Me at Kaleid Gallery in May 2016.

Me at Kaleid Gallery in May 2016.

Leah Jay, Artist    San Jose, California
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Leah Jay has been an artist and illustrator in San Jose for 25 years. An artistic polymath and avid experimenter, she creates using a variety of media including watercolor, acrylic, pastel, ink, fiber, and mixed media collage. Her work has been featured in various publications, and highlights from her career include directing 2001’s WTC Memorial Art Project to facilitate artist’s responses to 9/11, sharing her piece “Yesterday’s California” as the cover of the Silicon Valley Metro, and successfully crowdfunding her artbook “Amphibian Love” to benefit Save the Frogs. In August 2016 she joined My Art Resources as a staff blogger.  She loves teaching, inspiring others and being a catalyst for unlikely connections between both people and materials.

Her recent yarn work is notable for its tactile nature and precise execution which elevates mundane, everyday materials such as yarn, wood, embroidery, felt, and white glue.  She encourages children and the sight-impaired to touch the work to enjoy the texture.  Through a focus on the creation process and the tangible quality of the materials, she blurs boundaries between art and craft.   The semi-abstract, symbolic subjects she chooses reflect memories of her own childhood in the 70’s, spent reading fantasy and science fiction novels in the shag-carpeted family den.

Grants Awarded:

$500 Quick Grant Program, Creative Capacity Fund/ Center for Cultural Innovation, San Francisco, California.  April 2015.


Amphibian Love series: (Ishikawa’s Frog, Lanzai’s Alpine Salamanders, and Spotted Salamander) Fur, Feathers, and Fins at Pacific Art League, Palo Alto, California.  March 1 – 31, 2017.

SignStorm” – a temporary collection of recent, handmade and/or one-of-a-kind protest signs donated by local Bay Area residents.  February 18, 2017. As seen in Metro Silicon Valley, issue 3/8–3/14, Pages 13 (article) and 14 (photo).

“Cave Salamander” / Eurycea lucifuga (from the book “Amphibian Love“)
Focus on Nature XIV,  juried group show at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute (RTPI) in Jamestown, New York.  December 3, 2016 – April 9, 2017.

Yarn Works: Farnsworth Family Art Show, juried group show at Garden Theatre, Willow Glen, California.  March 1, 2015.

Yarn Works: The More the Merrier 5, juried group show at Art Ark Gallery, San Jose, California.  November 7 – December 5, 2014.

Child-Sight – solo show at Kaleid Gallery, San Jose, California. April 5 – 26, 2013.

Garden of the Spirit – solo show, Center for Spiritual Enlightenment, San Jose, California. February 24 – March 24, 2013.

“Tentacles”, Exquisite Corpse, juried group show at Kaleid Gallery, San Jose, California.  July 14-27, 2012.

“Jungle” series, F3, juried group show at the Cotton Mill, Oakland, California. October 21, 2011.

Inside Out – solo show, Center for Spiritual Enlightenment, San Jose, California.  March 19 through April 17, 2011.

Phantom Galleries, San Jose, 2004.  Muralist and Exhibitor, “Fossil” series II.

Midwest Winter Exhibition – Center for Visual Arts, Wausau, Wisconsin.  January 15 through March 8, 2003

“Remember Their Lives” – Director and participating artist, 9/11 Memorial Wall, as featured on the Sunday Front Page of the San Francisco Examiner, and displayed at Arts for America in 2002.

Beyond the Obvious at the UCSC Extension, Cupertino, May, 2000.  “Fossil” series I.

DreamCasters, group show at the Boulder Creek Library, April, 1998

New Drawing, juried group show at the Los Altos Library, September, 1997

Published/Commissioned Work:

Spirit of Mardi Gras“, public chalk art, 10 x 10 feet.  For California’s Great America: Taste of Orleans, July 24, 2016.

Amphibian Love“, an artbook by Leah Jay.  Cover and interior illustrations and text (complete), August 2015.

“Door of my Heart” – featured in Regenbogen – Katholische Kinderzeitschrift Issue 5: Fastensonntag,  Klagenfurt, Austria. April 2014

“Dickie” – Cover art and design for Dickie: Memoirs of a Mad Scientist, September 2014.

