Doug & Eileen Leunig

Doug and Eileen Leunig’s work focuses almost exclusively on nature. The Leunigs use cameras as paint brushes to create slow shutter still shots following their subject’s movement to 960 frames per second slow motion water, shadows, and steam. The images are then digitally blended utilizing the same multi-layered technique the Leunigs use for their light paintings. Their Dancing Landscapes series began in 2001 and captures the energy and stillness of trees and landscape in a single exposure. Their work with water began in 2010 using their energy and stillness technique and advanced to slow motion work in 2015. For Every Season is from a camera positioned in their west window for the last 4 1/2 years.
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The Leunigs have had 5 solo shows and have been in 15 multi-artists show including two back-to-back exhibits at the Peoria Riverfront Museum. The Leunigs also participated in First Fridays for 4 years introducing new work each month. This is the second time the Leunigs have exhibited at Contemporary Art Center, the first being Unbottled: Intimate Portraits of Water in 2012. Their Dancing Landscapes multimedia work is part of Drake University’s collection as well as the private art collection of 2018 Iowa gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell. Abraham Blue, Doug’s portrait of Abraham Lincoln from a five dollar bill was unveiled on the Peoria County Courthouse on October 11, 2018. The Leunigs also have public murals at GT Gabbert’s Art Park and Muir Omni Graphics.

Doug has a BFA in Photography from University of Iowa. Eileen, a BAS in Clothing and Textiles from Western Illinois University. As arts activists, the Leunigs founded Big Picture Initiative in 2018 to foster more public art in Central Illinois, greater arts education opportunities for children in community centers and summer programs, and an annual street and film festival.

Artist Statement

Nearly 20 years ago, we turned our cameras to nature and have not looked away since. Nature feeds our souls as well as our bodies. We spend hours immersed in the small eddies in a river or the movement of trees along the roadside. In the modern world, nature is seen as something to control and overcome, a mega force to be shielded from. The practice of our art is the opposite of that. We concentrate on individual branches and droplets, the details, the nuances, and the invisible. Our art is a celebration of the essence of life. Choosing to live with nature as part of our daily life renews our spirit and washes off the grind of timetables. With mindfulness we see that nature is our life blood—endless, timeless, and ever changing.