McLeish’s work has been included in solo and group exhibitions at institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and San Francisco Art Institute. Her work is included in the public collection of The Chateau d’ Orquevaux as well as in numerous private collections. McLeish has been the recipient of several grants and awards including the Artist in Residence Grant at the Chateau Orquevaux Artist Residency and Vermont Studio Center, Art San Diego LaunchPad Artist, Gamblin Painting Prize, and Allan Stone Painting Scholarship. She has received sponsorship through Mission Federal Credit Union and ArtWalk Little Italy. Her creative collaborations include murals for Topshop, Pura Vida and JuneShine.
My mission is to invite viewers to connect to light and self-reflection. Through my large-scale oil paintings and immersive installations I create portals to deconstructed realities. Connecting to dreams and meditation drawings, my practice fuses ideas with divinely luminous paint quality. The narratives within my paintings are constructed from photomontages of personal found photography. Through the exploration of grief, the act of erasure, distortion, reflection, and collage I intensify the images. My paint application and process of distorting the body combines realism with expressionistic brushstrokes. I am interested in the contrast between the pulsating figure and energetic color field. Within the manipulations of the human body, I seek to capture the sensation of the figure constantly shifting between presence and absence. All my work is rooted in dualism, stuck in-between isolation and connection, reality woven into dream with electrifying energy.
San Francisco Art Institute, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Painting, 2014
2017 LUCKY, OBR Gallery, San Diego, CA
2015 Mikaela McLeish: Doubling, OBR Gallery, San Diego, CA
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2021 Taste of the Philippines, San Diego, CA
2021 Launch, La Jolla, CA
2019 San Diego Made Holiday Market, The Factory, San Diego, CA
2019 Pura Vida x Juneshine Fundraiser Event, San Diego, CA
2019 San Diego Made Factory Grand Opening, The Factory, San Diego, CA
2018 Hotels/Motels Unofficial Art Fair, The Lafayette, San Diego, CA
2018 Chateau Orquevaux Open Studios, Chateau Orquevaux, Champagne-Ardenne, FR
2018 Flesh & Blood, Thumbprint Gallery, La Jolla, CA
2018 3 Up: Figurative Feature, The Studio Door, San Diego, CA
2017 OBR Architecture Silent Arts Auction, OBR Gallery, San Diego, CA
2017 San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild Exhibition, Gallery 21, San Diego, CA
2017 Art San Diego Contemporary Art Show, Wyland Center, Del Mar, CA
2017 All Women Art Exhibition, Franco Moragrega, San Diego, CA
2017 Portraits, Escondido Arts Partnership Municipal Gallery, Escondido, CA
2017 Illusions: Abstract & Surreal,Escondido Arts Partnership Municipal Gallery, Escondido, CA
2017 ArtWalk, Little Italy, San Diego, CA
2017 Business of Art Showcase Exhibition, The Studio Door, San Diego, CA
2016 Small Wonders, Thumbprint Gallery, La Jolla, CA
2015 MCASD 25 & Under Art Show, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, CA
2015 Inside Out, TPG3 Art Gallery, San Diego, CA
2015 Zen of a Woman, Oceanside Art Walk, Oceanside, CA
2014 Tikkun Olam, Gotthelf Art Gallery, San Diego, CA
2014 BFA Exhibition, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
2014 BITCH: An Exhibition, Cell Space Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2013 Conceptual Representation, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
2013 Narrative Painting, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
2012 Pa Dypt Vann, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2012 Undergraduate Open Studios, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
2012 Winter Arts Festival, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
2012 Human Presence/Human Image, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
2011 Group Show, West Wall Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2011 Courtyard Armory Show, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
“LaunchPad Program”, exhibition announcement with photograph, Art San Diego 2017 [Fusion] Contemporary Art Show, September 28, 2017. 8.
"Business of Art Scholarship", exhibition announcement with photograph, The San Diego Union Tribune, April 20, 2017. 30.
