Leigh Li Wen was born outside Taipei, Taiwan. She received her B.F.A. from Washington State University in 1984, and M.A. in Fine Arts in 1985 and M.F.A. in 1994, both from the State University of New York at Albany. She has exhibited nationally and internationally since early 1980’s. In 1979, she won the First Prize in Painting Ten Outstanding Young Talents Competition Taiwan. In 1980, she was awarded Outstanding Merit Young Artists in Asia Now competition in Hong Kong. A break in her career occurred following her marriage in 1985 and the raising of two children. She returned to her career in 1992 by pursuing her M.F.A. at then she has devoted herself to art full time with increasing success and recognition.
In 1995 and 1996, her work was selected in seven national and international jury shows including the ninth and tenth Parkside National Small Print Exhibition at St. John’s University, Small Work ’95 International Slowinski Gallery, Works International Gallery, First Annual National Juried Small Work Exhibition at Chuck Levitan Gallery, in New York City. Leigh won the Albany Purchase Award in 1995 in the 1995 Mohawk Hudson Regional and the University of Wisconsin Purchase Award in the 1995 Parkside National Small Print Exhibition She was also awarded an Artist National Taiwan Art and Humanity Foundation in support of her solo exhibitions in the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, and Lungmen Art Gallery in Taipei, Taiwan. Both exhibitions were enthusiastically received. A catalog entitled Harbour and the Open was published by the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. Her work was featured in several major magazines in Taiwan during the period of the exhibitions. Leigh was awarded a 1997 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. Again selected for inclusion in the Mohawk Hudson Regional Exhibition for 1997, she won the People’s Choice Award at this show. Also in 1997 she was invited for solo shows at Artemesia Gallery in Chicago . In October 1997 she was honored the Artist Award of by Albany/Schenectady League of Arts and New York State Assembly.
In February, 1998, Leigh’s work was selected by juror Weintraub to be included in The New York State Biennial Exhibition at The New York State Museum. Also, later that year, Juror Hersh, (Director of Exhibitions and Collections at the Chicago Contemporary Museum of Art) selected Leigh‘s work for inclusion in the annual exhibition Artists of the Mohawk Hudson Region Juried Exhibition. Leigh received First Prize. This Untitled #6, was purchased by the Albany Institute of History & Art for their permanent collection.
Her work was included in the Art Museum 2000 Representing Representation IV Exhibition. In April of 1999 she was awarded a Artist Grant from the Pollock Krasner Foundation of New York City. Her works were selected to be part of the Art in Embassies Program of the United States Department of State and have been on display in the U.S. Embassies in Amman, Jordan, Manila, the Philippines, and Singapore. Most recently, in June 2000 she was honored both New York Foundation for the Arts and The Helena Rubinstein Fellowship. In May 2001, she participated the Paintings Fellow exhibition in Sotheby’s. In 2001 her paintings were awarded Fourth Place in Painting, Lorenzo II Magnifico Award in Florence Biennale in Italy. In 2002, she was invited to the art residency by Centre Natura Farrera, Catalunya, Spain.
Her art was featured in many major magazines including: New American Paintings, Art News, Art in American, Art in Asia, Asian Art News, Modern Art Bi-monthly, American Art Quarterly, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Architecture, Chinese Art News, Dialogue, Unitas, Better Homes and Gardens, Interiors.