I typically work in an abstract or semi-abstract style, using a wide variety of media to create imagery. I often follow a kind of narrative within myself to achieve a resolution by the end of the process. In my painting process, I engage my surfaces with cold wax + oil paint, encaustic paint, dammar varnish and beeswax utilizing various combinations of porous substrate materials including handmade paper, clay bisque, wood and found objects in 2-D, deep relief or sculptural form. I also use oil pastel and graphite, charcoal, blending mixed media in a variety of ways to offer an image or process for meditation and celebration.
Through focus on the intersection of form/shape and a specific question or issue, I create my artwork to answer questions and help make visible the mysterious energy underlying (my) life on the planet. I am fascinated with the idea of how artwork - whether making or viewing it - can lead someone to an original idea or insight apart from or in collaboration with the artist’s original conception or awareness.
The art making process is equally as important to me as the finished work. I am fascinated with the fact that each action taken, each layering or removing of a layer in the paint or wax or clay, all congregation of marks, shapes and forms are the path leading away from the quandary of all that could be and leading toward some sort of release or rescue from a state of uncertainty and incongruity, however temporary, for the artist and then for the artwork's viewers.
I have been creating art in various forms - paintings, sculpture, installations, performance pieces, storytelling or writing - for over 25 years. I still often find myself influenced by the Abstract Expressionist movement as well as 50s and 60s era artists & writers such as Rauschenberg, Hesse and Golding. In some work I employ humor as a method of exposing the tenderness in a serious or even violent idea. If I can achieve a stop-motion style look at small elements of life through my art or writing, I consider it successful. I also love making stop motion animation films and teaching people this form of art.
Tracy Leavitt holds a BFA degree from Maine College of Art (MECA). She is the director of Visions Story and Art Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to the revitalization of the arts in education, professional and family life. In this capacity she has traveled widely designing and conducting artist residencies and workshops in visual and literary arts for adults including Visions Arts Camps and the Hudson Valley Storytelling Festival and art workshops at The International Schools in Jojakarta, Indonesia.
More recently Tracy received a fellowship from Woman’s Studio Workshop during which she created a series of encaustic on clay wall pieces entitled, “Women Working.” In the past she has been awarded large-scale commissions for various institutions and foundations such as: Staatsburgh State Historic Site, NY; a one-woman performance piece which was funded by a fellowship award from NYFA and Dutchess County Arts Council.
She is on the visual art faculty of High Meadow School, an independent school in Stone Ridge, New York.
- Arts Mid-Hudson Gallery - Emancipation of the Mind: Art Celebrating Civil Rights, Group Show curated by Willie Mae Brown
- Emerge Gallery - Primarily Red , Group Show - Saugerties, NY
- Woodstock Arts Association and Museum, Group Show - Woodstock, NY
- Barrett Art Center - Members Group Show, Poughkeepsie, NY
- Stone Window Gallery - Breathing In , Solo Show, Stone Window Gallery, Accord, NY
- Muroff Kotler Gallery SUNY Ulster - Beyond Self: Contemporary Explorations, Group show juried by Beth Wilson and Linda Montano, Stone Ridge, NY
- ASK Gallery - The Door as Art Form, Group show of sculptural works, 93 Broadway, Kingston, NY - juried by Trina Greene
- Art @ 17 Gallery, Temporary/Contemporary – 5 Artists at the Marketplace, 17 Market St; Poughkeepsie, NY
- Trinity Wall Street Museum, Varied Gifts - Group Show juried by John Moody, Wall Street, New York City, NY
- Rosendale Café and Gallery, Secret Breathing and Telling Truths, Two-Woman Show with Claire Wasser, Rosendale, NY
- Foods from Heaven; One Woman Show; By-Water Bistro, Main Street, Rosendale, NY