A little press

For the upcoming show I helped curate:



At the start of July, I began working as Assistant Curator at the Silber Art Gallery, Goucher College. The curator, Laura Amussen, gave me a tremendous opportunity to organize and curate a satellite exhibition for the Baker Artists Awards this year. in three days with amazing support from two very talented MICA interns, Travis Levasseur and Sage Denver, we pulled it together.

This is OBSCURITIES, my first shot at true curatorial work. United by their passion for abstraction, this selection of Baker Artist Award nominees coalesce to create a show devoted to their departure from form, place, communication, and identity.

 click on images to view larger

"Obscurities" will be presented in Goucher College’s Silber and Rosenberg Art Galleries from August 30th through October 16th, 2011. This exhibit, which is free and open to the public, can be viewed Tuesday through Sunday from 11a.m. to 4 p.m. An artist’s reception will be held Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Silber and Rosenberg Art Galleries. Please visit www.goucher.edu/silber

Participating Artists:
Alexander Heilner, Andrew Lauman, Joanna Kopczyk, Justin Kelly, Kyle Freeman, Lauren Brick, Leslie Furlong, Michael Farley, Nate Larson & Marni Shindelman, Christopher Attenborough, Stewart Watson, Mark Eisendrath, Kelly Shaw, Karl Connolly, Michael Northrup, and Eric Dyer.


Two of my pieces are in this show. It's definitely worth checking out... I want to buy a lot of the other work there. Very strong stuff.

click on the images for a larger version

Exhibit Dates

Wildland will be presented at Goucher College's Silber Art Gallery in the Athenaeum from June 28 to August 7, 2011. This exhibit, which is free and open to the public, can be viewed Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Artist Reception

An artists' reception will be held in the Silber Gallery on Saturday, July 9, 2011 from 3 to 5 p.m. Please call 410-337-6477 for more information.

About the Exhibit

Wildland, a satellite exhibition in conjunction with Artscape, features the work of nine local artists: Ryan Browning, Travis Childers, Frank Day, Elizabeth Hoeckel, Savanna Leigh, Susan Main, Joshua Smith, Peter Stern, and Polly Townsend. While viewing submissions from the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts and looking for an overall arching theme, I was struck by the large number of local artists whose work seemed to be derived from the landscape. Landscape, as a topic, has been around for centuries-Goucher College has even mounted a few shows around the theme. However, in this case I noticed a narrower or sub-theme of wilderness and outdoor recreation. Images of camper trailers nestled in the woods, wild animals, mountaineers, and people gathered together as if looking out over a scenic view mingled with more traditional nature imagery. Thus, each artist in Wildland draws inspiration from the great outdoors, inviting the viewer to explore the wilderness as seen through their eyes and experiences.
Laura Amussen, curator

Silber Art Gallery: Goucher College
1021 Dulaney Valley Road
Baltimore, MD 21204-2794

visual space

Taken from NPR's blog 13.7:

"To localize an object means simply to represent the movements that would be necessary to reach it." These words of the great French mathematician and physicist Henri PoincarĂ© offer a bold statement of an idea that goes back to George Berkeley: the experience of space is grounded, finally, in our sense of our bodies, in our sense of our own degrees of freedom of movement.
Berkeley thought that touch was the spatial sense, for it was the movement sense. Vision without touch would deliver only flat pictures of the world around us.

In my work, I've been investigating the relationship people have to the places and space around them- this guy offers an interesting perspective. He proves that our connection with place does not rely on the visual landscape; place and space are much more tactile. Our sense of place develops not from the sight of a landscape, but from our physical interaction with that space.

This leads me to believe that my work needs to move toward installation and viewer participation.

The first piece of this series is a collaboration with fellow artist Jessica Scimpf, 
and will be shown at the City Arts Gallery for Artscape.

Lumber Party
City Arts Gallery
440 East Oliver Street
Opening July 9th

come lay on the lawn....

growing into sculptures

I've graduated! It's been a long time since I've posted any sort of progress, so here's what I'm working on now. My work is shifting from sedimentary geology and into botany, still focused on the moveability of landscape and the impermanence of place. I believe that plants are an excellent way to communicate these concepts; Terrariums were first used to transport plants across the Atlantic to the New World. The plants are characteristics of place (ie flora and fauna), and the ability to make them transportable or wearable seems very surreal to me, much like tectonic plate movements. There are also undertones of sustainability and urban farming that are very intriguing to me. 

These are rough ideas I'm just hashing out, stay tuned for more progress!

my window garden: watercress, basil, tomatoes, and succulents

I'm interested in the mediums plants can grow in, earth, air, and water. This species needs only a dish of water to thrive, and it's roots look like fish bones. 

Inside my succulent terrarium, stonecrop and lithops

I'm collaborating with artist Jessica Schimpf with growing in glass vessels, both found and hand blown.

These are test orbs to determine how well different plants can grow in a non draining glass shape. They're planted with gravel and vermiculite to help regulate the soil moisture inside the vessel. Above are spider plants and standard lawn grass.

 Above: Spoon Jade (E.T. Fingers) growing in soil.

Above: Spider Plant sprout growing directly in water. The roots will eventually fill the vessel.

I told myself I'd take a break from making things. Oops.


I've just been featured at Coroflot.com, a networking site for creative professionals.
They choose a select few artworks from the thousands of images uploaded daily.
Check it out!

view my portfolio:


I'm starting work on a new series of glass planters. Normal yard grass in topsoil with gravel and vermiculite. I plan to make multiples on an installation scale.


