MFA Candidate’s Artwork Acquired by the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum


The Florida International University (FIU) Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum recently acquired MFA Candidate Rhea Leonard’s artwork to be a part of the museum’s Emerging Artist Collection.

The artwork was obtained through the Betty Laird Perry Student Purchase Award, an award granted to Leonard this spring 2018 semester. The Betty Laird Perry award offers Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) students the unique opportunity to showcase their artwork within the museum’s collection and the public spaces of FIU.

Chief Curator of the Frost Museum, Amy Galpin, played an integral part of the selection process of the piece. After selecting a few favorites from the BFA and MFA exhibition in March, she ultimately moved forward with the selection of Leonard’s artwork.

“I believe that Leonard’s intricate art pieces are well made. It powerfully evokes the history of racial violence in the U.S.; a history that continues to reverberate today,” said Galpin.

Leonard is a graduating Master in Fine Arts (MFA) artist with a passion for drawing, sculpture and printmaking. Born and raised in South Florida, Leonard has displayed work with Art Africa Miami, Red Bridge Studios, The African Heritage Cultural Arts Center as well as a participant in Vizcaya Museum and Gardens’ Contemporary Art Program.

Her master thesis is a thought-provoking theme that revolves around racial injustice and the depiction of psychological affects on black people; a topical theme that resonates with today’s society.

After graduating, Leonard plans to continue of her art practices, pursue art residencies and lastly, teach art in South Florida.

“I am so honored and elated to receive the Betty Laird Perry Award as well as have my work acquired by The Patricia & Philip Frost Art Museum. As an emerging artist, it goes without saying how wonderful this recognition is,” said Leonard.

About the Artwork:

Inheritance: Blood At the Root, 11.5” x 2”x 2”, Casted pewter and walnut wood, 2018


For more information on the FIU Masters in Fine Arts program, please click here.

View Rhea Leonard’s artwork at or rhea.leonard_art on Instagram.

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