Emily Leonard

“I have been a full-time studio artist for over twenty years. Focusing on landscape as my subject, I have cultivated a layering process in which I break down an image and build it back slowly with hundreds of washy glazes and gestures that are more searching than literal. My pieces both take time and contain time. I want them to come upon the viewer as such – slowly and intimately, as if the viewer feels like he found this image instead of me. Iʼm interested in the experience of being in your body in a place. Rather than painting the tree in the yard, I want to paint what it feels like to stand in the yard and look at the tree. I paint to excavate the truth from the literal, the space from the air, and the seeing from the looking.”

Emily Leonardʼs paintings are included in numerous private and public collections around the world, including those of the Tennessee State Museum, Swedish Hospital in Seattle, UBS offices and Governor Bill Haslam. Leonard has been published in dozens of magazines and catalogues including Garden and Gun magazine, Southern Living and Studio Visit by Open Studios Press. The painting I woke up and loved you is featured in the art book Speak for the Trees, alongside such artists as David Hockney, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, and the Starn Brothers. In 2012, she was invited to participate in residency programs by the Alfred and Tratford Klots foundation in Brittany, France and the Jentel Foundation in Banner, WY. Leonardʼs work can be found in several galleries across the U.S.

Artist CV

Emily Leonard
born Nashville, TN 1976

Selected Solo Exhibitions

  • 2019 Sof Landing, David Lusk Gallery, Memphis TN
  • 2017 Unfold, David Lusk Gallery, Nashville TN
  • 2014 Kinship, Blue Spiral 1, Asheville, NC
  • 2012 Love Grows, Rymer Gallery, Nashville, TN
  • 2011 Solo Exhibition, Blue Spiral 1, Asheville, NC
  • 2009 In Our Yard, Rymer Gallery, Nashville, TN
  • 2008 The Fallow Season, Daniel Kany Gallery, Portland, ME
    Letters, TAG Art Gallery, Nashville, TN
  • 2007 In Returning, Davidson Contemporary, Seattle, WA
  • 2006 Summer Road Trip 2006, Ballard Fetherston Gallery, Seattle WA
    Together, SouthGate Studio and Fine Art, Nashville, TN
  • 2005 Lead Me Here Any Night, Tashiro Kaplan Building, Seattle, WA
    A Suitcase Show, University Club of Nashville, Nashville, TN
  • 2004 Forrest Through the Trees, The Art House Gallery, Nashville, TN
  • 2003 Rising, Marnie Sheridan Gallery, Nashville, TN
  • 2002 Standing Our Ground, The Gallery of Franklin, Franklin, TN
  • 2001 New Landscapes by Emily Leonard, Thompson Gallery (Furman University Art Gallery), Greenville, SC
    Recent Paintings by Emily Leonard, The Gallery at the Belcourt Theater, Nashville, TN
    New Landscapes, Laurel Creek Gallery, Greenville, SC
  • 1998 Landscapes and Cityscapes, Galleria dell’Arte, Cortona, Italy Selected Group Exhibitions

Selected Group Exhibitions

    • 2013 Shakerag Faculty Exhibition, St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School Gallery, Sewanee, TN
    • 2013 Collaboration on ” …but the flowers have yet to come” by choreographer Gina Patterson with Nashville Ballet and Matthew Perryman Jones
    • 2012 CSArt, Nashville International Airport
    • 2012 Creature, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
    • 2011 Small Packages, Rymer Gallery, Nashville, TN
    • 2010 Blue Ridge Parkway: Milestones, 75th Anniversary, Blue Spiral 1, Asheville, NC
      Natural and Urban Landscapes, Davidson Galleries, Seattle, WA
      Speak for the Trees Exhibition and Gala, Friesen Gallery, Sun Valley, ID
    • 2009 Business of Art, University of New England, Portland, ME
      Branching Out: New Directions, Anne Reed Gallery, Ketchum, ID
      New to the Third, Blue Spiral 1 Gallery, Asheville, NC
    • 2008 Tennessee State Museum
      2 person show with Julia Martin, TAG Gallery, Nashville, TN
      Artrageous, annual gallery tour and gala to benefit Nashville Cares, Rymer Gallery, Nashville, TN
    • 2006 Aqua Art Fair Miami, Davidson Contemporary, Miami, FL

CoCA Painting Marathon: They Shoot Painters, Don’t They?, Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, WA
Two person show with Michael Kessler, Daniel Kany Gallery, Portland, ME
Annual Summer and Winter Gallery Artists shows, SouthGate Studio and Fine Art, Franklin, TN

  • 2005 Invitational Art Auction to benefit TK Artist Lofts, TK Artist Lofts, Seattle, WA


Annual Summer and Winter Gallery artists shows, SouthGate Fine Art, Franklin, TN

  • 2004 1oo2 Project: From One to Chemistry, Calvin Charles Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ



  • 2016, 2018 Teacher at Arrowmont School of Arts and Craft
  • 2014 Interlochen Arts Academy, teaching residency
  • 2013 Shakerag at Sewanee University, painting instructor
  • 2012 Maryland Institute College of Art, fellowship awarded for the Alfred and Trafford Klots residency program in Brittany, France
    Jentel Arts Foundation, fellowship awarded for the residency program 2011 Creative Capital accepted to participate in fully funded workshop

Feature Publications

  • 2017 Nashville Arts Cover and Feature
  • 2017 NFocus Cover and Feature
  • 2014 Southern Living Magazine, feature on Nashville artists
  • 2013 Anthology Magazine, feature in visual arts edition
  • 2013 Nashville Arts Magazine, feature on my collaboration with the Nashville Ballet
  • 2012 The Art of Community, catalogue for FirstBank collection
  • 2011 Garden and Gun Magazine, feature on the artist with published image, June/July issue
  • 2010 Nashville Counts, featured artist in children’s book, Holland Brown Books, November
    Nashville Arts Magazine, “Art and Couture,” June
  • 2009 Speak for the Trees, featured artist alongside artists such as David Hockey, Mark Ryden,
    Christo, Yoko Ono, etc, curated by Andria Friesen, published by Marquand Books, Inc.
    Album Cover Painting for They Say, from the band Roman Candle, Carnival Records
  • 2008 Studio Visit by Open Studios Press, inclusion in this juried catalog of artists
    Album Cover Drawing for Leavetaking, from Peter Bradley Adams on Sarathan Records
  • 2007 Art News, published image in feature on Maine, summer edition
    Visual Codec, One Shot Book Project, featured artist in juried catalog of Northwest artists



  • Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, TN Swedish Hospital, Seattle, WA
  • Nashville International Airport Arts collection UBS offices
  • FirstBank collection, The Art of Community


  • Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee
  • Martha Ingram
  • Steven and Joyce Melander-Dayton
  • Karen Elson
  • Nathan and Jessie Followill (of Kings of Leon)