Video by Carlos Gonzalez-Fernandez (@eyelumworks for @peopethingsproject)
Between painting alongside her grandmother and watching her father build reproduction antique furniture, Rosa Leff grew up seeing no distinction between fine art and craft. What mattered was that things were made by hand and done well. It is with that in mind that she creates her hand cut paper pieces. Each of Leff’s papercuts is cut by hand from a single sheet of paper using a knife. Her cityscapes are based on photos she’s taken in her neighborhood and all over the world. While Leff is best known for her ability to capture thin tangles of powerlines and intricate brickwork, she also enjoys experimenting with novel media such as paper plates and paper towels. Leff delights in bringing a modern, urban perspective to a traditional folk medium.
Leff has served on the board of The Guild of American Papercutters (GAP). In addition to being a GAP member she is a member of The Paper Artist Collective. Leff has exhibited her work throughout the United States and in China. Her work has been acquired by The Colored Girls Museum (Philadelphia) and The Museum of International Folk Art (Santa Fe). She is the recipient of a 2021 Maryland State Arts Council Independent Artist Award, the 2021 Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City Artist Travel Prize, and the 2023 360 Xochi Quetzal BIPOC Residency. Leff resides in Puerto Rico with her husband and chihuahuas, Chalupa and Refrito.