Leesa Streifler

About the Artist

Leesa Streifler is from Winnipeg, Manitoba where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Manitoba. During the 1980s, she spent six years in New York City and attended graduate school at Hunter College. While there, she received a Master of Fine Arts degree and taught classes.

Streifler is the daughter and granddaughter of prominent  commercialPertaining to making money, i.e., creating art in order to sell it, rather than creating art for purely aesthetic purposes.  Winnipeg photographers. This background may well have had a strong influence on her decision to use photography in the  seriesA number of things or events standing or succeeding in order, and connected by a like relation; sequence; order; course; a succession of things; as, a continuous series of calamitous events. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  of works presented here on the ARTSask website, Adaptations, and her choice to display the small intimate photographs in unique frames. The dark matts Streifler uses to frame her works could hearken back to her grandfather’s day, prior to the invention of the  colourProduced by light of various wavelengths, and when light strikes an object and reflects back to the eyes. Colour is an element of art with three properties: (1) hue or tint, the colour name, e.g., red, yellow, blue, etc.: (2) intensity, the purity and strength of a colour, e.g., bright red or dull red; and (3) value, the lightness or darkness of a colour. When the spectrum is organized as a color wheel, the colours are divided into groups called primary, secondary and intermediate (or tertiary) colours; analogous and complementary, and also as warm and cool colours. Colours can be objectively described as saturated, clear, cool, warm, deep, subdued, grayed, tawny, mat, glossy, monochrome, multicolored, particolored, variegated, or polychromed. Some words used to describe colours are more subjective (subject to personal opinion or taste), such as: exciting, sweet, saccharine, brash, garish, ugly, beautiful, cute, fashionable, pretty, and sublime. Sometimes people speak of colours when they are actually refering to pigments, what they are made of (various natural or synthetic substances), their relative permanence, etc. (Artlex.com)  photograph, or they could have been selected to reinforce the ideas she explores in her work.

Streifler explores her ideas with such diverse  mediaAny material and technique used to produce a work of art (paint, glass, clay, fibre, video, sound, etc.). It may also refer to the liquid with which powdered pigments are mixed to make paint. Note that the plural form of “medium” is “media.”  as paint,  foundAn image, material, or object, not originally intended as a work of art, that is obtained, selected, and exhibited by an artist, often without being altered in any way. The cubists, dadaists, and surrealists originated the use of found images / materials / objects. Although it can be either a natural or manufactured image / material / object, the term readymade refers only to those which were manufactured. Also known in the French, objet trouvé. (Artlex.com)  objects, text,  performanceAn art form in which the actions of a person or group in a particular place at a particular time constitute the artwork; all works of performance art therefore incorporate time, space, the performer’s body, and the relationship between performer and viewer.  and photography. In Adaptations, she does not limit herself to creating just a photograph but adds  drawingDepiction of shapes and forms on a surface chiefly by means of lines. Colour and shading may be included. A major fine art technique in itself, drawing is the basis of all pictorial representation, and an early step in most art activities. Though an integral part of most painting, drawing is generally differentiated from painting by the dominance of line over mass. There are many sorts of drawing techniques, varying according to the effect the artist wants, and depending on whether the drawing is an end in itself — an independent and finished work of art -- or a preliminary to some other medium or form — although distinct from the final product, such drawings also have intrinsic artistic value. Preliminary drawings include various exercises (e.g., contour drawing, gesture drawing, figure drawing, drawing from the flat), as well as sketches and studies, cartoons and underdrawings. (Artlex.com)  and text to alter her staged photographed performance images of herself. While the works look simple and spontaneous, they communicate strong information on a variety of serious topics related to the female body, as well as to societal expectations and “norms” of being female. As Streifler states in an article written by Gilbert Bouchard, “I don’t like to be objectified: mind and heart are so much more important.” (Bouchard, 1999)  Amy Karlinsky sums up Streifler’s work by stating, “Streifler makes her art from a place of intuition and emotion, a process that often moves the  imageryAn image is a picture, idea, or impression of a person, thing, or idea; or a mental picture of a person, thing, or idea. The word imagery refers to a group or body of related images. (Artlex.com)  away from a perceptual reality to a psychic reality embodied in self.” She goes on to quote Streifler as saying, “what lies under the surface is more real than what is on top, so the drawings or the expressive elements dig deeper into the psychological, the holistic, the spiritual and the political." (Karlinsky, 2003)

Since Streifler’s move to Regina, Saskatchewan in 1986, she has taught in the Visual Art Department at the University of Regina and she continues a strong artistic practice.


On Her Childhood Drawings and Identity
On the Creation of the Work
On the Use of Humour in Art
Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning