Samantha Leopold-Sullivan creates visceral creatures in dialogue with industrial objects, deepening self-understanding and reflection within the viewer. After graduating Cum Laude with a B.A. in Studio Art and Environmental Studies from Macalester College, she spent three additional years there as Graduate Apprentice, assisting sculpture and foundry classes. She has also taught youth classes at Minnesota Center for Book Arts and Franconia Sculpture Park. Leopold-Sullivan is active in the Conspiracy of Strange Girls and Dark Art Society collectives, and has sculpture installed at Sculpture Trails Outdoor Museum, Salem Art Works, and Franconia Sculpture Park. Her works were exhibited in Solid Gone at Sordoni Gallery and Digital Iron, part of the 8th International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art. Leopold-Sullivan has an MFA in Sculpture-Dimensional Studies from Alfred University. She is currently the Hot Iron Intern Coordinator and a Kids Make Sculpture instructor at Franconia Sculpture Park.
“My current sculptural explorations grow out of a period of intense stress and isolation that prompted significant inner work as well as research into chaos magic and Carl Jung’s theories on the collective unconscious. As a result, I approach my work with ritual intention, cathecting these sculptures as a way to externalize my internal state and to attempt vulnerability in the hopes of healing. Doing so provides an opportunity for viewers to access their own mental creatures and assess internalized structures.
“My process is intuitive; a piece begins as a glimpse out of the corner of my mind’s eye, a feeling in my gut. The process of making slowly draws it from the unconscious and out into the light. Iterative methods such as metal casting and hand sewing work best because I can start at one point and let the piece transform as needed through all the steps involved. The indexical marks from my hands and tools serve as a record of the sculpture’s birth, and a piece is finished when I can sit with it in the rich and comforting silence of old friends.”