May 7, 2012

Homewood Art Workshops celebrates students and Leake

Homewood Art Workshops’ annual Studio Show—which showcases the best student work of the academic year—will have a special twist this week. Along with the exhibition and the presentation of the 2012 Eugene Leake Award for Outstanding Achievement, the event will celebrate the restoration and re-installation of a “lost” Leake painting.

“May Rocks and Trees” (1984) was given to the university by Leake, the Art Workshops’ founder and first director, upon his retirement in 1986. (Leake [1911–2005] is considered by many the finest landscape painter to have worked in Maryland and was president of MICA before founding the Art Workshops in 1974.) The painting hung for many years in the Alumni Memorial Residences and then disappeared.

During a building survey last year, Michael Sullivan, director of Finance and Administration for Homewood Student Affairs, discovered the painting in a custodial storage area. The canvas was torn in several places, and spilled cleaning products had badly stained its surface. Sullivan rescued the painting and consulted with Craig Hankin, director of Homewood Art Workshops, on the steps necessary to have it repaired. The two called upon Mary Sebera, chief conservator at the Baltimore Museum of Art, who, Hankin says, “did a magnificent job of cleaning and restoring the painting.”

The exhibition and reception will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. on Friday, May 11, in the Mattin Center’s F. Ross Jones Building. When the Eugene Leake Award is presented at 5 p.m. to Karen Chan, Emily Feinberg and Siqi Ngan, the three graduating seniors will be standing beneath the restored Leake landscape.