Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Paul Leathers completed his undergraduate studies in jewellery and metalsmithing at Sheridan College's School of Crafts & Design (Dip. Applied Arts) and the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design (BFA), and his graduate studies in sculpture at the University of Calgary (MFA).
Inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2006, Paul is an internationally exhibited, award-winning studio metalsmith whose practice includes contemporary jewellery, small-scale functional objects, medallic art, and installation-based sculpture. The recipient of grants from the Canada Council, the Manitoba Arts Council and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, he has exhibited his work in Canada, the USA, Norway, Germany, Australia, and China. He has served on numerous visual art juries as well as on the Governing Council of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and the Boards of Directors of the Manitoba Crafts Council (President, '86–'88), the Crafts Guild of Manitoba, and the Manitoba Jewellers' Association.
As well as presenting lectures and workshops internationally, he has taught at the Alberta College of Art and Design, Calgary, the University of Calgary, the Kootenay School of the Arts, Nelson and Sturgeon Creek HS, Winnipeg. Leathers deals with strategies of attraction, inventing evocative forms that use light and materiality to re(locate) the viewer. His conceptual plans are generated out of the investigation and application of non-Albertian visual systems (parallax theory, anamorphosis, type B-2 fascination) that explore the objective relationship between viewer, viewed and viewpoint. His artworks both reveal and subvert the primacy of the eye while engaging the viewer as an active participant.
Leathers researches and instructs in the areas of design process, craft history and theory, gemmology, photo-documentation, and innovative metalworking techniques that include emergent digital technologies. He has lectured and led workshops in Canada, Malta, Australia, England, Denmark, Hong Kong, and China. Having headed metalsmithing departments in Manitoba and British Columbia, Paul currently maintains his studio practice in Red Deer, Alberta.
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