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Leslie Iwai creates artwork that inhabits the space between architecture, sculpture and performance. Gravity is optional as the viewer is invited to linger in landscapes of memories and dreams, to experience nature and justice in a fresh way. Familiar narratives are formed by new connections as Iwai draws on her diverse educational background, having a Bachelor's of Science in mathematics and chemistry from Wayne State College in Nebraska and a Master’s of Architecture from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Returning to her Nebraska roots, Iwai began her art practice in 2001. She won her first public art commission for her sculptural work “Sounding Stones” in Omaha, Nebraska.
Her solo exhibits include “Chambers: Gleaning in Cracks of Light” at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, “Fee! Fie! Foe! Fum!” at the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney, Nebraska, and “Timekeeper: Anachronism & Chrysalis” at Briar Cliff College in Sioux City, Iowa. Ms. Iwai won the Omaha Entertainment and Art Award in 2010 for the Best Visual Artist and Best New Media Artist.
Since 2011, Iwai has relocated her studio practice to Middleton, Wisconsin and has been a part of several group exhibitions including, “Be:Longing” and “Stations of the Cross”. In 2013, Iwai completed her first Wisconsin solo exhibit, “Interstitial Garden” at the Monroe Arts Center in Monroe, Wisconsin. Currently, her work is included in two traveling exhibits, “Come to the Table” through CIVA (Christians In the Visual Arts) and “ The Residents” through Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Recently, Iwai completed an artist residency at AIR Serenbe in Georgia where she embarked on a new body of work inspired by a groundbreaking discovery in cellular division at the Carbone Cancer Research Center at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
In addition to her studio practice, Leslie enjoys her work as a teaching artist for VSA Wisconsin, teaching art to adults with disabilities and Wheelhouse Studios at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.