Artist StatementCatherine Leberg is a project-based artist. Her work exists between media, embracing materials and methods as they are deemed necessary to the experience and concept of her work. Leberg’s art is focused on the idea of sustainability as a human concept. Her art takes the point of view that an ecological future is bound up in our societal one: there is no way to heal the earth until we heal ourselves, our relationships, and the cruelties and inequities built into our culture. Taking the form of installations, tools, and rituals, Leberg’s art is an experience. Her work exists physically, but is formed through its use by participants. Her art is meant to be touched, walked through, meditated within, and used to mediate the world. The concept of each project is tied up in how the viewer chooses to interact with it, becoming participants, co-creators, and in many ways, co-explorers. Extracting cues and inspiration from a wide range of sources, science fiction novels to art theorists, Leberg involves research, learning, and a diverse tapestry of knowledge in her practice. Embracing complexities, and encouraging others to do so, her art serves as an actionable practice in becoming a new kind of society. Leberg’s current explorations surround the idea of creating futures, shifting the relationships we have with time, with imagination, with creation, and making the spaces and tools necessary for us to imagine collectively. Her work provides a space for people to explore, contemplate, and flex an empathetic muscle, creating a practice and laying a groundwork towards a more humanely sustainable future.
Catherine Leberg was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, and is the child of two biologists. The majority of her childhood was spent out of doors, or within the confines of her own imagination. Leberg joined an off-campus art program in high school, the Lafayette Parish Arts Academy, and from fourteen onward was steadily headed towards being an artist.
Leberg graduated from Washington University in Saint Louis in 2014, and while she worked with multiple arts organizations within the city, in a variety of capacities, her current artistic and career direction were heavily influenced by an internship she completed the summer after graduating with the Northside Workshop. Run by artists Juan Chavez and Kiersten Torres, the Workshop’s holistic treatment of community health, art, and childhood engagement steered her pedagogy, and the mentorship and guidance of the two founders was integral to her formation as an artist and educator.
Leberg’s artistic practice is centered around sustainability as a human concept, pushing forward human relationships in the ecological conversation. She describes herself as a project-based artist, learning and pursuing new knowledge and skills as they apply to the concept she is forming. As an educator, both in museums and in out of school time learning, Leberg is committed to creating experiences that are flexible to the needs and goals of her participants, that can open up the world of the subject that they are exploring.
It was with this ethos in mind that Leberg pursued a Master of Fine Arts in Community Arts from Maryland Institute College of Arts, completed in 2019. In doing so, she created the groundwork, and began the personal journey to creating work and curriculum that engages with people in an ethical and equitable way. Her first-year residency in her graduate program was at Jubilee Arts in West Baltimore, where she continued to work as she finished her thesis. Her time there deeply informed her teaching practice, which is in many ways inextricable from her work as an artist.
In her thesis she explored the idea of future creation, and how to create the empathy, space and tools for us to create a future collectively. She’d like to invite you to begin that exploration with her!