The Sculpture of Mel and Nancy Leiserowitz


I began drawing the human figure as a young child. It has never lost its fascination for me. In nursing school I learned about and drew the human figure and peered into its interior in surgery and autopsies. Even more important, I dressed and undressed, bathed and bandaged, lifted and turned, massaged and exercised the human being, gaining knowledge of its form that went beyond the merely visual, that penetrated form and became an intimate knowing about structure and function.

I am interested most in gesture, for gesture reveals our animating force and our emotional states. I love joints, the way energy is caught briefly there before it changes direction and races off anew, the eloquence that resides in the angle of an elbow, inflection of a wrist, inclination of the head, bend of the knee. I have been making life-size figures for many years - both from memory and from the model. In recent years I have worked more often with models for their confirmation of the human form, but I am always aware of the loss of freedom that entails. Sometimes form comes forth more freely and with its own truth without confrontation with an actual human being. I am particularly interested in making sculpture for the garden for its power to animate an outdoor space.


1935 Born, York, Nebraska

1952-55 Passavant Hospital School of Nursing, Jacksonville, IL graduated with R.N.

1955-58 MacMurray College for Women, Jacksonville, IL graduated with B.A.


1959-60 University of Iowa graduate art program.

1960-62 Kokoschka School, Salzburg, Austria: studied sculpture with Giacomo

Manzu; Akademie der Bildende Kunst, Munich, Germany: studied sculpture;

Apprenticed to sculptor, Meier-Denninghoff, Paris, France.

1962-64 University of Iowa, graduated with M.F.A. in sculpture.

1964-65 Taught sculpture and Italian Renaissance art history, Connecticut College,

New London, Connecticut.

One-person show, Lyman Allen Museum, New London, Connecticut.

Group show, Slater Museum, Norwich, Connecticut.

1965 Marriage to Mel Leiserowitz; Children, Anthony and Andrea.

1965-70 Taught drawing and design, Michigan State University

1966 Group Show, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI.

1967 Group Show, Kalamazoo Art Institute, Kalamazoo, MI.

1974-78 Taught sculpture and drawing, Lansing Community College.

1976 Group Show, Sycamore Gallery, Mason, MI.

1980 Group Show, Freeman Gallery, East Lansing, MI.

1981 Portrait of MSU President, John Hannah, bronze, Administration Building,


1983 One-person show, Clack Museum, Alma College, Alma, MI.

1984 Chancel Wall, cement, 28' X 8' in collaboration with Mel Leiserowitz for First

Presybyterian Church, Lansing, MI.

Bronze Memorial Plaque for above, 3' X4'.

1985 One-person show, MSU art department.

1986 "Family Outing," 6 life-size figures, cement, for Ingham County Human

Services Building, Lansing, MI.

1987 Two-person show, Lansing Art Gallery, Lansing, MI.

1987 Installed Martin Luther King Head for Michigan State University, E. Lansing, MI

1988 "Pioneer Woman," life-size, cement, for Pioneer Bank, North Branch, MI.

Distinguished Alumni Award, MacMurray College, Jacksonville, IL.

Group show, Belen Art Gallery, Lansing, MI.

1989 Group show, ArtSource Gallery, Flint, MI.

Group show, Swords into Plowshares Art Gallery, Detroit MI. 3rd place


1990 "Ovations to 10 Women Achievers Award," Lansing State Journal.

"Seated Woman," 1/4 life-size, bronze, for East Lansing Public Library.

1991 Portrait of John Peakes as King Lear, life size, bronze, commissioned by

Boarshead Theater, Lansing, MI.

Portrait of Gustav Meier, Conductor, life size, bronze, commissioned by

Lansing Symphony Orchestra, Lansing, MI.

Two-person show, Prints, Ancient and Modern Gallery, E. Lansing, MI.

Group Show, Business Consortium for the Arts Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition

III, Southfield, MI.

Two-person show, Newaygo County Council for the Arts Gallery, Fremont,


1992 "Big League Reader," 12", bronze, commissioned by Bingham Street

Elementary School, Lansing, MI., for library.

"Mary of the Secret Garden," 45", bronze, commissioned for 4-H Children's

Garden, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.

"Women Hold Up Half The Sky," 11" X 24", bronze, in traveling show,

Focus on Michigan Families Project by Junior Leagues of Michigan.

1993 Portrait of Senator William Faust, life size, bronze, commissioned by

1994 Michigan Legislature for the Michigan Historical Museum and Library, Lansing, MI.

Portrait of Dean Richard Lewis, life size, bronze, commissioned by Business

College of Michigan State University.

Memorial Sculpture of a Young Man for the city of Allegan, MI. (work in


"Young Girl Leaping," life size, bronze, commissioned by Ford/UAW for

Montessori School, Livonia, MI

1994 "Mary of the Secret Garden," life-size, bronze, for Michigan State University

Children's Garden.

Portrait of Harold Hart, life size, bronze, for Chemistry Department Library,

Michigan State University.

1995 Portrait of Lucile Belen , life-size, bronze, for City of Lansing, MI.

1996 "Caritas" life size, bronze, for Sparrow Hospital, Lansing, MI.

1997 &#Cassiopeia” life-size, bronze, for City of East Lansing, MI.

Hands” bronze, for Physical Therapy Dept., University of Michigan, Flint, MI

1998 &#Newsboy,” 32”, bronze, for East Lansing Library

Madonna of Wisdom,” life-size, bronze for St. Mary Church, Williamston, MI

2000 &#Pulses,” bronze, for Healing Garden, Sparrow Hospital, Lansing, MI.

Selected Works
Commissions and Installations
Resume and Statements
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