Faculty Feature: Lewis University’s Leslie Colonna

Welcome to a selection from Professor Leslie Colonna’s deeply imaginative, experimental watercolor collection, Spring 2019.

Leslie Colonna is an Assistant Professor of Art and Design at Lewis University. We are proud to be able to feature her here. We have interlaced eight hand-picked pieces with Colonna’s bio and her artist statement. We hope you enjoy!

Leslie Colonna Head Shot
Leslie Colonna

Leslie Colonna’s Bio:

Leslie Colonna (b. Tulsa, OK) received her MFA in Sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art and teaches studio art at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois. As a working artist and professor, her sculpture has been exhibited nationally and she has been commissioned to create figurative portraits. Her architectural watercolors were published in the book Yale, A Celebration. 

Colonna Spring Series 19 Horizon

She was an invited figurative sculptor at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Recently, she has also lectured on art’s role in various professions and life. Colonna is interested in the pedagogy of how art can help advance critical thinking skills through observation. She has led sessions on how to confront the ambiguous nature of art productively, how to critically discuss it, and how to apply those skills to other areas of study.

Colonna Spring Series 19 Entry Column
Entry Column

Working across all media, Leslie Colonna is fascinated with environments and human figures and the relationships between them. She often creates ambiguous situations that she hopes will stimulate viewers to see multiple interpretations. She hopes, in general, to inspire viewers to think about how we process visual images in our world.

Colonna Spring Series 19 Window

Her recent series Spring 19 is a set of fifty watercolors she posted daily on Instagram. It is at once a project in formal design and an exercise in personal meditation, in which she conjured each new image from the previous one.

Colonna Spring Series 19 Through Blocks
Through Blocks

Leslie Colonna’s Artist Statement:

My recent watercolor series Spring 19 is a project I completed at the beginning of this year. I was inspired to give myself a direction to create a small watercolor every day for fifty days. My objective was to explore color and space using watercolor.

Colonna Spring Series 19 Narrow

My goal was to reflect on the intuitive images that came out of this daily habit. I started randomly and then, each day, I studied the painting I did the previous day. In my mind, I stepped into the scene.  Once inside the imaginary space, I looked and explored. I would ask myself to wander and see what might be behind a wall or through a door. Then I would paint that. The project was at once an exercise in formal design and an exercise in personal meditation, as I conjured a new image from each previous one.

Colonna Spring Series 19 Flat Far
Flat Far

I am delighted to be invited to publish some of my artworks in Jet Fuel Review’s Faculty Feature. It gives me the opportunity to share my work with others. My work is never finished until it is seen by someone. I look forward to the responses I will get that will inform my future projects.

Colonna Spring Series 19 Enter Pole
Enter Pole

This spring, Professor Leslie Colonna will be instructing the following classes: Two-Dimensional Design, Life Drawing, Senior Capstone, Art Appreciation, Integrating the Fine Arts in Education, and Clay Sculpture. For more information visit here.

Colonna Spring Series 19 Back Front
Back Front

Jet Fuel Review—

2 thoughts on “Faculty Feature: Lewis University’s Leslie Colonna

  1. Helen Jones November 11, 2019 / 10:44 am

    I love Leslie Colonna’s work. Her watercolor images are both familiar and mysterious. They make me want to enter the space, sit awhile and meditate on the broadness of art and beauty.
    – H. Mayer Jones

  2. Jackie White November 11, 2019 / 8:19 pm

    Evocative pieces and an inspiring project. Thanks so much for sharing your work with us. I found myself trying to peer into the gaps or intersections in each piece and look forward to dwelling longer in each image, as they feel so invitational!

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