GARY A. LEAKE WOODWORKING

 

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Artist Biography                                                                      Home

 

Gary A. Leake - A woodworker whose passion is to search the countryside for a special one-of-a-kind, piece of timber, be it cherry (a favorite), maple, walnut or cocobolo, that has character (meaning highly figured, tigered spalted, etc) and turn it into a finely engineered and ultimately beautiful piece of furniture, so unique it is considered a work of art.

 

  

 

After approximately twenty years as a professional engineer working the 9 to 5, Gary wanted  and needed a change.  He decided  to walk a different path - one that used his inherent artistic talent as well as his technical sense - that of working with and creating with wood.  

 

  

 

Gary's technique tends to be influenced by methods and styles of earlier times, using antique woodworking tools and skills (although he does use a bandsaw from time to time).  Other influences: ancient Japanese joinery, Shaker-style furniture, Colonial-style furniture, Early American hand tool techniques and a natural finish look.

 

  

 

Moving to Whidbey Island in 2000 proved to be even more tempting for Gary to expand his horizons and express his artistic talent.  In pursuit of his passion, he spends hours (and hours and hours - just ask Sandy) dreaming up ideas, finding that perfect piece of timber and finally creating a true work of art. 

 

  

 

 

Creative Process

 

Gary credits his Grandfather for nurturing what has become a keen appreciation for all things wooden. Many of Gary’s antique woodworking tools and skills were inherited from this wonderfully patient master cabinet-maker.

 

  

 

Gary’s creative process can best be described as follows: Conceptual ideas float around in his head (sometimes for a day but often for years) until the magic moment when he finds that particular piece of timber that triggers the project. The wood’s natural character, which acts as a catalyst for moving the abstract idea to reality, truly drives the final design. Thus each artistic creation is truly unique. Each piece is carefully crafted by hand using many of the woodworking techniques and tools employed during the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries.

 

  

 

The resultant ‘feel’ and warmth of the wood can only be experienced by touching and caressing it. Touching of Gary’s art is indeed mandatory. Gary’s labors of love demonstrate his creativity as a contemporary artist and his woodworking skills.

 

  

 

 

Awards and Exhibitions

“Solid concept for 'a celebration of wood's special character' in a functional piece of art and craft.” Quote: Gordy Edberg as he awarded “Tiers of Joy” 1st Place for 3-D Art at the Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival Juried Exhibition, 2013.

 

 

“Excellent design. I like the geometric design of the legs in contrast with the natural shape and color of the table top. The craftsmanship is fantastic.” Quote: John Ebner as he awarded “Adrift” 1st Place for 3-D Art at the Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival Juried Exhibition, 2009.

 

 

2016

Exhibiting artist, 13th Annual "Art + Wood = Woodpalooza @ WICA", Langley, WA ("Connected"and "Down the Line")

2016

1st Place in 3-D art 53rd Annual Historic Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival ("Maple Mix"e; Maple Burl and Walnut Hall Table)

2016

Exhibiting artist, 53rd Annual Historic Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival ("Down the Line"and &qout;Spring Blossoms")

2015

Demonstrating artist, Arts Alive, La Conner, WA("Maple Alive [matched pair]")

2015

Exhibiting artist, 12th Annual "Art + Wood = Woodpalooza @ WICA", Langley, WA ("Walnut Shimmer [matched pair]" and "Burl in Bloom")

2015

Honorable Mention in 3-D art, 52nd Annual Historic Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival ("Bearly There"e; Maple and Walnut Hall Table)

2015

Exhibiting artist, 52nd Annual Historic Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival ("On Display&qoute; and "e;Walnut Shimmer"e;)

2015

Whidbey Working Artists Spring Exhibition, Pacific Northwest Art School, Coupeville, WA (“Bubinga Bite”, “Cherry Encounter” and “Unhinged”)

2015

Exhibiting artist, “20th Anniversary” Exhibition, Penn Cove Gallery, Coupeville, WA (“The She-Oak”, “Walnut Curl” and "Spring Blossoms" chairs)

2015

Exhibiting artist, “Warmth” Exhibition, Brackenwood Gallery, Langley, WA (“Blue Mystique”, “Cherry Rift”, “Lion’s Paw”, “Myrtle in Motion”, “Nature’s Discovery”, “Symmetry”, “Taking Flight”, “Unhinged” and “Y-Not?”)

