Introducing betterArts Resident Leila Namin

Leila Namin is a painter and poet from Iran who came to the United States in 2010. She earned a BFA in painting from the College of Fine Arts at the University of Tehran in 2009, and an MFA in painting from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2012. Her work has been shown extensively throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. 

During her betterArts residency in Redwood this month, she is focusing on studio time to create a large body of small paintings. By the end of the month she expects to have a wall-size installation of works no larger than 20x16 inches. That work will be o n display at the Thousand Islands Arts Center in Clayton March 28 and 29, with reception from 4-6 p.m. Saturday, March 28.

My paintings are made through many layers of narrative and medium. When I paint I try to find the balance between intuition and intellect. Colors and textures can bring different feelings into the work. The continuous disconnection between the idea and the form, between reality and memory and between being and appearing, is the basic idea that I follow in my work.
I am influenced by philosophy, specifically concerning notions of the Absurd. Reduction of significance to an ambiguous state, where certain things may or may not have meanings, is deeply important to me.—Leila Namin

Here are a few samples of Leila's work (more can be seen on her website at

Here's information on the scope of Leila's work while during her time in the North Country, as outlined in her project proposal to betterArts:

"My idea is to have so many different narratives and styles of painting next to each other in a way that they could each be interpreted as parts of a whole. Each painting would be related conceptually and ecstatically to the paintings around it and ultimately the whole body would come to a united narrative. I have such a passion for making this body of work and at betterArts residency I believe that I could bring everything together to visualize what I have in mind to the best of my ability. I will have a solo exhibition in the Alexey von Schlippe Gallery of Art at University of Connecticut in April 2015. I would like to have these series ready to display in that show."

The Thousand Islands Arts Center is located at 314 John St. in Clayton. This gallery exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. Learn more about Leila at For further information about the betterArts residency program, click here.


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Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.