Meet the Artists of Washington County, New York

Open studios of washington county

Friday July 19 - sunday july 21, 2019

Leslie Ferst

Artist Statement

“My west-facing studio, a renovated barn nestled between my barn and 1840’s farmhouse, is the soul of my life. In addition to the sunset it overlooks my perennial and vegetable gardens and pond in which lotus blossoms flourish. My day is a steady rhythm between the cycles of the garden and that of my studio.”

Medium: Sculpture, clay

“My work explores the interplay between reality, illusion and memory to create organic natural spaces for one to inhabit. My most recent sculptures are installed in groups of independent and interdependent forms that are abstractions reminiscent of botanical shapes, rhythms, patterns and details from fragile ecosystems I have known and observed.  Each form individually stands alone but together the group is a dynamic, evocative and imaginative world that calls attention to our ambiguous, delicate and primal relationship with nature.”


Born in Atlanta, Leslie Ferst majored in Art History at Skidmore College. Formative undergraduate studies took her to Italy, Greece and the Netherlands. Leslie continued her studies in ceramics with at Boston University where she received her MFA in Ceramics. Among her Artists Residencies were Ossabaw Island at the Ossabaw Island Foundation (Georgia), the Archie Bray Foundation (Montana) and the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts (Maine) where she became a founding board member. For twenty years Leslie was Visiting Assistant Professor in the Art Department at Skidmore, where she taught all levels of ceramics. She has taught at the University of Vermont, Boston University, Johnson State College and in the Summer Art Program at Skidmore.

Leslie has received numerous grants, most notably from the New York Foundation on the Arts, the Rensselaer County Council on the Arts, the Empire State Crafts Alliance, the Vermont Council on the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and numerous faculty development, research and study grants from Skidmore College.

She has participated in over 100 national group and solo exhibitions. Among the venues are the Dedee Shattuck Gallery, Graficas Gallery, the LaCoste Gallery, the Signature Shop and Gallery, the Southern Vermont Arts Center, the Fuller Museum, the Munson Williams Proctor Institute Museum of Art, the New York State Museum, the Albany Institute of History and Art, and the Frederick Weisman Museum of Art. Public collections include the Frederick Weisman Museum of Art, the Mori Museum/Hakodate Japan, the Archie Bray Foundation, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Council for the Arts, Siena College and Skidmore College

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