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Featured Artist - Leah Passafiume
08/30/2011 - By A.J. Perna
Leah Passafiume - Self Portraits and Fortune Cookies
While preparing for the portfolio review portion of the application and interview process for acceptance into the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, recent Wall Township High School graduate and National Arts Honor Society Member Leah Passafiume was leaving nothing to chance. While other applicants pick and choose some of their favorite pieces, Leah stacked the deck in her favor and presented every single project that she had completed throughout her high school art career, and then some. That turned out to be the right move. Leah’s entire portfolio spans multiple mediums and genres, but one thing is evident in each and every piece: Talent.
Throughout high school, Leah had received numerous awards and accolades for her artistic talents, but during her senior year, one piece garnered her some serious attention. Every year, Brookdale College hosts a Teen Arts Show, featuring the best and brightest at the Jersey Shore, naming just a handful of entries as “Best in Show”. This past year, the TeenArts Competition chose John Lennon’s “Imagine” as the central theme. Leah’s lone entry was an interactive sculpture, titled “Imagine Tree”. Her sculpture started with Leah making a life-size tape casting of herself that she then plastered over. From there, she expanded and morphed her self-casting into the trunk and branches of a tree. The leaves were fashioned from 200 tags, with “I imagine…” hand written on each one. One hundred of these tags were completed by Leah and a pen was left near the sculpture to allow visitors to the Teen Arts Show to finish the other one hundred tags with things that they imagine.
Leah has always had a passion for art and cannot imagine doing anything else with her life. Starting this fall, Leah will be attending her dream school on a scholarship. She is enormously excited to learn all she can at the University of the Arts and to immerse herself completely into the Philadelphia art scene and community. But, it’s not just a future full of fine art and gallery showings that Leah envisions for herself. In addition to expressing herself and beautifying the world, her art studies will have another purpose and goal. After four years at the University of the Arts, Leah plans to move on to graduate school and earn a doctorate in art therapy.
Perusing Leah’s portfolio, two motifs crop up time and again - self portraits and fortune cookies. Makes perfect sense, considering Leah is a very self-aware young lady who knows what she wants out of life and considers herself fortunate to have her talent recognized and be afforded these wonderful opportunities.
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