Leila Cartier is from Virginia’s Appalachian Mountains - once considered the heart of the coal industry and isolated by vast expanses of nature.
Recent work has been inspired by decadent novel Against Nature by Joris-Karl Huysmans. In this story, main character Des Esseintes becomes disillusioned by modern urban life and escapes to the countryside where he carefully designs a unique aesthetic environment. The atmosphere is saturated with rich colors, patterns, and nature, all of which aim to appease his cynical attitude, desensitized palate, and hallucinatory visions.
Her collage work is primarily constructed using hand-cut images of jewelry found in magazines and adhered to paper made from stone. The result suggests a disparity between the expectation of permanence and value versus fragility and worthlessness.
Leila Cartier holds an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and concurrently studied Arabic Language at Depaul University with a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship. Her BFA in Art and Art History from Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia included a year spent with Temple University Rome, Italy. Her studio practice is located in 1241 Carpenter Studios + Project Space in South Philadelphia and she is represented by SchmidtDean Gallery.
Since 2016, Leila Cartier has been the Executive Director of CraftNOW Philadelphia, an emerging organization uniting institutions, scholars and artists to promote the historic and contemporary role of the city in the fields of craft and making.
From 2010 – 2015, Cartier was the Director of Exhibitions at the William King Museum of Art in her hometown of Abingdon, Virginia, an underserved area of the Appalachian coalfields with little to no other access to the arts. Her curatorial projects consisted of bringing art from around the world to the region, documenting and exhibiting material culture from Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee, and presenting regional contemporary art in all media.
2009 The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL MFA, Painting and Drawing Jacob K. Javits Fellow
2007 - 2009 DePaul University, Chicago, IL Arabic Language Program
2004 Moore College of Art & Design, Philadelphia, PA BFA, Art History with 2-D Fine Arts Emphasis Summa Cum Laude
2002 - 2003 Temple University Rome, Italy Junior Year Abroad
Awards & Honors
2020 Small Favors, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA Juror
2019 American Craft Show Awards of Excellence, Baltimore, MD Juror
2018 - 2019 LEADERSHIP Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA Core Program
2017 Arts and Business Council, Philadelphia, PA Designing Leadership