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Leya Evelyn


Leya Evelyn’s abstract paintings are about explorations, possibilities, imaginings and openings. The work considers the painting process, the marks, the color and the impact of these to be image itself, without literal references.

Born in Washington, D.C. and educated at both Brown and Yale Universities in the United States, Leya Evelyn moved to Nova Scotia in the early 1980’s after having lived and worked for some time in New York City. Evelyn’s self-admitted intention of “making statements” with her work has given us paintings and prints that, while self-referentially recounting the very history of their making, declare themselves to be meaningful well beyond any attempt on our part to pigeonhole them. Evelyn’s art actively resists the construction of tidy little categorizations while simultaneously eploiting them. It’s a risky balancing act that has made for some powerful art.

Gil McElroy, Guest Curator, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia 1995 exhibition, “Conjunctions”

Leya Evelyn has worked as an abstract painter since her early twenties. Her career in the arts has extended up and down the East Coast into Canada. At Yale, she studied under Josef Albers, concentrating on painting and colour. After twenty-four years in New York City, she moved to Nova Scotia. She now resides near Halifax and exhibits extensively locally as well as in galleries across Canada, the U.S. and Europe.




  •  2024, 2020, 2018, 2016, 2014, 2012, 2011  Secord Gallery, Halifax, N.S.
  • 2022 Lilypad West Gallery, Milwaukee, WI

  • 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 Orange Art Gallery, Ottawa, ONT.

  • 2018 ArtsPlace, Annapolis Royal, N.S.

  • 2017, 2012 Visual Voice Fine Art, Truro, N.S.

  • 2016 Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery, Halifax, N.S.

  • 2015, 2014 Gallerie Saltum, Saltum, Denmark

  • 2014, 2013  Jo Beale Gallery, Glen Margaret, N.S.

  • 2011 Harrington Brown Gallery, Memphis, TN

  • 2011 ArtNorth, Saeby, Denmark

  • 2015, 2012 Halde Gallerie, Widen, Switzerland

  • 2012, 2011  Jo Beale Gallery, Peggy’s Cove, N.S.

  • 2011, 2009 Gallerie Saltum, Saltum, Denmark

  • 2010 St. Xavier University Art Gallery, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, “Red”

  • 2009, 2007, 2003, 2001,1999, 1997, 1995 Secord Gallery, Halifax, NS, New Works

  • 2008, 2006 Marigold Arts Centre, Truro, N.S.

  • 2007 Halde Galerie, Widen, Switzerland, “5 Jahre Halde Galerie”

  • 2007 Gallerie Saltum, Saltum, Denmark, “How to Pick a Wild Strawberry”

  • 2006 Anna Leonowens Gallery, Halifax, N.S., “Speculations & Revelations”

  • 2005, Halde Galerie, Widen, Switzerland, farbenSpiel

  • 2004 Linda Fairchild Contemporary Fine Art, San Francisco, CA, Subject to Change

  • 2004 Alelier 585, Annapolis Royal, N.S., Exactly

  • 2004 Lunenburg Art Gallery, Lunenburg, N.S., New Works

  • 2003 Halde Galerie, Widen, Switzerland, Duo Exhibit, coLour

  • 2003 Russell Gallery, Peterborough, Ont., Fragments

  • 1999 Hart House, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont., Familiar Shadows

  • 1999 ARTSsPLACE, Annapolis Royal, N.S. Revisiting

  • 1998 Windhorse Arts Centre,, St. Johnsbury, Vt., New Works

  • 1995 Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Conjunctions: New Works

  • 1995 Henri Gallery, Washington, D.C., Paintings

  • 1992 Anna Leonowens Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Paintings

  • 1990 Condeso/Lawler Gallery, New York, New York, Tib’s Eve

  • 1990, 1987 Studio 21, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Recent Paintings

  • 1987 Mount St. Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Stations

  • 1985 Henri Gallery, Washington, D.C., Paintings & Collagraphs

  • 1983 Henri Gallery, Washington, D.C., Books

  • 1982 West Deutsche Landesbank, New York, New York

  • 1981 Santa Cruz Art Center, Santa Cruz, California

  • 1977 Fund for the City of New York, New York, N.Y.


