Bringing Life to the Canvas

Leo Rucker, a Winston-Salem, North Carolina artist began his love for art at the early age of 5 yrs old. After receiving many awards in high school, Leo continued his pursuit for art at Rutledge College in commercial art in Winston-Salem, N.C., receiving his degree in 1983 and an outstanding artist award. These accomplishments opened the door for Leo to express his craft as supervisor in the gold leaf department at Carolina Art and Frame, where he nurtured his craft for 10 years.

While building the foundation of his career, Leo connected with mentors, who encouraged him to enter into his first Sawtooth Art Center competition out of high school. This would lead to the first of many portraiture and mural commissions as his career began to escalate with the commission of a series of drawings and paintings for Forsyth County Partnership (Smart Start), as well as the career long agreement with Segment Marketing Service Inc. This relationship yields pastel, oils and acrylic portraits for an ongoing column called (Role Models) featured in Sophisticate’s Black Hair Magazine. Sophisticate’s Black Hair Magazine has featured more than 200 accomplished ethnic women from around the world. Leo has most recently completed a tribute to the history and progression of transportation in the city of Winston-Salem, NC through murals on the pillars of Winston-Salem city’s transportation center. These murals include people, places and things involved in its rich history, the murals also reveal the future of energy and sustainability worldwide, the Grand Lodge of Odd Fellows, project with Old Salem Museum and Gardens, Storefront Project with Winston-Salem Associated Artists and several commissions.

Rucker is also committed to giving back to community. Leo has worked with youth and has donated many pieces of original artwork for fund raising and other services. He is experienced as an instructor with kids and adults teaching basic drawing skills and at the Sawtooth Arts Center. Leo has been committed to pushing his skills to another level by painting his version of the Vatican called (The School of Athens) by artist Raphael. The piece of which has given him a truer look at how much he has developed as an artist.

Leo presently works as the Lead historic interpreter at Old Salem Museum and Gardens at the St. Philip's African Moravian Heritage site.