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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.”

Leivan

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Michelle Leivan
Leivan Kansas
Artist, author and entrepreneur, Michelle Leivan was educated at Fort Hays State University. She has been distinguished as the featured visual artist at the Kansas River Valley Art Fair, Topeka Jazz Festival, and the Aaron Douglas Art Fair, and has been nominated for the Kansas Governor’s Art Award in the visual arts category, selected by SouthWind Gallery as an Artist to Watch in 2012. Her work has been selected to hang in the Kansas State Capital building and in the U.S. Embassy Residence of the Ambassador in Asunción, Paraguay. Michelle’s work has been featured in solo shows and exhibits at the Manhattan Arts Center, Arts Council of Topeka and Topeka Performing Arts Center. She also has exhibited in several juried internet competitions and in Soho, New York. Her work is represented in the Ellis County Historical Archives, State of the Art | Kansas and Paint Topeka fine art books and in corporate and private collections including the permanent collection of the Mulvane Art Museum.

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