Encounters Alla Prima: Topeka, is a book that accompanies an exhibition that showcases painted portraits and video interviews of the subjects by Topeka artist Michelle Leivan created on site at Yeldarb Gallery in the NOTO Arts District on Saturday mornings.
The project features more than twenty paintings as well as select videos of the sessions that capture stirring personal stories of her subjects.
The brightly colored paintings were created “alla prima” which is a painting method that is direct, expressive and is done with no preparation. This description defines not only the paintings but the interviews themselves.
“My inspiration for each piece is drawn from the individual I encountered and their story. Artists communicate in a visual format and I wanted to show not only the solitary product of the interaction but the real life stories of the people behind the pieces. I discovered that everyone has a story and the more personal the story the more universal and inspiring the tale becomes.”