Leah Michelle Geiger grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC, and her art career got an early start when her mother put a brush in her hand and taught her how to paint. In the Pacific Northwest, while attending the University of Washington in Seattle, Geiger’s interest in printmaking and bookbinding began to bloom. It was here that another lifelong passion was developed – an affinity for the ocean. In parallel with her art studies she studied marine sciences intensively, including field studies in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico. After art history and studio art studies in Rome, Italy her focus centered on the artwork as a way to combine both passions. Even so, the quiet pull of the ocean is reflected throughout her work, and it would be a recurrent theme in her graduate studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
Geiger is interested in printmaking as a medium because of its democratic nature. It allows for making multiple copies and for working with her favorite medium – paper. Paper affords easy methods of experimentation and manipulation and the ability to continue refining, reworking without losing the original matrix until it is just right. Printmaking also allows a larger audience for the original. She never loses the process and it is this aspect that she loves to share as a teacher at the Academy of Arts University in San Francisco. In bookbinding she loves the challenge of finding a structure that fits a concept, or a concept that fits a structure as well as the inherent intimacy in book arts. “The viewer is also the handler. They feel the texture of the book, smell it, take their time going from beginning to end. They become a part of the book.”
Geiger’s love of nature does not stop at the water’s edge. She has recently learned about encaustic paint and avian behavior (bird brains). She loves the smell of beeswax and how paper becomes translucent. Now everything needs a little wax to make it complete.
Biography courtesy of Leah Michelle Geiger
University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA, USA
The Book as Art: Twenty Years of Artists' Books from the National Museum of Women in the Arts
The Book as Art