world and our relationship to one another. These paintings research and investigate that intersection and those relationships.Several motifs have emerged in my work. Motifs that all originated from the natural world but also express ideas about human experience. A successful piece of art contains ideas and motifs that have significance not only for the artist but also for the viewer.

When one connects with a piece of art, it is because the themes and motifs in that piece of work are held in common between the artist and the viewer. The connection is like a connection with a piece of music. We know when we like a piece of music, rarely do we ask what does it mean. We know that because we like it, it means something to us. Visual art has that same elusive and sometimes frustrating quality of ambiguity of meaning. My recommendation is that if you like a piece of art, just like it. Of course, it never hurts to ask what it means, but that is not a requirement for enjoying or appreciating the art.

I currently, live and work in Tacoma as an E.S.L. teacher and work in my studio on Vashon Island.

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Urbana
1988
11" x 9"
Assemblage




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Subdivision
1995
7" x 9" x 4"
Assemblage




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Interior of Subdivision



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Floating World
1997
Mixed Media




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Water/Vessel



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Ferry Bow
2009
54" x 47"
Oil on wood panel




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Yellow Haus/Channel Guide



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Hiyu Plains
38" x 60"
Oil on wood panel




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Rhododenron Yellow Haus
2011
24" x 32"
Oil on wood panel




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Adrift in a Storm
2013
23" x 34"
Oil on panel




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Billy's Ride
2009
32" x 47"
Oil on panel




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Deep Channel
2014
48" x 30&189;"
Oil on panel




EDUCATION
St. Martin's College, Teacher Certification, E.S.L. (K-12) & Humanities (4-9), 2001
University of Washington, S.E. Asian Studies Institute, Khmer Language Certificate
University of Iowa, M. A.&M.F.A., School of Art and Art History, 1989 &1990
University of Boston, B.F.A., School of Fine Arts, 1980

EXPERIENCE
2002 to presentE.S.L. Teacher, Tacoma Public Schools, Tacoma, WA
1980 to presentArtist and Educator, Vashon, WA and Shawnee Mission, KS
1987-90Teaching Fellow, Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Teaching Assistant, Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Museum Technician, Univ. of Iowa Art Museum, Iowa City, IA
1984-87Unit Services Coor., Neurosurgical. I.C.U., Harborview Med. Ctr., Seattle, WA
SELECTED AWARDS/COMMISSIONS/GRANTS
1996Community Trailhead Signage Grant, Vashon School District , Vashon, WA
1994Program Excellence Award, Boys &Girls Club of America, Atlanta, GA
Tacoma Arts Commission Grant, East Side Boys & Girls Club, Tacoma, WA
1993Sculpture Commission, Islewilde Celebration, Vashon, WA
1991Niche Project Commission, Bailey-Bouche House, Seattle, WA
1989Lynch-Peltzer Fellowship, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
1986Contemporary Gallery Grant, Seattle Arts Commission, Seattle, WA
SELECTED ONE PERSON EXHIBITIONS
2014Rosewood Café, Tacoma, WA
2006Wayfarer, Two Walls Gallery, Vashon, WA
2002Quest, Blue Heron Gallery, Vashon, WA
1999New Paintings, Hobbs Building Open House, Kansas City, MO
1996The Meaning of Trees, Blue Heron Gallery, Vashon, WA
Assembled Works, Little Wing Café, Portland, OR
1995Windows, Commencement Bay Gallery,Tac. Arts Commission, Tacoma, WA
1992Assemblages, King County Parks Visual Arts Gallery, Burien, WA
1991Readymade, Blue Heron Gallery, Vashon, WA
1990Objects from the Material World, Drewlowe Gallery, Iowa City, IA
1989Bushwacking, Drewlowe Gallery, Iowa City, IA
1987Collage/Crayon Drawings, High spot Café, Seattle, WA
1986Seattle Arts Commission Contemporary Gallery Public Bldg. Display, Seattle, WA
1985High Tech Art, Women's Cultural Center, Y.W.C.A., Seattle, WA>
Collage/Crayon Drawings, Husted Gallery, Seattle, WA
1984Paintings/Prints, Sebree Galleries, Kansas City, MO
COLLECTIONS
H & R Block, Kansas City, MO
Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kansas City, Kansas City, MO
Generra, Seattle, WA
University of Iowa Permanent Collection, Iowa City


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