Sandra Leonard

Saturday, Aug 28 – Oct 3, 2021

1717 Central St.
Evanston, IL 60201

Sandra Leonard was born in Stuttgart, Germany and moved to Texas as a child. She received her BFA in Sculpture at University of North Texas State where she studied sculpture, architecture and design. She then attended Northern Illinois University where she received a MFA.  Early on the Bauhaus was very influential on her development as an artist.   During this time she visited the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart and saw Oskar Schlemmer’s costumes displayed. The experience had a profound impact on her and began her fascination with creating costumes. She also became intrigued with the collaborations between Merce Cunningham and Rauschenberg and combining painting and sculpture with movement. Early on she worked with Emergence Dance theater creating costumes used in dance performances that traveled around the country and Paris.

Leonard continues to focus on sculptural costumes, creating textiles, painting and performance.  In the last 25 years she has been involved in numerous performances, improvised theater, alternative fashion shows and installation projects. She has had her work shown in Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and Paris. In 2014 she was selected as a Featured Artist for the citywide annual event Chicago’s Artist Month. She featured 10 sculptural costumes in a Surrealist Fashion Show “Crossing Into Dream” presented at the Beverly Arts Center. In 2017 Leonard represented the Beverly ward in the "50 x 50" show at the Cultural Center. She is member of the group “Artist Interpret Shakespeare” who has exhibited at the Elmhurst Museum, Addington Gallery, 4thPresbyterian Church and Catholic Theological Society. The group was also included in the documentary “Chicago Our City, Our Shakespeare”, which was nominated for an Emmy.

In 2017 Leonard presented a performance/dance entitled “Wandering Bird” which was first performed on the Beverly Art Center stage. She created 10 wearable sculptures which provided interpretive opportunities for the performance artist and dancers. For the dance segments she collaborated with Sandra Kaufmann, a very distinguished choreographer and dancer. Leonard also designed interactive costumes for the Art Institute’s “Room To Move”, in celebration of the Bauhaus 100th anniversary.



This exhibition will be held in the Second Floor Gallery + Atrium of the Evanston Art Center (EAC). All visitors are required to wear masks and take their temperature upon entry using provided gloves, and share results with an EAC staff member. Please adhere to 6' social distancing requirements when in the gallery space. 


Gallery Hours

Monday - Friday: 1 pm - 6 pm

Saturday & Sunday: 9 am - 4 pm



If you are interested in purchasing artwork on display, please contact Cara Feeney, Director of Exhibitions, at or (847) 475-5300 x 107.


This project is partially funded by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

Artwork shown (L to R): Sandra Leonard, Composition in Black and White with Trumpet Flower, 2020; Sandra Leonard, Composition in Black and White, 2021