b.1981; Lives and works in Richmond, VA

Leigh Suggs channels her fascination with the mystery and psychology of sight through cut paper works and large-scale installations. She obscures normal perception, manipulating her materials as if optical illusions. By cutting and weaving intricate patterns, she animates an array of materials, including reflective silver mylar, painted Yupo (a thick, plastic-based paper), and ink. The intangible and inexpressible optical illusions created in each piece lure in the viewer, pulling them into an experience of seeing that is at once immediate and elusive. Spots, dots, and zig-zags roam in and out of focus, leaving a visual residue that challenges the reality of the lines, colors and patterns seen in each piece. Although two dimensional in nature, Suggs transforms the works on paper into sculpture-like forms through her manipulation of shadows, applied color, and reflections. The individual is left to decipher the piece’s existence as sculpture or flatwork, illusion or concrete, much as Suggs’ practice continually asks “What am I really seeing?”


Suggs received her BFA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2003 and her MFA from the Virginia Commonwealth University in 2015. The artist has been awarded several grants and honors, including the North Carolina Fellowship Award, a city of Richmond CultureWorks Grant, and a residency at the Quirk Hotel & Gallery in Richmond, VA. Her work is a part of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts collection and corporate collections, including the Federal Reserve Bank, Capital One, Markel Corporation, Suntrust Bank, and Fidelity Investments.

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