“I have been a full-time studio artist for over 25 years. Basing my works deeply in the natural world, 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, Governor Bill Haslam and many Nashville luminaries. Leonard’s work has been published on multiple album and book covers, as well as dozens of magazines and catalogues including Garden and Gun magazine, Southern Living and Studio Visit. 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 Yoko Ono. Leonard has been invited to participate in residency programs by the Alfred and Tratford Klots foundation in Brittany, France and the Jentel Foundation in Banner, WY. She has also been invited to teach workshops around the US, from Interlochen in Michigan to Arrowmont in Tennessee, and has lead painting retreats to New Mexico and southwest France. She has collaborated with the Nashville Ballet, San Angelo Ballet, Elizabeth Suzann clothing and Sevilla Smith handmade shoes, to name a few. Leonardʼs work can be found in several galleries across the U.S.

Artist CV

Emily Leonard
born Nashville, TN 1976

Selected Solo Exhibitions

  • 2022 Homer, Winston Wächter, Seattle, WA
  • 2021 Hem, David Lusk Gallery, Nashville TN
  • 2019 Soft 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 show, Blue Spiral 1, Asheville NC
  • 2009 In Our Yard, Rymer Gallery, Nashville TN
  • 2008 The Fallow Season, Daniel Kany Gallery, Portland ME
  • 2008 Letters, TAG Art Gallery, Nashville TN
  • 2007 In Returning, Davidson Contemporary, Seattle, WA
  • 2006 Solo show, Ballard Fetherston Gallery, Seattle WA
  • 2006 Together, Southgate Studio and Fine Art, Nashville TN
  • 2004 Forrest Through the Trees, The Art House Gallery, Nashville TN
  • 2003 Rising, Marnie Sheridan Gallery, Nashville TN
  • 2001 Solo show, Thompson Gallery at Furman University, Greenville SC

Selected Group Exhibitions

    • 2023 Seattle Art Fair, Winston Wachter, Seattle WA
    • 2019  Coast to Coast Exhibit, NeueHouse, New York NY
    • 2019 Terra Firma, Belmont University, Nashville TN
    • 2016 Show of Hand, David Lusk Gallery, Memphis TN
    • 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
    • 2010 Natural and Urban Landscapes, Davidson Galleries, Seattle WA
    • 2010 Speak for the Trees Exhibition, Friesen Gallery, Sun Valley ID
    • 2009 Business of Art, University of New England, Portland ME
    • 2009 Branching Out, Anne Reed Gallery, Ketchum ID
    • 2009 New to the Third, Blue Spiral 1 Gallery, Asheville NC
    • 2006 Aqua Art Fair Miami, Davidson Contemporary, Miami FL
    • 2006 Two person show with Michael Kessler, Daniel Kany Gallery, Portland ME
    • 2004 1oo2 Project, Calvin Charles Gallery, Scottsdale AZ


  • 2016, 2018 Teacher at Arrowmont School of Arts and Craft
  • 2013, 2016 Collaboration on ” …but the flowers have yet to come” by choreographer Gina Patterson with Nashville Ballet and Matthew Perryman Jones
  • 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

  • 2020 Cover art for There I Am by Ruthie Lindsey
  • 2018 Nashville: scenes from the new american south, Ann Pachett and Heidi Ross
  • 2018 Native Magazine cover
  • 2017 Nashville Arts cover and feature
  • 2017 NFocus cover and feature
  • 2014 Southern Living Magazine
  • 2013 Anthology Magazine feature
  • 2011 Garden and Gun Magazine
  • 2010 Nashville Counts, featured artist in children’s book
  • 2009 Speak for the Trees, featured artist alongside artists such as David Hockey,
    Christo, Yoko Ono, curated by Andria Friesen
  • 2008 Studio Visit by Open Studios Press
  • 2007 Art News, published image in feature on Maine
  • Visual Codec, One Shot Book Project



  • 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)