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Leitha L. Thrall

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Leitha’s work is primarily bronze, but she has worked in assemblage, steel and mixed media. Her imagery in this series comes from the impressionable time growing up during the Vietnam war with the reality of war playing out on the television. Later, she spent time in Europe going to war memorial sites and focused on a child’s plight in those circumstances. In England she visited the Imperial War Museum. There, she saw "trench art" for the first time - art made by soldiers or prisoners from spent bullet or shell casings. She liked the juxtaposition of creating art out of something that destroys, or even trying to create beauty during a time of devastation.

Leitha’s sculptures contain symbols pieced together in unique configurations to create narratives about the mix of two man-made things: 1) something manufactured for one purpose: to harm, and 2) a new life made with love, vulnerable, but in the self-protective, fetal position. Too often the two are thrown into a volatile situation with heinous results. The sculptures make commentary on past events, but, are also current statements based on everyday events occurring in our own country and beyond.

Leitha has worked at a few commercial art foundries. Monterey Sculpture Center, Fine Arts in Metal, and finally, Mussi Artworks Foundry. She has also cast her own work at the Crucible in Oakland. She has been active Pacific Rim Sculptors group in the Bay Area, serving as chairperson for a term, treasurer, and now Secretary. She is a long standing member of the International Sculptors Center (ISC) and volunteered at the 15th International Sculptors Conference in San Francisco.

Leitha has shown in many local exhibitions and, throughout the U.S. and abroad, in national and international exhibitions. The settings are as diverse as in art centers, galleries, universities, and museums. She has received awards, a Puffin grant, and has been published in catalogues, newspaper articles, and has been featured in a sculpture book. Her sculptures are included in private and public art collections.