  • 2024 Harvest Gallery, 462 Main Street, Wolfville, N.S.

  • 2022 Prow Gallery, Halifax, N.S.

  • 2008 Moos Galerie, Switzerland, Leya Evelyn & Ann Thingus: Farbenmeer

  • 2005 Agnes Bugera Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta, Ports of Entry

  • 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Halde Galerie, Widen, Switzerland, Advent Vernissage

  • 2004 Galerie díAvingnon, Montreal, Quebec, Coast to Coast

  • 2003 Linda Fairchild Contemporary Fine Art, San Francisco, CA, Gallery Artists

  • 2003, 2002, 2000, 1997, 1996, 1995 Anita Shapolsky Gallery , New York, N.Y., New Concepts

  • 2003, 2002 Toronto International Art Expo, Toronto, Ontario

  • 2002 Intercultural Museum Art Gallery, First International Abstract Exhibition

  • 2002, 2004 Susan de Witt Gallery, Naples, Florida, Gallery Artists

  • 2000 De Witt – Padulo Contemporary Fine Art, Naples, Florida, Contemporary Perspectives

  • 1999 St. Maryís University Art Gallery, Halifax, N.S., Autumn Gold

  • 1998, 1996, 1994 Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, N.S., Far and Wide

  • 1994 Sue Lawrence Gallery, Fredericton, New Brunswick

  • 1994 University of New Brunswick, Fredricton, N.B., Taming the Goat

  • 1994 Acadia University Art Gallery, Wolfville, N.S., Taming the Goat

  • 1993 N.S. College of Art & Design, Halifax, N.S., Bookworks by Women

  • 1992, 1978 Henri Gallery, Washington, D.C., Gallery Artists

  • 1991, 1989, 1988, 1986 Studio 21, Halifax, N.S., Gallery Artists

  • 1990 Glendon College, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Three

  • 1989 Geraldine Davis Gallery, Toronto, Ont., Gallery Artists

  • 1989 Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery, Halifax, N.S., Three

  • 1989 Christina Parker Fine Arts, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Inaugural Show

  • 1987 Quan-Scheider Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Eastern Perspectives

  • 1987 Todd Capp Gallery, New York, N.Y., Post-Pythagoreans and Pluralists

  • 1986 Dalhousie Univ. Art Gallery, Halifax, N.S., Visual Facts, Nova Scotia

  • 1986 Del Bello Gallery, Toronto, Ont., First International Miniature Art Exhibition

  • 1985 Pratt Graphics Center, N.Y.C., 10th International Miniature Print Exhibition

  • 1983 Gallery 345, New York, N.Y., 4 X 27/Women Collaborate

  • 1980 Alternative Museum, N.Y.C., On Paper.

  • 1978 Arte Fiera ’78, Bologna, Italy

  • 1977 Nobe Gallery, New York, N.Y., Holiday Wrapping Paper Invitational

  • 1977 Organization of Independent Artists, New York, N.Y., Art in Public Spaces

  • 1971 Dickenson College, Dickenson, N. C., Print and Drawing Show

  • 1962 Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Washington Area Artists Exhibition

  • 1960 Yale University Museum of Art, New Haven, Conn.


  • 2017, 2014 Nova Scotia Arts Council, Creation Grant

  • 2011 Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, elected member

  • 2011 Nova Scotia Arts Council, Creation Grant

  • 2009 Nova Scotia Arts Council, Creation Grant

  • 2007 Nova Scotia Arts Council, Creation Grant

  • 2005 Canada Council for the Arts Travel Grant

  • 2005 Nova Scotia Arts Council, Creation Grant

  • 2003 Canada Council for the Arts, Juror

  • 2002 Canada Council for the Arts Travel Grant

  • 2001 Nova Scotia Arts Council, Creation Grant

  • 2000 Canada Council Creations/Production (ìAî) Grant for Established Artists

  • 2000 Nova Scotia Arts Council, Creation Grant

  • 1999 Nova Scotia Arts Council, Presentation Grant

  • 1996, 1997 Nova Scotia Department of Culture, Travel Assistance Grants

  • 1995 Canada Council Exhibition Assistance Grant, Visual Arts

  • 1995 Canada/Nova Scotia Cooperation Agreement on Cultural Development Grant

  • 1994 Nova Scotia Department of Education and Culture, Exhibition Assistance Grant

  • 1991 Nova Scotia Art Bank Juror, Halifax, Nova Scotia

  • 1990 Canada Council Project Grant, Visual Arts

  • 1987 Nova Scotia Department of Culture, Exhibition Assistance Grant, Halifax, N.S.

