As an artist in the Grand Rapids area for over 8 years now, I have continuously tackled big issues and used art as my platform to evoke official change and give a voice to those who have been brave enough to share their stories with me. I work primary in resin, acrylic, 3D set design for photographers, and even as a comic illustrator in my off time. In 2012 I started working with the homeless and with an amazing group, and together we started a street team called Giving is Living, where we host events to feed, clothe, and provide survival packs to hundreds of people at a time. We are the largest non-affliliated team in the area. From this we have been able to speak to many in an effort to encourage kindness and change people's perceptions on the issues plaguing our city. As a mental health artist, I have been painting disorders and disease states to share the stories of the people who have described their feelings with me. I found that many people who suffer have a hard time truly communicating what they are describing so by providing an image for them, as we collaborate on the story with the work, their experiences have spoken to many others suffering from the same ailments and opened a beautiful and healthy platform for them to share helpful tips, resources, and come together to heal. This piece is my first Art Prize entry, and it is very near to my heart. As a survivor of Human Trafficking in my youth, I lost many women and men who were trapped in the same industry I was due to suicide, overdose, health complications from years of abuse, and now as a speaker about the perils of Trafficking, the mental and physical complications encountered even after survival, and in working with numerous nationwide mental health affiliates to bring this piece to life, we are using art to tell the story of hope, survival, and giving the nation a chance to say: "We are here, our story matters, and there is hope for those who feel lost."
Leyna's ArtPrize Entries
These are Leyna's official ArtPrize entries from this year and past years.
Leyna's Past Work
These are images of past work that Leyna has done.