Artist Jon Leverentz Featured in ICI's Changing Landscapes Exhibit

Sat Jun 17 2017
Jon Levenentz reviewing his paintings in Pattee Hall.

The Institute's Changing Landscapes project - a rotating exhibition of work by artists with disabilities - launched its summer 2017 show on May 31 when ICI staff and volunteers from Hammer Residences hung the paintings of Jon Leverentz in Pattee Hall. "It was an amazing experience hanging the art with Jon; he chose groupings and was instrumental in curating his own show," says Mark Olson, a Changing Landscapes committee member.

Leverentz has been interested in art since childhood, but in 1969, at age 18, he sustained brain stem damage in an automobile accident, resulting in double vision and violent shaking. "Double vision sucks, but it makes for an interesting painting—a sense of humor helps," quips the artist. Despite the setback, he persisted with his art, studying painting at Augsburg College, participating in exhibitions across the country, and pursuing grants and opportunities for artistic growth. He now works as an artist at Interact Center and is also supported by Hammer. His paintings emphasize perception.

"I am legally blind so it takes a great deal of concentration and determination to make intuitive judgments regarding what is close versus far away," Leverentz says. "Art recreates in my mind what the world looked like before. I use my art to show people that anyone can do anything if they try." Leverentz's story appeared in Sun Sailor newspaper.