Michigan has long been a source of inspiration for artists around the country and internationally. Leigh Difulvio is an Illinois native, whose time at Northern Michigan University cultivated her love of art and prompted her emerging artistic career.
A mixed-media artist, Leigh received her Bachelor of Fine Arts, with a concentration in Printmaking in 2013. Although she appreciates the flexible nature and testability of screen printing, she prefers using this media in a more unorthodox manner for her own work. As a young girl, she remembers spending hours sewing with her mom and grandma–a skill she utilizes in her artwork to this day. By combining screen printing and paper making techniques with fiber work and painting, Leigh found her own unique technique for creating abstract installation pieces
Leigh is inspired largely by her own emotions, both conscious and subconscious. Her artist statement describes her current series of work as follows:
Each piece becomes an honest visual description of my current state-of-being, often before I am even aware of my thoughts, desires, or worries. I use this underlying language to create visual environments of emotion for the viewer to experience what I am feeling; inviting them to discuss and reflect upon their own emotional awareness and acceptance. Ultimately functioning as self-portraits, my art practice has become a necessary step in transforming my untamed emotion into self-acceptance, knowledge and understanding.
As a recent graduate, Leigh has, of course, endured her share of difficulties, which she optimistically spins as “challenges.” Of the aforementioned challenges, Leigh says, “I still feel like I am in a bit of a transitional period, trying to establish a studio practice without having access to all of the equipment and space I was so used to using.” Despite the challenges, she is always pushing herself to experiment with different media and attain new artistic skills. Leigh has also discovered more
exciting ways of dealing with these challenges: she recently returned to Marquette upon the completion of a month-long artist residency in Arteles Creative Center in Hämeenkyrö, Finland.
Currently located in Marquette, MI way up in our Awesome Upper Peninsula, Leigh has competed in ArtPrize Grand Rapids, as well as international art shows. Her work has been shown in local and regional galleries and can be viewed on her website.
Do you work with mixed-media? What’s your favorite medium?