  • 1980 New York State Council on the Arts, Exhibition Assistance Grant, N.Y.C.

  • 1960 Painting, Second Year Honor Award, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.

  • 1959 Minnie Helen Hicks Art Award, Brown University, Providence, R.I.

  • 1959 B.A., cum laude, Brown University, Providence R.I.

  • 1959-60 Yale University School of Fine Arts, New Haven, Conn.

  • 1964, 83 Pratt Graphic Arts Center, New York, N. Y.


  • Chronicle Herald, Halifax, N.S.,November 2009, September ’90, March ’89, May ’88, April ’87, May ’86, May 85, Sept. 95, April 1999, Elissa Barnard.

  • Nordiyske, Denmark, June, 2007, ìPurified Aesthetics, Leya Evelynî, Alice Bergholt Nilsson

  • Washington Post, Washington, D.C., April1, 1995, “Leya Evelyn at Henri”, Lee Fleming

  • ArtsAtlantic, Fall, 1994, “Leya Evelyn/Sylvie Stevenson: Taming the Goat”, Ray Cronin

  • ArtsAtlantic, Spring 1993, “Leya Evelyn, Recent Paintings”, Gill McElroy

  • ArtsAtlantic, Spring 1991, “Leya Evelyn, Recent Paintings”, Anne-Marie Larson

  • ArtsAtlantic, Fall 1989, “Leya Evelyn: A Different Dialogue, A Different Drama,” Dawn Rae Downton.

  • Vanguard, October 1987, “Leya Evelyn, Recent Works on Paper and Canvas”, Cliff Eyland.

  • ArtsAtlantic, Spring 1987, “Eastern Perspectives, Five Nova Scotia Artists,” Gloria Hickey.

  • ArtsAtlantic, Spring 1987, “Leya Evelyn, Recent Works on Paper and Canvas”, Dawn Rae Downton.

  • Visual Arts News, Spring 1987, “Leya Evelyn, Recent Works on Paper and Canvas,” Astrid Brunner.

  • Washington Star, Washington, D.C., February 20, 1981, “Leya Evelyn’s Abstracts,” Benjamin Forgey.



Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa, Ontario; Nova Scotia Art Bank, Halifax, N.S.; Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Maritime Tel & Tel Collection, Halifax, N.S.; Royal Bank, Toronto, Ontario; Citibank, Toronto; British Airways, Montreal, Quebec; Gerber Foods, Toronto, Ontario; Toyota Canada, Ltd., Halifax, N.S.; RCA Corp., New York, N.Y.; Eveready Batteries, St. Louis, Missouri; Singer Corp., New York, N.Y.; RCA Corp., New York, N.Y.; INA Insurance Co., New York, N.Y.; CIGNA Corp., New York, N.Y.; Fund for the City of New York, N.Y.C.; Murdoch Magazines, Secaucus, N.J.; Hackensack General Hospital, Hackensack, N.J.; Equitable Life Insurance Co., Chicago, Ill; Arthur Anderson Accounting Firm, Chicago, Amoco Oil Co., Denver, Co.; Ralston-Purina, St. Louis, Missouri; McGinnis, Cooper & Robertson Law Firm, Halifax, N.S.; Acadia University Art Gallery, Wolfville, N.S.; Nova Gold Resources, Ltd., N.S.; Bell Canada Enterprises, Montreal; Teleglobe Canada Ltd., Montreal; Worthington Software, Halifax, N.S.; Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Stupay, Shaker Heights, Ohio; William Hahn, Washington, D.C.; Herrick Jackson, Wilton, Conn.; Susan Foshay, Halifax, N.S.; Dr. Clarence Felderhof, New Glasgow, N.S.; and many other corporate and private collections.

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