|Born||James Leo Sewell
7 September 1945
Annapolis, Maryland, United States
|Occupation||Artist, Junk Sculptor|
|Spouse(s)||Barbara Sewell (m. 1986)|
Leo Sewell (born citation needed]7 September 1945 ) is an American "found object" artist. His assemblages of recycled material are in over 40 museums and in private collections worldwide.[
Sewell was born in Annapolis, Maryland, United States, North America. He moved to Philadelphia in 1974. As a child in Annapolis, he "recalls the "excitement of tinkering" with stuff he discovered and recovered during walks in the woods and visits to the naval-community dump.
As an adult, Sewell earned a B.A. in Business and a Masters in Art History at the University of Delaware, writing his Masters thesis on the "Use of the Found Object in Dada and Surrealism". However, he never had formal studio training, which places him in the Visionary art category.
Sewell's art follows naturalistic themes, and animals feature prominently in his creations. His collage-like sculpture is assembled from metal, wood, and plastic that he collects from trash, yard sales, and flea markets. For some commissions, he uses objects, often of sentimental value or with personal meaning, contributed by the patron who has commissioned the art.
Sewell has produced over 4,000 works over the last 50 years. His art has been seen on children's television shows including Mr. Roger's Neighborhood and Captain Noah. It features in the permanent collections of 23 Ripley's Believe It or Not! museums worldwide, as well as in museums such as the American Visionary Art Museum, the Garbage Museum (Stratford, CT), the Shonandai Cultural Center (Fujisawa, Japan), Museo de Sera International (Madrid, Spain), Philadelphia's Please Touch Museum, and the Chicago Children's Museum. His work is also collected by corporations including Nike, Inc and NBC. Sewell has produced public art works for institutions including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and local state environmental protection offices.
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- "Garbage Museum Shows Art Made from Others' Trash." Stratford Star (CT) 22 Apr. 2010, News: 11A. NewsBank. Web. 14 Aug. 2010.
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- O'Connell, Kaelin. "Philadelphia Artist Leo Sewell Is One Man Who Truly Believes that One Person's Trash Is Another's Treasure.." Gloucester County Times, The (NJ) 5 May 2007: n. pag. NewsBank. Web. 14 Aug. 2010.
- Rosenberg, Amy S. "Give Me Your Toys: A Scavenger Sculptor Hunts for the Perfect Playthings so that Lady Liberty Can Lift her Lamp beside the New Please Touch Museum." Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) 8 May 2007: City-D, Features magazine: E01. Newspaper Source. Web. 14 Aug. 2010.
- "Sculptures Prove One Man's Junk Can Be Art." Brattleboro Reformer (VT) 16 Aug. 2001, n. pag. NewsBank. Web. 14 Aug. 2010.
- "Trash Museum Worth a Visit Sculpture Represents Connecticut's Annual Waste per Person: Schoolchildren, Other Visitors Find Garbage Exhibitions Eye-opening." Free Lance-Star, The (Fredericksburg, VA) 19 Apr. 2009,: n. pag. NewsBank. Web. 14 Aug. 2010.
- "Visionary Arts Museum Returns to its Inspired Roots - Art Review." Sun, The (Baltimore, MD) 5 Oct. 2008, Final, Arts & Entertainment: 3E. NewsBank. Web. 14 Aug. 2010.