Viola Burley Leak, American (1944 - )

Viola Burley Leak is a native of Nashville, Tennessee, currently living in Washington, D.C. Her background is a blend of southern as well as northern environments, having spent almost an equal amount of time in both areas. Her formal training include Fisk University [BA], Pratt Institute [BFA - Fashion Design], Hunter College [MA], Howard University [MFA].

She is a combined media artist who works predominately in painting, printmaking and textiles. Burley-Leak approaches each work as an experience, which begins with a concept that is allowed to evolve into its own entity and statement. Her work ethic is sheer genius; the finished product is always breathtaking and is almost immediately acquired by a savvy art connoisseur.

Viola has studied with such renowned artists as Aaron Douglas, Romare Bearden, Robert Blackburn, and Charles White. Her works can be found in the collections of World Federation of United Nations, New York State Office Building, Manufacturers of Hanover Trust Company, Atlanta Life Insurance Company and many more organizations.

Viola's exhibition experience is extensive - more than 100 showings over a decade, national and international. Her quilts exude a miraculous and magical presence. They have traveled in two international shows and three national quilt projects in the past three years.

A proud moment for her was being featured in the December 20, 2000 of the Smithsonian magazine; the article praised her mural "Afro Dance Scan" as one of the outstanding artworks in the "When the Spirit Moves: African American Dance in History and Art" exhibit.

This fine artist has taught art at several prestigious universities, conducted art workshops for the Smithsonian Institution, worked as an Art Specialist for the District of Columbia Public Schools, and toy designer for Ideal Toy Company.

As noted earlier, Viola's art works are recognized by many art connoisseurs/art investors as "must haves." The excitement, quality, and storyline embedded in her craft beg you to take them home [with you]. Expect to hear more from Burley-Leak as she is destined to be elevated to the artistic plateau of those renowned artists of yesteryear with whom she has studied.


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