Needlepoint as an Art Form

Leanna Leithauser-Lesley is an avid needlepointer motivated by the power of jazz music, the perseverance of the civil rights movement and an intention to elevate the perception of needlepoint as an art form through the complexity of stitching portraits.

As a fiber artist, she is immersed in the idea of weaving together the quiet methodical ways of needlepointing with the often-unrestrained methods of jazz music and civil rights. In capturing the drama and emotion of the figure she chooses to stitch; the finished artwork becomes a distinct freehand homage to the subject of her needlepoint as well as the photographer who took the image. Rejecting the shortcuts of technology, she relies solely on her training as a visual artist to paint the canvas with yarn using a needle as her brush.

Leithauser-Lesley has exhibited her distinct portraits in museums, galleries and cultural art centers throughout the United States. She continues to increase the visibility of resolute individuals who have challenged the world we live in with her unique needlepoints while displaying gratitude for those who came before her.