Montreal-born Ilga Leimanis is a London-based visual artist working in drawing and painting, one-half of the duo Ortelius Drew, and founder of a popular monthly London drawing group Drawn In London. Ilga’s teaching experience of 10 years has been varied and rewarding. Working at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Ilga teaches Short Courses on drawing and research-based process. Ilga has taught at leading architecture and engineering offices in London for Drawing At Work. For University of the Arts London, she delivers Academic Support workshops and has been awarded RAS (Retain-Achieve-Succeed) research funding to investigate drawing as a necessary skill for creative activity. Ilga has worked with a broad range of students and professionals.

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Master of Arts – Concordia University, Montréal, Canada.
Bachelor of Fine Arts (with distinction) in Art History – Concordia University, Montréal, Canada.
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Specialization in Painting – Art Academy of Latvia, Riga, Latvia.

solo exhibitions

(upcoming), Five Years, London, UK.
Bang Your Head: Architecture of Conversation, Five Years, London, UK. (Collaboration with architect Bidisha Sinha)
popUp & popOFF, flutter_, London, UK. (Ortelius Drew collaboration)
A Plotted Affair, A Collaboration with Rochelle Fry, Five Years, London, UK. (Ortelius Drew collaboration)
Profiles: Friendship in the Digital Age, Gallery Istaba, with seminar at e-text-textiles, Riga, Latvia.
Take Off, Dokhuis Galerie, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, featuring Ortelius Drew: a collaborative project by Ilga Leimanis and Doreen Wittenbols.
Lovers and Other Strangers in my apartment, 6**2, rue St-Urbain, Montréal, Canada.
Lovers and Other Strangers, Bourget Gallery, Montréal, Canada. (thesis exhibition)
Ceļi, Gallery modeMāksla, Riga, Latvia. (Canada Council Travel Grant)
Roads, Espace 414 – L’Édifice Belgo, Montréal, Canada.

selected group exhibitions

Ortelius Drew DOES Mail & Female, Sexplosion, Mail & Female, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Happy Birthday ISTABA!, 10th anniversary exhibition, Gallery Istaba, Riga, Latvia.
Inaugural Exhibition, Centre for Latvian Diaspora Art, Cēsis, Latvia.
Tekenkabinet, Kunstsalon Assen, Assen, The Netherlands.(Ortelius Drew collaboration)
Tekenkabinet, Museum Waterland, Purmerend, The Netherlands. (Ortelius Drew collaboration)
Latvian Exile Art, Latvian National Museum of Art’s (LNMM) Arsenāls Exhibition Hall, Riga, Latvia.
Anonymous Drawings 2013, Galerie Nord/Kunstverein Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany. (Ortelius Drew collaboration)
Drawn Together, Siena Art Institute, Siena, Italy. (Ortelius Drew collaboration)
The Moment of Privacy Has Passed, The Usher Gallery, Lincoln, UK. (Ortelius Drew collaboration)
CUBEOpen Exhibition, Centre for the Urban Built Environment, Manchester, UK (Ortelius Drew collaboration)
the open west 2010, The Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum (commissioned project: site-specific drawing installation) and Summerfield Gallery, Pittville Studios, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, UK. Curated by Lyn Cluer Coleman and Sarah Goodwin. (Catalogue) (Ortelius Drew collaboration)
Personally Political – Contemporary Sensation: Drawing, Art House Tacheles New Gallery, Berlin, Germany. Curated by Barbara Fragogna. (Catalogue) (Ortelius Drew collaboration)
Diaspora Art Returns, Valmiera Regional Museum, Valmiera, Latvia. (Catalogue)
Les Îles Inventées – Portraits, Maison de la culture Marie-Uguay, Montréal, Canada. (duo with Allison Katz)
Faces and Transitions, Warren G. Flowers Gallery, Dawson College, Montréal, Canada. Curated by Giussepe Di Leo. (exhibition brochure)
Concordia University’s Homecoming Arts Festival 2004 Alumni Exhibition, VAV Gallery, Concordia University, Montréal, Canada.
La figuration 1980-2000 : Œuvres de la collection Loto-Québec, Maison de la culture de Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, Canada. Curated by Louis Pelletier.
Travelling to Pavillon Hôtel des Postes, Musée Laurier, Victoriaville and
la Galerie d’art L’Union-Vie du Centre culturel de Drummondville, Drummondville, Canada.
Les Femmeuses, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Longueuil, Canada. (Catalogue)
Soutine Days 2000, Vilnius City Hall, Vilnius, Lithuania.
Les Femmeuses, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Longueuil, Canada. (Catalogue)
Annual Autumn Exhibition, Exhibition Hall Arsenāls of the Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga, Latvia.


A Plotted Affair, a collaboration with Ortelius Drew, Rochelle Fry and Astrida Neimanis, to be published by Five Years.
Creative Sketching Workshop, three chapters contributed to a book edited by Pete Scully, published by Apple Press (UK), North Light Books (North America) and Tan Yang International (Asia)
“Home?”, Locus Suspectus, 2/2006, p. 28-29, 32.
“You, Me & Duende”, text for Doreen Wittenbols’ exhibition in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
“Sylvia Safdie Keren no. 4″, articule programming booklet 2002-2003, p. 16.
The Best Kept Secret in Montreal, catalogue essay. Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University.
“Sylvia Safdie”, Canadian Art, Fall 2002, p. 134-135. Review of Safdie’s exhibition Extensions at Owen Sound.


