Minnesota ceramicist Andrea Leila Denecke is a sculptor and maker of utilitarian forms. The artist states, “Elusive and enigmatic communication of form is the focus of my work. I make objects which may evoke memory responses or instill a meditative state based on stimuli which have influenced me.” Leila cites her travels to Japan as critically influential to her work. She studied in Mashiko in the 1970s, returning in 1991 to create a monument for Ibaraki City, Minneapolis’ sister city. In the 1980s, she was a student at the Ceramic Art Research Institute in Ashiya and, later, as an artist-in-residence at Seto.
Leila holds a degree in art and German from Cornell College and earned an MFA at Louisiana State University. Recently, she relocated her studio from Minneapolis to Scandia, in the heart of Minnesota’s St. Croix River Valley. Her work has been recognized with awards from both the Jerome and McKnight Foundations, and her pieces are included in the collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Minnesota Historical Society.