"Local Artist Awarded the Business of Art Scholarship", Local Media Umbrella, March 3, 2017. Vol.26
McLeish, Mikaela. Doubling. 2013. Diego Rivera Gallery. SFAI Undergraduate Admissions. San Francisco: SFAI Admissions, 2013. N. pag. Print.
MAGAZINES AND PERIODICALS
Advanced Web Offset, "Scholarship Program for Emerging Artists (Jan 2018)", San Diego Uptown News, access date: Jan 10, 2018. 4.
Patric Stillman, "The Monthly (April 2017)", The Studio Door, access date: April 1, 2017. 12-13.
Patricia Frischer, "Mission Federal Art Walk Featured Artists and Artie Award Announced for
2018": n.pg. San Diego Visual Arts. Web. 27 January 2018.
Brian Baxter, "Pushing Figurative Painting Forward": n.pg. Art Guide San Diego. Web. 1 January 2018.
Lisa Deaderick, "Art beat: January gallery and exhibit openings": n.pg. Pacific San Diego. Web. 28 December 2018.
Laura Mullikin, "ANNOUNCING THE ASD17 LAUNCHPAD ARTIST": n.pg. Art San Diego. Web. 1 September 2017. http://art-sandiego.com/2017/09/announcing-the-asd17-launchpad-artist/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=post&utm_content=launchpad-blog
"2017 LAUNCHPAD ARTIST MIKAELA MCLEISH – SAN DIEGO, CA": n.pg. Art San Diego. Web. 1 September 2017.http://art-sandiego.com/attend/programs/launchpad-program/
"Mission Federal ArtWalk, SDVAN and the Studio Door introduce the artistry of emerging artist Mikaela McLeish": n.pg. San Diego Visual Arts Network. Web. 30 March 2017.
Patric Stillman, "The Business of Art Scholarship Showcase": n.pg. The Studio Door. Web. 3 March 2017. https://www.thestudiodoor.com/inside/?page_id=5940
"Business of Art Scholarship Winner": n.pg. ArtWalk San Diego. Web. 28 February 2017. https://www.artwalksandiego.org/missionfederal/business-art-scholarship/
Brian Baxter, "Local Artist Awarded the Business of Art Scholarship- To Be Featured at 2017 Mission Federal ArtWalk":
n.pg. Art Guide San Diego. Web. 22 February 2017. https://www.artguidesd.com/local-artist-awarded-the-business-of-art-scholarship-to-be-featured-at-2017-mission-federal-artwalk/
Chateau Orquevaux Collection
Pura Vida x JuneShine Mural
Topshop San Diego Mural
Kauai Pride Festival Mural
AWARDS AND HONORS
2018 Artist in Residence Grant, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT
2018 Artist in Residence Grant, Chateau Orquevaux Artist Residency, Orquevaux, France
2017 LaunchPad Artist, Art San Diego, Del Mar, CA
2017 Business of Art Scholarship, The Studio Door & Mission Federal, San Diego, CA
2016 Feeding the Soul Scholarship, University of California San Diego Extensions, CA
2015 MCASD 25 & Under Art Contest Finalist, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, CA
2013 Prize, Gamblin Painting Prize, San Francisco, CA
2013 Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship candidate, Art Division of the Yale Summer School of
Music and Art, New Haven, CT
2013 Honors Studio recipient, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
2012 Allan Stone Painting Scholarship, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
2018 Studio Residency, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT
2018 Studio Residency, Chateau Orquevaux, Champagne-Ardenne, FR
"This painting is a manifesting miracle in action.
I wanted something to evoke speaking from your soul with confidence + joy. Mikaela absolutely nailed it!"
— Sally Prosser, Holistic Voice & Public Speaking Coach
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
"I love it, Mikaela!! You have an incredible talent.
It is so special to me!!! I have it showcased in my office!"
— Marissa Kibler, Associate, Litigation
NY, New York, USA
“Thank you sis! I will cherish foreverrrr.”
— Melanie Esperon, Founder Reiki Room San Diego, CA, USA