Featured Artist Leisa Rich

Artsy Shark is pleased to present Featured Artist Leisa Rich, whose work in fiber can been seen by visiting her website or blog. Enjoy!


"The Deep Blue" by artist Leisa Rich

“The Deep Blue” by artist Leisa Rich


Leisa Rich is an artist working in conceptual and Neo-Surrealist 2D, sculptural and installation format, using thread and free motion stitching as her primary medium and method.


"Beauty From the Beast" by artist Leisa Rich

“Beauty From the Beast” by artist Leisa Rich


Illnesses have been the motivators in her life-long passion for all things fiber and nature the catalyst for subject matter. As a baby, Leisa had a satin-trimmed blanket; the only way she could fall asleep was by working her fingers from one end to the other. At age four, while in the hospital for deafness, her mother made clothes for her Barbie. One particular dress, made of a fiery red satin and lace, provoked her tactile infatuation.


Barbie dress circa 1963

Barbie dress circa 1963


At age 15, while attending Interlochen Arts Academy for piano and dance, Leisa developed thyroid complications from Mononeucleosis, causing weight gain and getting kicked out of the dance department until she lost the weight. A friend suggested she take weaving (“an easy “A”, man!”) Leisa LOVED it and switched her major to art. 36 years later she is still hooked!


"Rich Architects in Flux" by artist Leisa Rich

“Rich Architects in Flux” by artist Leisa Rich


Growing up in Canada surrounded by lovely, wide-open spaces–the land mass of Canada exceeds the United States’, yet it has less population than the state of California–fabulous lakes, mountains and a very low human population, Leisa feels most at peace in the natural world. Leisa spent her childhood communing with nature; ice skating outdoors on natural creeks and days spent alone sifting the sand on the beach of Lake Huron in quest of a perfect fossil.


"Rich Architects in Flux" (detail) by artist Leisa Rich

“Rich Architects in Flux” (detail) by artist Leisa Rich


Recent work has involved the continuous exploration and development of the ways which man-made materials can be formed into art that references nature or natural systems and how, when Leisa magnifies these human-made “systems”, they form a new reality. This attempt is in response to her dissatisfaction with the impact of human behavior on the natural world. Leisa is seeking to create a unique world of her own design, made from that she shuns and that she embraces.


First Sculptural Interactive Piece by artist Leisa Rich

First Sculptural Interactive Piece by artist Leisa Rich


In her three-dimensional and installation works, Leisa addresses this by looking at items usually ignored: a small stone kicked aside while walking, a bit of broken glass, a fossil, a shard of twisted metal, a shell, leftover plastic, a microscopic cell. Leisa transforms those simple, ordinary objects into extraordinary environments in order to give them greater significance. Using the power of scale—from miniscule to gargantuan—she portrays and brings to notice an important essence she sees.


"Decorticated - Sweet" by artist Leisa Rich

“Decorticated – Sweet” by artist Leisa Rich


The 2 dimensional, Neo-Surrealist pieces Leisa creates interject personal storytelling into a broad visual commentary on that dysfunctional society. Her wall works at first glance might be likened to that of a painting – an initial impression of color and form -but the viewer is usually confused by a texture unlike that in painting and is then sucked in for a closer look. Leisa wants that element of hidden surprise (“that’s done with THREAD?!) to grab, so that viewers are drawn in to her story.


"Decoricated - Sweet"  Interactive by artist Leisa Rich

“Decoricated – Sweet” Interactive by artist Leisa Rich


Leisa’s recent works have invited humans back into her world. They are completely participatory and viewer interactive. Movable elements that viewers can take off/add on open up visual dialogue, creating new stories each time the components are rearranged. Leisa is presently working on a viewer interactive commission for a major U.S. art museum that will appeal to adults and children alike.


"Good Girl, Bad Girl" by artist Leisa Rich

“Good Girl, Bad Girl” by artist Leisa Rich


In addition to her conceptual, non-functional works, Leisa also makes unique items for body and home for her Etsy shop, stores and gallery shops. She teaches at arts centers, runs the after school art program at a private school in Atlanta and conducts workshops and arts events.


"Decorticated - Saucy" by artist Leisa Rich

“Decorticated – Saucy” by artist Leisa Rich


Leisa was featured on the PBS artist special “IN CONTEXT”; in upcoming books “NOPLACENESS- Art in the Post-Urban Landscape” “Studio Quilt: No. 6” and “Modern Sculpture”; in the published books, “Hand to Hand: 195 Artists Witness the Iraq War” “The Best of America Sculpture Artists and Artisans” and “Quilt National 2009” and exhibits locally, nationally and internationally.


Leisa holds MFA and BFA degrees in Fibers and a Bachelor of Education in Art. She is also on the Board of Directors of South East Fiber Art Alliance.



  1. Thanks SO much for featuring me! I really hope that anyone reading this post will take a further look at my website…lots more pieces, close up views of what I do, information about classes and workshops I teach…and it’s also just FUN to look! I love Artsy Shark- lots of great artists to “meet”!!!!! Keep up the fantastic work..us artists need you!!!!!!

    • Leisa, I think you have fans already. I’ve noticed that retweets of your featured artist page started almost immediately after it was published!

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