Leon Niehues lives and works in the Arkansas Ozarks where he processes materials from his 40 acre woods. As part of the back-to-the-land movement of the 1970s, he found the natural world intriguing and, in 1981, began making functional baskets from his woodlot. He has been a studio artist for the last 38 years.
Niehues has been presented with numerous awards including an Arkansas Arts Council Fellowship in 1993 and a Mid-America /National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Award in1995. In 2005 he was named an Arkansas Living Treasure by the Arkansas Department of Heritage and Arkansas Arts Council. He was awarded a United States Artists Fellowship, USA Wingate Fellow, Los Angeles, CA, 2012.
His works are in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC; The White House Craft Collection, Washington DC; Museum of Art and Design, New York, NY; Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZ; Huntington Art Museum, Huntington WV; Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR; Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC and numerous private collections throughout the US.
About the Work
I use traditional materials and techniques often combining them with new ideas and methods of construction. I have also introduced new materials such as 3-M emery cloth, paint, and brass and stainless mini machine screws. I combine them with white oak to construct work that is more thoughtful and complex.
Since 2008, I have focused on bending fresh white oak into forms with human-like qualities and movement that at the same time are old and new, simple and complex. This new work suggests containers with personality and also relates to my basket work. I harvest materials from my 40 acre woods in Northwest Arkansas where I enjoy being part of the natural world.
Voted Best Art Gallery 2019 in "Best of Northwest Arkansas”
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