Leandra Urrutia was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Urrutia began drawing and sculpting at an early age, influenced by the rich culture and traditions of her Mexican American heritage. Through her art, Ms. Urrutia addresses discordant elements of intimacy including attraction, repulsion, balance, disparity, perseverance and power. Figurative based sculpture, installation, and wall work dominate the body of her portfolio. Ms. Urrutia exhibits her work locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. In 2007 she was awarded, “Emerging Artist” by the National Council for the Education of the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) in Louisville, Kentucky. In 2014 she was the recipient of the 2014 Emmett O’Ryan Award for Artistic Inspiration in Memphis Tennessee. Her work is included in the Sandford M. and Diane Besser collection and is part of the Kinsey Institute’s permanent collection. Lark Books: 500 figures in Clay and 500 Ceramic Sculptures feature samples of her pieces. Ms. Urrutia’s building expertise ranges from trompe l’oeil to abstraction with various technical proficiencies, including image transfer, mould making, and slip casting. In addition to sculpting, Ms. Urrutia creates utilitarian, high-fire, reduction ware and is a member of the Memphis Potter’s Guild in Memphis Tennessee. Ms. Urrutia is currently an Associate Professor of Studio Art and currently serves the faculty and administration of Memphis College of Art.
The foundation of my work is inspired by the notion that individuals in and of themselves are not complete wholes. That the complimentary or opposing qualities, dispositions, points of view, and sensitivities found in others are likely to form attractions that result in pairing. When people come together because of these affinities, separate lives and identities fuse and mutate. The resulting entity thinks and exists in ways that are sometimes, but not always beneficial to the growth and experience of each being. These alliances are balanced and tempered through transition and turmoil. An infinite cycle arises as each person struggles to adjust and surrender conceptions of self to maintain balance of the twosome.