As a child in the small Southeastern Minnesota city of La Crescent, where she still resides, Leanne cut out images of clothing and people from the J.C. Penney catalog to make her own paper dolls. In high school and college (business major, not art) she doodled in the margins of class notebooks and experimented with acrylic painting.
While her three sons were young, she didn’t make time for much art other than what she could do with them (they made some pretty impressive Lego creations!)
Leanne’s real job as the Marketing & Development Director for the Children’s Museum of La Crosse, Wisconsin has allowed her to be creative in many of her work tasks. Additionally, she has been dedicating more time to create art at home on a regular basis.
Although she has had no formal art training, she inherited some artistic talent. Both of her parents were artistic, and Leanne’s paternal grandmother, Ruth Bonini Malgren, is pictured in the World Book Encyclopedia under “copper”! She made jewelry and other artwork and wrote poetry in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Leanne enjoys trying new mediums, including mosaics, watercolor and other painting, alcohol inks, and even melted wax. Her current favorite is paper collage.
In early 2020, she participated in a 9-week work-study program at the renowned John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina. There, she took classes and exhibited in watercolor painting, calligraphy and collage, enameling, drypoint printmaking, wood marquetry, and glass. Leanne has exhibited her art at Gallery M, Myrick Park Administrative Center, and the Madison Women’s Health Center and has participated in art and craft shows. She is currently one of 30+ artists exhibiting at Gallery24, a cooperative art gallery in Rochester, MN.