Important Pieces in Bronze and Marble
“The First Ladies of Diversity” – Bronze portraits of Mary McLeod Bethune and Eleanor Roosevelt. This desktop bronze depicts the beloved American civil rights activist Mary Bethune and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Mike has also produced the design for a national monument featuring these two friends.
“Mother” Bethune was known for her commitment to education and founded Bethune-Cookman University. She worked to better the lives of African-Americans and immigrants. This award was commissioned by the the Mary McLeod Bethune Humanitarian Network.
“The Reading Girl” – Monument in marble, commissioned by the Public Library in Albany, Oregon. She sits at the entrance to the library, where she delights patrons. Mike said at the dedication, “This piece is about educating women, you start by educating girls.”
The Library Commission says it chose The Reading Girl for a number of reasons, including her human-like qualities and the emotional connection she makes with anyone viewing her. Patrons leave Valentine’s gifts and flowers for The Reading Girl year-round.
“The Sidney” – Bronze portrait, commissioned as the award to honor “Excellence in Advertising” by the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America. New York Philanthropist, known for his support of education, Sidney Frank, of the Sidney Frank Importing Co., brought Jagermeister Whiskey and Grey Goose Vodka to the USA.
An Oregon Sculptor
Mike has shown in galleries all over the world. He works and lives outside Eugene, Oregon on property he’s owned for almost 40 years in a house and studio he built himself. When not sculpting, he spends time in the beautiful outdoors with his dog, Lilly and his small herd of cows.
Impressions of a Mike Leckie exhibition:
As one enters the gallery, the eyes go directly to the brightly lit figure of a young woman, with her hair and dress kissed lightly by a soft afternoon breeze.
Next to her, another young woman perched momentarily, with her leg extended, as she pauses to tie back her hair with a slight filigree of ribbon.
These bronzes at first glace, reflect a classic sculpture background, but surprise with an edge so obviously modern, at close examination.
The first piece is the goddess, Nike. She bends slightly , taking a second to tie her sandal strap, while glancing back over her shoulder, to see how close the boys are she is racing. In her face one can see the self determination enhanced with anxiousness at the delay.
Further back in the gallery where Nike has paused in her race, one finds the fragmented pieces Leckie refers to as his survivor series. Again the mature mastery of classic sculpture is apparent, but these bronzes have parts missing from the torso, arms legs and heads. Leckie shows them erect and strong in their ability to survive all that life throws at them and still continue to meet each day with a fearless dignity and reliance.
Unlike so many contemporary figurative sculptures, that seem commercial and rehearsed, Leckie’s figures are caught in just a brief instant of time. This is the difference between dry perfection and gifted inspiration.