Nov 5, 2012

Bemis Instructor Highlight: Lisa Villanueva

A painted leather bag by Villanueva

Lisa Villanueva is an artist who uses a medium not so common for this century. Her canvas of choice is leather. While this may seem like an unusual choice of artistic expression to classic art students and collectors, it makes perfect sense to Villanueva.  “It’s a return to the craft of saddlemakers and westerners.”

A community activist and teacher, Villanueva has been teaching at the Bemis School of Art for roughly 12 years. She began her career as a sculptor, but moving to the West inspired an interest in leather crafting.  However, the fascination with leather as a medium has always been there. “I was always interested in the whole process of leather.” Villanueva's move from Chicago to Colorado Springs has allowed her to become a self-described “urban cowgirl.”

Her passion for leather is clearly demonstrated in her artist work and class offerings at Bemis. “Leather in Any weather” is Lisa’s beginning leather-crafting class. In this class, students learn four basic techniques to craft leather goods such as purses and wallets, plus learn how to replicate patterns. As an added bonus, students complete the class with a variety of hand-crafted leather goods.

More than anything, Lisa hopes that her students take away an intrigue in leather as well as a sense of pride in production.” After her class she says, “Students are inspired to explore leather, and rural adults incorporate leather into their everyday life."
If you you're interested in working with leather and developing artisan skills, make sure to take a class with Villanueva. Browse the online catalog of classes for all offerings this fall semester at the Bemis School of Art, and check back in December to see all offerings for the Winter/Spring Semester.

Leather Crafting
Four-Week Workshop
Mon., 11/5-12/3 | 4:15-5:45 p.m.
$83 (Members $68)
No Class on Veteran's Day (11/12)

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