SPOKANE, Wash. – The Jundt Art Museum at Gonzaga University features the work of Harrington, Wash. artist Les LePere in the exhibition, “Leslie W. LePere: Magic of the Objects” beginning Oct. 22 in the Jundt Galleries and continuing through Dec. 20.
This survey of his past 50 years includes examples of LePere’s work as an artist, illustrator and designer. Also on display are collaborative works with artists Charlie King, Ken Yuhasz, Louise Kodis, Ken Cory, Spike Hendricksen, Frank Samuelson, Nancy Worden, Sandy Ayars, and Kirk Dietrich. Included in the exhibition are murals, books, jewelry, posters, prints, sculpture, paintings, and banners.
LePere’s unique style as a designer and illustrator for Northwest products and events such as Inland Craft Warnings, Buckeye Beans, Sandy Paar, Bumbershoot, Comstock Park, Shepherd’s Grain, and Artist Trust is instantly recognizable. Selections from his commercial work, standalone works, and several books by Tom Robbins and T.A. Sedlak, illustrated by LePere, will be on display as well.
Les LePere grew up on a farm in Harrington, Wash., approximately 50 miles southwest of Spokane. “I am half-artist and half-farmer,” Le Pere says. “Each of these complements the other. Each one is extremely different, but I like to be able to switch back and forth. It invigorates my interest in both of these fields.” He attended Washington State University and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1968.
He continued at WSU and earned his Master of Fine Arts in 1971. Graphic design work drew him to Seattle where he worked and taught at the Factory of Visual Art until 1980. He returned to the family farm in Harrington when his father was ready to retire and has worked at “Pencil Farms” since then.
LePere has collaborated on many projects with jeweler and metalsmith, Ken Cory. Cory, who died in 1994, is considered one of the artistic forces that pushed the Pacific Northwest to the contemporary jewelry forefront. LePere is also co-owner of the business “Sandy Paar,” with jeweler Charlie King. The business produces commemorative champlevé pins, belt buckles, and ball markers designed by LePere.
A free public reception for the artist will be held at 5 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25, followed by the free public lecture by the artist, titled “Magic of the Objects,” in the Jundt Auditorium. Seating for the lecture is limited.
The museum’s exhibitions are free and open to the public Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The museum is closed Sundays and University holidays. For more information, please contact Karen Kaiser, assistant curator for education, at (509) 313-6613 or via e-mail.