2015

Exhibiting artist, “Wood and Warmth, Bronze and Clay” Exhibition, Cole Gallery, Edmonds, WA (“Bedazzle”, “Deep Mystique”, “Gentle Drift”, “Pathways”, “Sapele Splendor”, “Walnut Awe” and “Walnut Awesome”)

2015

Exhibiting artist, “A Fifth Season: Stories in Wood” Exhibition, Whidbey Institute, Clinton, WA (“Olde Pine Rift”, “Olde Pine Elegance” and “Olde Pine Adrift”)

2014

Demonstrating artist, Arts Alive, Langley, WA

2014

Demonstrating artist, Arts Alive, La Conner, WA

2014

Exhibiting artist, 11th Annual "Art + Wood = Woodpalooza @ WICA", Langley, WA ("Nature’s Sweep", "Lion’s Paw" and "The She-Oak")

2014

Exhibiting artist, “Art-a-Palooza”, Whidbey Children’s Theater, Langley, WA (“Cocobolo Ember”, “Shaker Sideboard”, “Stripes in the Round II”, “What’s the Point?”, “Y-Not?”)

2014

Exhibiting artist, Whidbey Art Trail, Coupeville, WA (“Little Zebra”)

2014

Exhibiting artist, 51st Annual Historic Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival ("The She-Oak”, “Walnut Curl”)

2013

Exhibiting artist, 10th Annual "Art + Wood = Woodpalooza @ WICA", Langley, WA (”Maple Delight", "Freefall" and "Spring Blossoms" chairs)

2013

1st Place in 3-D art 50th Annual Historic Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival ("Tiers of Joy” Maple and Mahogany Hall Table)

2013

Exhibiting artist, 50th Annual Historic Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival ("Tiers of Joy”, “Maple Delight” and “Jubilee”)

2013

Published: "Something of Value: Whidbey Island Woodworkers", Western Art and Architecture Magazine, August/September issue, "All About Yew I" Hall Table

2013 -14

Exhibiting artist; Hanson Scott Gallery, Seattle, WA

2012

Exhibiting artist, “Small Pleasures” Exhibition, Brackenwood Gallery, Langley, WA (“Barely”, “Incline-ation” and others)

2012

9th Annual Whidbey Island Woodworkers Guild “Woodpalooza” Exhibition, Langley, WA (“All About Yew I” , “Irresistible” and “Simplicity”)

2012

Exhibiting artist, 49th Annual Historic Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival ("Incline-ation” and “Irresistible”)

2011

Demonstrating artist, Arts Alive, La Conner, WA

2011

8th Annual Whidbey Island Woodworkers Guild “Woodpalooza” Exhibition, Bayview, WA (“Cherry Swirls” and “Sitting Pretty”)

2011

Exhibiting artist, 48th Annual Historic Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival ("Blue Beginnings”, “Nature’s Mood”)

2010 -2013

Exhibiting artist; The Laurel Tree Gallery, Duvall, WA

2010

7th Annual Whidbey Island Woodworkers Guild “Woodpalooza” Exhibition, Bayview, WA

2010

3rd Place in 3-D art 47th Annual Historic Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival ("Blue Lagoon” Walnut/Glass Display Table)

2010

Exhibiting artist, 47th Annual Historic Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival ("Blue Lagoon”, “Cherry Swirls” and “Dark Charm”)

2010

Exhibiting artist, Arts at the Port “Next” Juried Competition, 49th Annual Anacortes Arts Festival (“Adrift Chalanga-Da” and “Cypress Knee”)

2010

3rd Place in Sculpture 53rd Annual Edmonds Arts  Festival Juried Gallery (“Maple Fantasy”)

