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Oak Park, Illinois
Alex M. ErganianAlice L. Forbes
|Relatives||David McHattie Forbes|
Leslie Erganian was born in Oak Park, Illinois, attended William Fremd High School and became a pre-med biology student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She moved to California during her second year, and studied photography under Joe Deal and art history under Dr. Richard Carrott to receive a BA with a dual major in fine art and art history. She returned to Illinois to obtain a MFA in photography under Jerry Savage and Barbara Degenevieve, and thereafter found representation by the Phyllis Needleman Gallery in Chicago where she exhibited a series of hand painted photographic self-portraits exploring female fairy tale mythology.
She returned to California on a Graduate Fellowship to obtain a second MFA from the UCLA Film School and representation by the Marilyn Pink Gallery in Los Angeles. In 1994, Leslie first appeared on film Radio Inside starring Elisabeth Shue, a film that she also art directed. Additional project contributions were for clients including Warner Bros., MGM, Dreamworks, NBC, MTV and PBS. They include Babylon 5, Speechless, and Looney Tunes for Warner Bros. Animation.
In 1998, she began appearing regularly on television as a creative consiglieri. Her first guest appearance on Discovery Channel’s The Christopher Lowell Show led to regular contributions to his show. In 2000, she appeared on NBC’s The Rosie O'Donnell Show, and in 2002 she became a regular correspondent for the Hallmark Channel weekday morning show "New Morning" appearing in thirty-one episodes over five seasons in a series entitled "Soul of a House".
She established her own label Lost Continents in 1996, creating functional art, interiors, and props for clients in the entertainment industry as well as for stores throughout Los Angeles and San Francisco. In 2008, she established the website Leslieness  as a platform for increasing art access and visual awareness through writings & photography about art, life, and beauty.
She has taught classes in film design at UCLA, and photography at the University of Illinois earning two awards for outstanding teaching. She has led her voice to advancing verbal and visual literacy as a performer through SAG Foundation in Los Angeles, and for the Deaf Media Arts Council in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education. She has become increasingly engaged with museum education through a series of ongoing programs with the Metropolitan Museum of Art believing that the role American Museums play in the advancement of art education to learners of all ages is a vital national resource for the 21st century.
Leslie is a lifetime member of The Society of Architectural Historians alongside her fiancé, architect and author Wolfgang Wagener, AIA, RIBA. She contributed a chapter to his architectural monograph Raphael Soriano published by Phaidon Press. In 2008, she was a participating artist in "Department Store: A Collaboration with J. Morgan Puett" the inaugural exhibit of the Sullivan Center at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
- Wagener, Wolfgang. "Raphael Soriano". 2002. pp. 198-205.