Who is Mike Leckie?
An internationally celebrated artist who is best known for his figurative sculpture in bronze and marble, Mike Leckie has traveled the world’s museums gathering inspiration for his timeless pieces. Inspired and influenced by the Romans and the Greeks, he has gone far and wide to import remarkable carving stones to his studio near Eugene, Oregon. Throughout his career Mike has experienced success, with many awards and commissions. He has been fortunate to be able to work with some notable celebrities, major Universities and private collectors.
Raised in rural Eastern Oregon on a cattle ranch, he learned about responsibility, self sufficiency and toughness at an early age. All of those have served Mike well from his bull riding in the Junior Rodeo circuit then, to his work with important athletes today.
It was noticeable early in his life that Mike was a gifted artist, often demonstrating a level of ability far beyond his years. “While other kids were trying to stay inside the lines, I was drawing the lines,” Mike says.
Looking for more experience and exposure, Mike spent 5 years away from Oregon. He spent a year teaching at the Instituto Allende in San Miguel Allende, Mexico; a year in San Fransisco; and 3 years in Los Angeles working in bronze foundries and being studio assistant to famous artists. While living in southern California, Mike learned a great deal about figurative sculpture, developed his techniques and made many friendships in the art world. Even though he was given the opportunity to work with renowned artists like Robert Graham and live that rarified lifestyle, something was lacking, he’s really a country boy.
After 4 years in California, in 1981 Mike returned to Oregon and purchased some rural property near Eugene. The remarkable stillness of the Oregon counrtyside was very good for Mike, he was home, he began to produce some of the best work of his career. He also made designs for the candy, candle, and porcelain industries. In the beginning of working for himself he took any job related to sculpture, to pay off the original 5 acres. Eventually Mike bought the neighboring properties and built a house. When he turned 50, he laughs, he didn’t get a new car and a young thing, he still regressed to his childhood, he got cows.
Mike’s main focus is art, but the cows are like a stress release valve. Breaking away from work and going down to feed cows twice a day everyday is almost like having a mantra.
Whenever Mike isn’t creating art, he is out in wilds of his 100+ acres. He takes pride in the fact that his cows are some of the friendliest in the world, generally looking for affection. He loves on them and rides them, a couple even give him big wet kisses. As you can see in the photos, Mike and his cows share a special bond.
Although Mike is a successful and respected artist, he is still a cowboy. Mike hasn’t forgotten his roots, he uses his background as a stable base for his work today.