2010

Exhibiting artist, 53rd Annual Edmonds Arts Festival Juried Gallery (“Adrift Chalanga-Da II”, “Maple Fantasy” and “Symmetry”)

2010

Exhibiting artist, “Wabi Sabi” Exhibition, Scott Milo Gallery, Anacortes, WA (“Wing” and “Adrift Wabi Sabi”)

2010

Honorable Mention in “Whidbey Island Preservation Art”; second of a series of gallery exhibitions hosted by the Pacific Northwest Art School (“Dogwood Spirit” Table)

2009 -

Exhibiting artist; Brackenwood Gallery of Fine Art, Langley, WA (formerly Karlson/Gray Gallery)

2009

Honorable Mention in “Whidbey Island Preservation Art”; first of a series of gallery exhibitions hosted by the Pacific Northwest Art School (“Whidbey Wild” Bigleaf Maple Table – ‘Very clever use of materials.’)

2009

6th Annual Whidbey Island Woodworkers Guild “Woodpalooza” Exhibition, Bayview, WA

2009

1st Place in 3-D art 46th Annual Historic Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival ("Adrift" Sapele and Ebonized Walnut Display Table)

2009

Published: 500 Tables, Lark Books, “Nature’s Rhythm” Hall Table

2009

Exhibiting artist; “Art for History” Exhibition, Island County Historical Society

2008 -

Exhibiting artist; Cole Gallery, Edmonds, WA

2008

"At Home with Fine Craft" Exhibition, Karlson/Gray Gallery, Langley, WA

2008

5th Annual Whidbey Island Woodworkers Guild “Woodpalooza” Exhibition, Bayview, WA

2008

1st Place in 3-D art 45th Annual Historic Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival ("Dark Wave" Ziricote and Ebonized Cherry Hall Table)

2008

Exhibiting artist; Lavender and Wind Art Festival, Coupeville, WA

2007 -

Exhibiting artist; The Wood Merchant, La Conner, WA

2007

Honorable Mention "Beautiful design. Great use of woods" in 44th Annual Historic Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival ("Nine Pieces" Display Table)

2007

4th Annual Whidbey Island Woodworkers Guild “Woodpalooza” Exhibition, Bayview, WA

2007 -2009

Exhibiting artist; Karlson/Gray Gallery, Langley, WA (formerly Gaskill/Olson Gallery)

2007 -2009

Exhibiting artist; Art Concepts on Broadway Gallery, Tacoma, WA

2007 -

Exhibiting artist; Scott Milo Gallery, Anacortes, WA

2007 -2008

Exhibiting artist; The Courtyard Gallery, La Conner, WA

2006

1st Place in 3-D art 43rd Annual Historic Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival ("Curves" Cherry Sofa Table)

2006

3rd Annual Whidbey Island Woodworkers Guild Exhibition, Bayview, WA

2005

1st Place in 3-D art 42nd Annual Historic Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival ("Sunrise Over Whidbey" Walnut Hall Table)

2005

2nd Annual Whidbey Island Woodworkers Guild Exhibition, Bayview, WA

2005 -

Exhibiting artist; Penn Cove Gallery, Coupeville, WA

2004

1st Place in 3-D art 41st Annual Historic Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival ("Foraging Among the Fuchsias" 3-Panel Cherry Screen)

2004

1st Annual Whidbey Island Woodworkers Guild Exhibition, Bayview, WA

2004

"Portrait of a Community" Exhibition, Bayview, WA

2004 -2005

Exhibiting artist; Whidbey Panoramas Gallery, Coupeville, WA

2003

1st Place in 3-D art 40th Annual Historic Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival ("Reach for the Sky" Shaker-Style Ladderback Chair)

2002

1st Place in 3-D art 39th Annual Historic Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival (Blue Cherry Toy Box)

2002 -2007

Exhibiting artist; A Class Act Gallery and the Courtyard Gallery, La Conner, WA

2000 -2006

Exhibiting artist; Gaskill/Olson Gallery, Langley, WA