Denise and Merrell's Excellent Adventure: Metalwork and Paintings by Merrell and Denise Leavitt

Opening Reception: Friday May 6, 2016 from 5:30-7:30pm
Show on View: May 6-27, 2016

The Strand Center for the Arts is excited to host works from a painter and metal sculptor in the Main Gallery in May, 2016. This upcoming exhibit, entitled: “Denise and Merrell's Excellent Adventure: Metalwork and Paintings by Merrell and Denise Leavitt,” will open in The Strand Center Main Gallery on Friday, May 6 and a free reception will be held from 5:30-7:30 pm that night.

Denise Leavitt grew up in Connecticut. From a young age she became fascinated with animals and the natural world, and was rarely without a Peterson Field Guide, binoculars, and a butterfly net. Denise’s parents were both artists and inspired in her a love for painting and drawing. She enjoyed capturing all manner of subjects, but while in college at Southern Connecticut State University, where she earned her B.S. in Art Education with a minor in Biology, her focus became mainly birds. Her friend and ornithology professor, Dr. Noble S. Proctor had a huge influence on the direction she took with her painting. He introduced her to her idol, Roger Tory Peterson, and got her involved with wonderful scientific resources at the Yale Peabody Museum where she volunteered in the entomology department. Denise sold her work in several New England galleries which helped a great deal with cost of college. In 1996, Denise moved to New York State where she continues to show and sell her paintings in local and national shows and galleries.

Merrell Leavitt has been working in metal for forty-eight years. He began his artistic training at Plattsburgh State University where he received his undergraduate degree, and then went on to Cranbrook Academy of Art to obtain a Master of Fine Arts degree in metalsmithing. After graduating, he sold his work to Cartier in New York City, San Francisco, and London. He was also a designer and craftsman for Shreive, Crump, and Lowe of Boston as well as Old Newburyport Crafters in Massachusetts. For over thirty-four years, he taught high school art and has been Artist in Residence at Plattsburgh State University, where he taught metalsmithing. Merrell continues to show and sell his prize winning sculptures, jewelry, and metalwork in local and national galleries.

“Taken individually, the artwork of either of these incredibly talented people is superb” stated Museum Coordinator, David Monette. “But when you combine that artwork into one show, juxtaposing metal sculptures with these naturalistic paintings, the viewer can really see how they complement one another.”

The exhibit of the Leavitt’s artwork will be on view in The Strand Center Main Gallery at 23 Brinkerhoff Street in Plattsburgh from May 6-27, 2016. The Opening Reception will take place Friday, May 6 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm and is FREE and open to the public.

Pictured above are National Bird and Angel of Death, both by Denise Leavitt and available for purchase.

Regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 am to 5 pm and Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm.

For more information on these exhibits, upcoming events, concerts or classes happening at The Strand Center for the Arts please call 518-563-1604 or visit strandcenter.org.