Geologically speaking, Orogenesis is the tectonic process which creates mountains.

This sculpture is made from reclaimed shipping pallet wood: oak, cedar, and pine. The circling pattern builds to the peaks, evoking topography and geologic superposition via strata.
It's about 7' long and 4' tall.


The structure was built modularly; it is designed to break down into three parts for transport and reassembly. The two halves push together like tectonic plates. 


It is set on wheels, allowing it to move freely around the gallery. It is a moving mountain, a transforming landscape.

And once the show was over, this is what it looks like in my car.

opening night

21g Gallery, Baltimore

 Eduardo Rodriguez, the gallery director

"Rift" alongside "You Are Here" 16mm film samples

"Orogenesis" 7'x4' 


Back to back monitors playing films "Tectonic" and "You Are Here"

Explaining concept and execution

My mom came all the way from Dallas <3

It was a great show. It'll be up till May 3rd, so if you haven't had a chance to see it, 
stop by and check it out!


M/Otherland, my senior thesis BFA honors show,
opens TOMORROW NIGHT (Thursday the 7th) at 21g Gallery!!!!

782 Washington Blvd.
Baltimore, MD

Two semesters of research and work have developed into the sculptures, drawings, paintings, and films that are included in this show. It is now the eve of the opening, and I would like to say thank you to all the people who helped me make this possible. This wasn't a one-woman show, there were so many important people who made this into what it is.

Thank you to Jan Baum, my thesis advisor, for making me reach my potential. Rachel Timmins, for always being  honest and encouraging. David Knopp and John Shea for thier generous in-kind donations, which allowed me to construct all my sculptures from reclaimed materials. Shelly Blake-Plock for the use of his song in my film, and for getting me into art in the first place. Kate Gilman and Jessica Schimpf for the wonderful poster design and for their unconditional support. My parents, for understanding my need to create. Eduardo Rodriguez for his promotion and for allowing me the space to make this event happen. Paul Harne and Drew Bassin for their help with installation. To everyone at my office for letting me work crazy hours so I could get everything done. Thanks to everyone else who ever gave me a critique, offered a hand or a shoulder, and inspired me.
Thank you.


Several weeks ago (long before March 11th) I made this animation, “Tectonic,” by tracing landscape photographs my father took while we were living in Colorado. The simple black lines were animated at 60fps, blurring the landscapes into one morphing entity.  I wanted to show the impermanent nature of landscape, and how memories of a specific place can be easily morphed and forgotten. The audio* is original geologic recording from the 2004 Indonesian Tsunami- You’re hearing the crust of the earth moving. This is a part of my moving landscape series for my upcoming show, “M/Otherland.”

I thought it was a pretty successful piece on its own- then the Tsunami hit Japan. Suddenly, the context of this film was altered; now the power of the Earth is very fresh in the collective memory, and we are suddenly very aware of the effect it has over first world countries. This expands the meaning of “Tectonic” beyond my personal experience and memory- it is now something we can all relate to when we read the news.  The anxiety I tried to convey in this animation is now very real as the world watches Japan’s delicate nuclear status.

Tectonic from Savanna Leigh on Vimeo.

Please take a little of your time to donate to a Japanese Tsunami relief fund. Google has several easy to use donation widgets for the Japanese Red Cross, International Medical Corps, Unicef, and Save the Children. Please do what you can.

*Note: The audio is a very low frequency. If you're having trouble hearing it, please use headphones. If you have a subwoofer, crank it up till your windows shake!

love and risk

This is my piece "MacGuffin" currently hanging in the City Arts Gallery as part of the show "Love and Risk." All these images can be rearranged to form a new narrative based on the Kuleshov Effect. When an image is juxtaposed with another, the meaning of both of them changes. The images on the wall change their context depending on what images are surrounding. The viewer is invited to change the narrative.

All the images are from Hitchcock films including North by Northwest, Vertigo, Rope, The Trouble with Harry, and Rear Window. A "MacGuffin" is a plot device constantly used by Hitchcock to catch his viewers off guard. 

On view at City Arts


my work has been recently featured in a few other spots. check em out!

kate gilman graphic design posted a nice little shout out for my upcoming show!

my short video documentary featured on glassblowing tv

ehow used my previous blog post on fiberglassing as its reference!
and here too!

Let me know if you find anything else on the internets!


My solo show opening is coming up fast. I'm getting excited. I need to build a shit ton of pedestals.


 Excellent design by Kate Gilman. She gave me about 15 proofs to pick from! If you are interested in using her as well, contact me and I'll send along her info.


This is what the inside of a build looks like for rapid prototyping (3D printing). This is just a test piece with five moveable parts to find the clearences and tolerences of the material I'll be using for a later project.


 Hand sanding this whole beast. Soon it will have a plume of blown glass coming out of the top, and hand carved wheels will be mounted in steel at its base.

 I'm gonna need much more paper.

Here's a bit of process- The top half needs to be attached to the bottom, but the carving needs to be finished first. I draw on the wood to figure out what form it needs to take.

My landscape boxes are coming along nicely. They can all be rearranged according to their horizon lines, and they are all different depths, so the landscape constantly morphs as the viewer moves around the piece.

home sweet home.


modeling for  the lovely rachel timmins

sneak peak

sculpture, "K-1"
laminated poplar
photography for my press kit by jessica schimpf