The Summit Art Festival is quickly approaching, and the featured artist for this year’s festival is Megan Leong.
Each year, the Art Festival Director chooses a featured artist to create a piece of artwork to use in promotional material for the Art Festival. Leong was chosen this year because of her artistic talent, her creative piece of artwork she chose to make for the feature, and her love of Lee’s Summit.
“I grew up in Lee’s Summit, so it is where many [of my] memories and growing experiences took place,” said Leong. “It is a place that I feel very cared for and supported.”
Leong has loved making artwork since she was very young, but grew more intrigued when her junior high art teacher introduced her to acrylic paints. Leong went on to study art at the University of Central Missouri and graduated with a degree in Fine Art Painting and Art Education. She immediately went on to complete her MFA in Painting at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
“Since the birth of my daughter in 2013, I have been more actively pursuing my artwork as a career,” said Leong. “This has included participating in local art fairs such as . . . the Summit Art Festival.”
When asked to complete a piece for the feature, Leong said she had a hard time knowing where to begin. She often works with imagery of animals and natural elements, so she thought of using the tiger to represent her past, present and future. As a Lee’s Summit native, she attended Lee’s Summit High School, whose mascot is the tiger. Her four-year-old has an interest in cats right now, and when visiting the zoo, they frequently visit the tiger and lion exhibits.
“I chose to use a calm, pensive profile view [for the pose] that puts myself into the painting in a way,” said Leong. “I painted the piece as I am anticipating the arrival of our baby boy this August.”
Leong is currently a stay-at-home mom and part time artist. She sells her work online as well as at local businesses. She said she creates art because she loves doing it, and her work is inspired by her daily life. She enjoys this stage of her life, where she has the flexibility to be a part time artist while soaking up the first years of her children’s lives. You can see more of her work at this year’s Summit Art Festival, on October 6, 7, and 8.
Located in Downtown Lee’s Summit, GOT Art Gallery is an independent nonprofit gallery managed by Summit Art, Inc. The gallery is dedicated to enriching the cultural landscape of citizens in Lee’s Summit and the extended Jackson County area through art exhibition, arts education and professional artist development. GOT Art Gallery is open Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday noon-4 p.m. and Friday noon-8 p.m. For more information, contact Teresa Keene, Gallery Director, at 816- 600-5932 or email@example.com.