Thomas A. Leek
(North Salt Lake, Utah, 1932 - 2021, Murray, Utah)
Thomas Arvel Leek of Salt Lake City, Utah, was an excellent artist and teacher who was central to the Southern Utah State College (SUU) art program from 1961 to 1984. A former art chair there, Leek was a Utah Watercolor Society silver-medal winner in the late 1970s with an abstraction entitled Colorbuds. A graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, he did his graduate studies at the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Iowa, and earned a master's degree at Brigham Young University (1961). He founded the Braithwaite Gallery in Cedar City, became an adjunct professor and the gallery director at Weber State College (WSU), and continued to exhibit interesting studies in exhibitions throughout the region. His work has been handled by Phillips Gallery in Salt Lake City, among others. According to Ann Poore in her recent catalog entitled The Reality of Abstraction: Painting in Utah 1946-1996: "Whether working in a representational or nonrepresentational direction, Leek says his watercolors are 'ideological summaries of life experiences.'"