Assistant Professor of Art
BFA - Texas State University San Marcos, Texas
MFA - University of Mississippi Oxford, Mississippi
Leandra Urrutia is an object maker and storyteller based in Memphis, Tennessee. She uses parts of the human form to make powerful compositions and installations that showcase her wild and unconventional creative sense. Her studio work illustrates compelling female-centered struggles between body and mind as one experiences injury, healing and the aging process. Her Mexican-American heritage, Catholic upbringing, interest in aggressive sports, and visits to China continue to bring an unorthodox influence to the ceramic and mixed media sculptures she dreams up.
Leandra’s work has been exhibited locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. Her honors and awards include a National Council for the Education of Ceramic Arts (NCECA) Emerging Artist award, an ArtsMemphis Emmett O’Ryan Award for Artistic Inspiration, and a McKnight Residency Award from the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Examples of her work can be found in the Lark Book Series 500 Figures in Clay and 500 Ceramic Sculptures, at the Huntsville Museum of Art [Huntsville, AL], and at the Art, Artifacts & Photographs Collection of the Kinsey Institute’s at Indiana University [Bloomington, IN]. Leandra is a co-founding member of Studio Nong: An International Sculpture Collective and Residency Program that originated in Nanning, Guangxi Province, PRC. She also creates functional pottery and serves as the president of the Memphis Potters Guild in Memphis, Tennessee. She has been teaching ceramic sculpture for over 20 years and is part of the art faculty at Mississippi Valley State University, in Itta Bena, Mississippi.