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JEAN LEIGH OF THE LEIGH GALLERY IN LAKEVIEW 

The Leigh Gallery (3306 N. Halsted St.), which opened in 2005, showcases original fine art by roughly 80 artists. Approximately 70% are LGBTQ, and much of the wide range of work on display is done by local artists. However, the gallery also includes pieces from artists who live as far away as Los Angeles and Germany.

 

Gallery Beginnings

Jean Leigh

Personable business owner, Jean Leigh, explains how the gallery came about.  "I am also an artist but my eyes deteriorated so that I couldn't do my highly-detailed pen and ink work anymore.  Since I already knew so many excellent artists, I decided that if I couldn't do my own art, I would surround myself with their work and share it with the world.  Happily, my success with the gallery has proved that idea to be correct!"

 

Something for Everyone

Leigh Gallery

The Leigh Gallery is dedicated to exhibiting quality art at reasonable prices in a relaxed and friendly setting. Jean Leigh is undeniably passionate about her work. One of the things that makes visiting this gallery such a special experience is that Jean handpicks each piece herself, taking great care to be sure her gallery offers something for everyone. She displays an infectious enthusiasm for every one of the artists she represents. Her excitement and personal investment in every inch of this space is one of the reasons The Leigh Gallery has enjoyed such continual success.

Currently, the gallery is exhibiting original art in an array of media, sizes and price points. Framed paintings of almost every imaginable variety — oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel and more — are hung from floor to ceiling upon the walls. Stoneware sculpture, marquetry, pottery, bronze, glass, mixed media and a bit of photography are also attractively displayed on tables and pedestals. The gallery is ideal for gift buying and gift certificates are available.

 

Why Lakeview?

When Jean was thinking about opening her ideal artists' space, she quickly realized that Lakeview would be the right neighborhood for the sort of fine art gallery she had in mind. "The area has always known, understood and respected the creativity of artists," she said. "It was the ideal fit. I had searched the city for over a year to find the perfect spot. I kept coming back because I really wanted to be in Boystown (as the Lakeview neighborhood is oftentimes called)." Leigh leapt at the opportunity when she saw the 3306 building being constructed. "The whole Lakeview area is absolutely wonderful. Chicago's Boystown is one of the top LGBTQ tourist areas in the country. I have always felt comfortable here with the bustling vibrancy and constant activity. Honestly, I would not want to be anywhere else. I get to meet people from all over the world on a daily basis!"

 

The Chicago Experience

Hebru Brantley 'Flyboy' mural in Uptown

When asked what she might recommend to some of those travelers who come into her gallery and want to experience a great day in the city, Jean advises them to start at Ann Sather (909 W. Belmont) before walking east to the lakefront bike path, then heading on to the Chicago Art Institute (111 South Michigan). After a day spent exploring the innumerable treasures at one of the oldest and largest art museums in the country, Jean suggests returning to Lakeview for something to eat. Her top picks are the casual BYOB restaurant, Paul's Noodle Shop (3400 N. Sheffield), or the relaxed neighborhood bistro, Pastoral (2947 N. Broadway). 

For a cocktail or two, Jean proposes The Twisted Vine (3530 N. Halsted), a bar focused on wine, crafted cocktails and brown booze, located just up the street from The Leigh Gallery. 

As for viewing street art, Leigh enjoys the mirror mosaic under the Lake Shore Drive overpass at Foster. She also has fun spotting Hebru Brantley's comic book style "Flyboy" murals in Rogers Park and Uptown. "He's all over the place, now and always worth a look," she adds.

 

Whatever your preference in style or medium, The Leigh Gallery in Lakeview is a wonderful place to shop or browse through a wide range of fine art pieces. Cross the threshold into this relaxed and eclectic gallery and you are sure to discover unique treasures to last a lifetime. Plan your trip and learn more at theleighgallery.com.

 

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