Jorge Leyva

Powder Coated Steel

Location: Southeast corner of Kimbrough Ave. & Walnut St.

My art has been strongly influenced by nature and our social condition throughout most of my art career as a sculptor and a painter. With the tornado devastation of my hometown, Joplin, Missouri, in 2011, my art and creative philosophy was dramatically changed. Nature and identity became my new approach to creativity. Social concerns were no longer pivotal in the way I thought about my work. The public’s response to the aftermath of the tornado, and the importance placed on who we are as a community, transformed my work. I became aware that our sense of identity was too tightly connected to the loss of our possessions.  As communities, we idolized our physical homes and placed too much importance in “things.”  As nature and man-made objects come together, they grow in unison and become a renewed community. I hope that in time my pieces become symbols of strength and tenacity in a community or a family.  And to me, I hope they continue to be about the spirit and heart of the people who work hard at renewing their identities.

Sponsor: David & Stacey O’Reilly