Showing from the West Coast of British Columbia Canada to the East Coast of the United States in New York, in Europe, South America and the Orient as well. His work can be found in both local and international, private and public collections.
Current News: August 2017
I had about a dozen art works stolen and believe that they may be being sold in the Edmonton, Alberta area.
If anyone hears of any drawings of mine available through private sale or recently acquired could you please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Past News: 2016
I received a lovely email informing me of a group show I have been included in:
THE 80s CALLED; THEY WANT THEIR ART BACK!
An Exhibition of Vancouver Outsider Art of the 1980s
INNER SANCTUM POP-UP GALLERY
324 Fifth Street, Courtenay, BC
Featuring the art of:
12 Midnite, Jan Wade, Martin Guderna, ManWoman, Colin Upton, Maurice Spira, Pat Beaton, Ladislav Guderna, Dorothy Manning, Dave Ostrem, Oraf, Ken Straiton, Michael de Courcy, Greg Zbitnew, John Hersey, Leo Labelle, Francis Thenard, Mia Johnson, Davide Pan, Ed Varney, Lincoln Clarkes, Kent Tate, Ken Gerberick, Man Dad, I Braineater, Henri Robideau, Jed Irwin, Patty Josin, Henry Rappaport, David Cochrane and Dale Pickering
Curated by Ocean Varney - An Elevate the Arts 2016 Event
Opening Thursday, June 2nd, 6 to 9pm
Exhibition - Thursday, June 2nd and Friday, June 3rd, 4 to 10pm, Saturday, June 4th, 10am to 10pm
International Surrealist Exhibition in Costa Rica
I've put some links together for the International Surrealist Exhibition in Costa Rica I was accepted in. Along with 107 other internationsl surrealists artists, the work formed an exhibition entitled 'Las Llaves del Deseo' (Keys of Desire).
Las llaves del deseo - Keys of Desire
Google translation - It started in Costa Rica the first Surrealist exhibition in Central America called "The Keys of Desire", which brings together 350 works of art (collage, painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, sculpture and object art) made by 107 artists representing 26 countries . in the sample can be appraised works of Argentine artists Eva Garcia, Graciela Bello, Sergio Bonzón, Virginia Tentindo and Miguel Lohlé.
Who are you?
Well, that is an interesting question! I guess I would be call myself an an artist but I also read and study shamanism and spirituality - in fact most of my life has dealt with those things. So maybe it would better if I said I am a spiritual artist. Even though I work in so many styles and mediums, the message or works always reflect the deepest parts of the psychic and spiritual realms.
Among your many awards and accolades, you also won a First Prize Award that you shared with the late, great Jack Shadbolt. Tell me about that."
Well I was quite young and a bit of a crazy rebel back then. I was driven or maybe possesed to express myself and so experimentation and discovery came naturally. It was this energy that just poured out of me and into my works - no fear or boundaries in anything. I guess it was the same abandon and frenzy, controlled frenzy, that compelled the judges to swing the vote that way.
Did you learn your skills through other ways?
Not at all. Like all adventurous artists I studied in my mind and in my garage and at my friends houses and on the streets and in my room. I mean the skills of an artist are one thing but its what is being created that is the most important to me.
What was your basic path to becoming, well, a professional artist?
I completed a Minneapolis School of Art course very early on so I guess you could call that my academics (laughs), but no really, I was painting and drawing day and night - nothing else really. So I suppose it comes down to what you beleive you are and I never even considered myself as anything but. It's like breathing; you just breathe and you just are what you think you are.
You had your own gallery when you first started out. How did that go?
Collectors, fame, money, success, the scene . . . ahhh (smile). Yes, I got some very hands on experience from my owning-operating the Avelles Gallery in Vancouver's south end. I also held many curatorial positions including Art Director for the prestigiuos Bau Xi Gallery in Vancouver, Art Director for the Vancouver Children's Centennial Theater as well as original Assistant Curator and Director for the City of Vancouver's LIP Gallery and Art Program.
Was creativity part of your childhood?
Yes. I could always draw well, but that didn’t stop my parents from tring to have me have a normal life.
Have you had any mentors along the way?
Yes. I hung around with Gregg and Robert and others.
Nice. Was there a point in your life when you decided to take a big risk to move forward?
Sur. Starting the Avelles gallery was one. Creating the art group TAR was another.
“I know most of the world doesn’t make it their concern to inquire after the nature of reality… so I don’t take things too seriously or worry about what anyone else thinks. Like so many other artists, I just go about my business creating snapshots of that side of reality for them.”
So do you have any pets or hobbies?
Fer sure! I got me some ferrets and a garden shed.
So what now?
So what now?
Do you work in any special way?
I built some studio's, but in the end I really just work everywhere. In the yard, my kitchen table, living room, bedroom. Anywhere.
Do you feel a responsibility to contribute to something bigger than yourself?
Yes. I believe in a from of karma.
“The importance of art goes far beyond the visual senses. If the artist and the viewer can connect - it becomes a powerful form of aha and awakening of an important memory. A memory that does not have to be related to anything on this physical plane.
Are you satisfied creatively?
The answer has got to be no. Isn’t that what you hope? If you can see that there’s more to do and you have more left inside of you to share, then that’s what keeps you going..
Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
If I knew the answer to that, there wouldn't be any more reason to explore. Sometimes knowing can be that; a form af ant-exploring. So as much as need some forms of stability - I need to work with the unkown.
If you could give advice to a young artist starting out, what would you say?
Hmmm . . . question everything. Especially what you think and what you think you see or know. Learn to know your 'other' self.
“…So as much as need some forms of stability - I need to work with the unkown…”
What does a typical day look like for you?
What's a typical day? (laughs)
Any quests to exhibit?
Well I have showed from the West Coast of British Columbia Canada to the East Coast of the United States in New York; Europe, South America and the Orient as well. For me, there is nothing as satisfying as exhibiting my works. So yeah that is always my favorite quest.
Favorite movie or TV show? Books? Music?
I'll have to think on that.
Unfortunately, I have a thing for eating things with too much sugar. Candy, chocolate, desserts.
Among the many awards Leo has won include a First Prize Award( shared with the late Jack Shadbolt)in a juried show at the Burnaby Art Gallery and First Place awarded in the sculpture category in the New York Art Horizons International Art Competition.