There’s no question budding young artists can be helped along by supportive families. That was the case for Leah Rei, who was born in Colorado but raised in Arizona. Her childhood is filled with memories sewing, embroidering, coloring and making collages to pass the time.

“I was introduced to art at a very young age,” Leah says. “My mom is a very creative individual and so she’s always been very encouraging to me being an artist.”

In school Leah sought out classes to flex her creative muscles, including painting, drawing, printmaking, fibers and ceramics, which eventually led to her working with mixed media. Today she paints in acrylics and uses gold and silver leaf to play with light and texture, which adds a sophisticated touch to her works.

“My art has evolved a lot,” Leah says. “I was trained really classically in realistic techniques but I’ve loosened up and become more of a fluid artist.”

Leah’s work can be found in homes, businesses and resorts around the Valley and beyond. People are drawn to her ability to explore color and light, and the way her pieces evoke both the playfulness and serenity of the world around us.

“I am most inspired by nature,” Leah says. “I find myself personally feeling the most grounded and balanced when I spend time outside so I really try to capture those feelings of peace and joy in my work.”

This year, Leah was delighted to join the Celebration of Fine Art because it gives her the opportunity to meet people face-to-face. And because art is about sharing creativity and ideas, she values the chance to build relationships with collectors and fellow art enthusiasts.

“I would encourage anyone who’s never been to the Celebration of Fine Art to come and join us,” Leah says. “It’s such a wonderful experience and you’ll never forget it.”

See more of Leah’s story here: