Laura Leipzig is our new Gallery Coordinator, a welcome breath of fresh air for the Arts Guild. She is enthusiastic about joining us, and we are looking forward to working with her. Today we interrupted her shift to ask a few questions.
Welcome to the Guild, Laura. Tell us about your background.
I was born in Arcata, CA. My father was the director of an organization that represents commercial fishermen, and traveled a lot for work. My mother has generally been a reading recovery teacher in elementary schools. I have one brother who is 3 years younger then me. He lives in Humboldt County with his family.
What were your favorite subjects in school?
In high school, Art and Biology were the subjects I enjoyed the most. My least favorite subject was math. I took a beginning art class during my freshman year, which introduced me to one of my favorite art teachers who inspired me to get involved in the school yearbook and newly-created school website. Students affectionately called her ABC (her initials). Throughout my teens, ballet was a huge part of my life. I had classes and rehearsals five days a week and a few performances each year. My closest friends were the girls in my dance company.
I moved to Sonoma County in 2006 to attend Sonoma State University as a transfer student, where I earned a BA in Studio Art with a Photography Concentration, minor in Dance. Most of my photography work in school was using color film to capture shapes and movement of the human body.
In 2015 I attended San Francisco State’s College of Extended Learning to obtain a Certificate in Nonprofit Management.
How did your career get its start?
I have been working in the retail and service industries all my adult life. I worked throughout college, and graduated with a degree in art during the recession, so fast food, deli, pizza, and lots of mall retail, I’ve been there, and I’ve absolutely learned from it all. I began working at Aaron Brothers Art and Framing in 2010 and immediately fell in love with designing custom framing. The General Manager at the time, Andre Cezar, believed in me as a leader before I did myself, and together we ran the store as a team. In 2015 I left my position as Assistant General Manager of Aaron Brothers Art and Framing in Santa Rosa, CA, with the goal of pursuing a career in nonprofit arts management. I had been slowly realizing, that while I loved many aspects of the work I was doing, I didn’t want to stay in the corporate world. I wanted to create or run visual or performing arts spaces or programs. Around the same time I joined a friend in her custom framing business and established my own division of Artscapes Framing.
I am very excited about joining the Arts Guild of Sonoma and have some new ideas for the coming years.
Do you enjoy music?
I love live music and the shared experience that brings. I enjoy a wide variety of music, but my primary genre is “alternative rock”. A few bands I listen to regularly are The Airborne Toxic Event, Modest Mouse, Muse, Alabama Shakes, Spoon, The National, Radio Head and The Black Keys.
Do you have hobbies or pastimes?
I am currently dancing with Up Side Dance Company, a small professional modern dance company based in Healdsburg. We just started rehearsing for a performance in April, and I feel so lucky to be dancing with these talented people. Making art is more of a hobby for me, rather than something I’m pursuing professionally. I paint with oils and acrylics, and if I keep doing it just for fun, it’s something that helps me deal with stress, rather than causing more. I don’t do much photography these days, because I prefer to work with film, and it can be a challenge to access to the equipment needed these days. I also enjoy hiking, rock climbing and yoga.
Thank you Laura, we welcome all your enthusiasm and new ideas!