“Red” – Cover art for Chaperon Rouge: Art of Fairytales (anthology), October 2014.

Sunset in the Park” – ArtBox mural on the corner of Pearl & Kozera streets in San Jose, California. Sponsored by the Edenvale Neighborhood Association.

Yesterday’s California” – Cover art for Metro Silicon Valley, week of April 3-9 ,2013.

“Esteban Garden Book” – Cover and interior illustrations (complete) for a poetry book by Annette B. Johnson, November 2012.

”The Neighbors” –  book cover for Mortis Operandi (anthology), Harrow Press, December 2012.

“Mercury Angel” – featured in Bohemian Rhapsodies (anthology), scheduled for 2013.

Company logo for Touch Tone Healing, San Jose, California.

“Re-Vamp” – book cover for Re-Vamp (anthology), October 2011.

“Frogs in the Moonlight” – Cover artwork for a song by David Sprinkle.

“One Voice Lotus” – front and back CD cover for Center for Spiritual Enlightenment/One Voice Choir, November 2011.

“Luck in Spades” – Band logo and cover artwork for unproduced CD.

“Monster Mash” – Collaboration with Laszlo Jakusovszky. Cover art for book entitled “Book of Templates: A Toolkit for Creature Construction”, Goodman Games, (c) 2005 Silverthorne Games.

Interior black and white illustrations:
XID Creative’s Providence: People’s Knights
XID Creative’s Providence: GM Compendium
XID Creative’s Providence: Ecology “Tales of the Air” section (online reviewed/rated “A-” for art content)

Product Logo for Fat Bean Coffee, Kona, Hawaii

Company Logo for Baltic Nature Tours, San Jose, California

CD Cover: “Color Music” for Metropolis Music Demo

Former Staff artist for There and Back — Lord of the Rings Site (rated “A” in Entertainment Weekly) – ShireBorn Rogues section

9 thoughts on “

  1. Love your amphibian work!!! The banded newt is particularly impressive. Would love to see a Triturus Marmoratus or a Neurergus Kaiseri 🙂

    Keep up the great work!

    • Thanks for your compliment, and your suggestion! I looked up the Emperor Spotted Newt, and you’ve got something there – that is a particularly stunning species. As with all of these works, a lot depends on if I can get permission from the photographer, and if I can figure out an interesting fact about that species that might interest people. Stick around, by next week I plan to upload a real stunner 😉

  2. Hi Leah! Happened to stop by your gallery in Willow Glen San Jose today. Had a good time contemplating your unique art. So jealous that you have achieved my dream of having every inch of my home walls covered with art. Love the detail and apparent effort you have put in your work.

    • Efren, I’m so glad you enjoyed all the art in Willow Glen, and mine too. I really believe in people owning original artwork in their lives, so everyone’s success makes me happy! When I create, It lives on my wall first and then hopefully finds a new home elsewhere – then I have a new “hole” to fill 😉 Thanks for your kind words and please keep in touch.

  3. Leah,
    I am blown away by your art work. I had a rough day and finding out an artist like you exists really restored my faith in humanity.

    Thank you for being a volcanic explosion of inspiration and feel free to contact me through my email.

    PS Good name. 😉

    • Lea – yes, great name 😀 “Volcanic explosion of inspiration” ? Well, I don’t know about that! I see myself a bit differently….there are plenty more artists around me in San Jose that have far more energy than I do. But thank you, I’m so glad I threw a bit of inspiration your way! I’d love to see any stuff you have online – (you paint birds, am I correct?) Thanks so much for the compliment Lea.

  4. There is some incorrect information in your book “Amphibian Love.” On page 21, “Odorrana ishikawae” is listed as the scientific name of the Long-toed salamander. It should be “Ambystoma macrodactylum.” Under “Location and Habitat” it should say “various subspecies exist as far north as Vancouver, Canada, and as far south as California, United States.” The rendering is of a larva, not a juvenile.

    • Yes Michael! I discovered this myself last year, and have since mailed out books with an errata sheet explaining the mistake – got some text switched. Luckily, for a first issue, this was the sole error 😀 Thank you for being so perceptive! It’s nice to know I wasn’t the only one who noticed.

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