Stichting Kanaal 10, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (Ortelius Drew collaboration)
Gibraltar Point Centre for the Arts, Toronto, Canada.
Vermont Studio Center Residency, Vermont, USA.
Soutine dienos International Painting Symposium, Vilnius, Lithuania.

artist talks / conference presentations

Retain, Achieve Suceed Research, iJADE Conference 2016: Drawing, Riverside Innovation Centre, University of Chester, Chester, UK.
Thinking Through Drawing, European Access Network Conference, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.
Profiles: Friendship in the Digital Age seminar, e-text-textiles, Riga, Latvia.
Dawson College, Department of Fine Arts, Artist Talk, Montréal, Canada.
York University, Intersections: Approaches to Visual Culture Art History Graduate Symposium, “Archiving the Self: George Legrady’s Immigration Story in “An Anecdoted Archive from the Cold War”, Toronto, Canada.
University of Rochester, Theory and Practice: A Graduate Conference, “Book Works as Memory Sculpture”, Rochester, NY, USA.
Concordia University, Fictions and Art History: A Graduate Student Conference, “Ilya Kabakov: Between Emptiness and Chaos”, Montréal, Canada.
Concordia University, Department of Art History, Guest Lecture in “Canadian Artists of Central and Eastern European Origin: The Aftermath of Post-Second World War Immigration”, Montréal, Canada.

curatorial projects

Sylvia Safdie: Keren no. 4, articule artist run centre project room, Montréal, Canada.
The Best Kept Secret in Montreal: Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, The Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University, Montréal, Canada. Group exhibition with works by Ingrid Bachmann, Mary Anne Barkhouse, Thérèse Chabot, Stéphane Gilot and Vid Ingelevics. (Catalogue)
Sensibilité, Galerie 418 – L’Édifice Belgo, Montréal, Canada. With visiting artists from Latvia, Ingūna Elere and Holgers Elers


Vermont Studio Center Artist Grant.
Art History Graduate Student Association (AHGSA) Travel Grant to attend Art History Graduate Symposium, York University, Toronto, Canada.
Art History Graduate Student Association (AHGSA) Travel Grant to attend conference at the University of Rochester, New York, USA.
Canada Council Travel Grant, to attend exhibition at Gallery ModeMāksla, Riga, Latvia.
Latvian Canadian Cultural Centre Bursary for studies at Art Academy.
Latvian Canadian Cultural Centre Bursary for studies at Art Academy.

public collections

Global Society for Latvian Art Collection (Latvia)
Loto-Québec (Canada)
Atviros Lietuvos Fondas (Lithuania)

professional affiliations

Member of Five Years, London, UK.
Member of Stockwell Studios, London, UK.
Member of articule artist run centre (Treasurer 01-02 President 02-03) Montréal, Canada.
LMS, Artists’ Union of Latvia.

selected professional experience

Ortelius Drew European Tour (2nd edition), Margate, UK.
Drawing classes for Production Designers, Third Year BA and MA Film Practice, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London.
Thinking Through Your Project Through Conceptual Drawing, BA (HONS) Fashion Marketing Futures and Innovations, London College of Fashion.
Future of London Leaders Plus Round 4 Urban Drawing Workshop for career development for public-sector practitioners, Deptford
Creative Spark workshop, Affordable Art Fair Battersea, Central Saint Martins Short Courses.
Drawing, Painting, and Process course, Pringle Richards Sharratt Architects, London.
Thinking Through Drawing Workshops, University of the Arts London, Academic Support.
RAS (Retain, Achieve, Suceed) Researcher, University of the Arts London.
Ortelius Drew European Tour, Madrid, Spain.
Drawing classes for Production Designers, Third Year BA Film Practice, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London.
Future for London, Leaders Plus Urban Drawing Workshop for career development for public-sector practitioners, Hackney Wick Fish Island and Peckham.
Bespoke Training Drawing for Hoare Lea Engineers, Central Saint Martins, London.
Design Master – delivery of workshop for Beijing Anostar Education, Shanghai and Beijing, China.
Thinking Through Drawing Workshops, developed and delivered with Chris Koning for University of the Arts London Academic Support.
Bespoke Training Drawing for PSR Architects, Central Saint Martins, London.
Experimental Life Drawing workshop, 
Vogt Landscape Architects.
Future for London, Urban Drawing Workshop for career development for public-sector practitioners, Old Street and Farringdon areas.
Cobourg Primary School, volunteer teaching after school drawing club for years 5 and 6.
Central Saint Martins, Online Short Courses.
Life Drawing workshop, 
Vogt Landscape Architects.
Drawing workshop around development of King’s Cross area for 1st International Conference on Urban Sustainability and Resilience, University College London, London, UK.(Ortelius Drew collaboration)
Drawing DiverCITIES workshop with the Bartlett School of Planning MSc. Urban Regeneration students and local community groups, London, UK. (Ortelius Drew collaboration)
Big Draw launch St Pancras Station liasing and organisng workshops for Drawing At Work and Campaign for Drawing.
Short Course Tutor, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, UK. (Teaching drawing and idea generation process short courses since 2007, online courses since 2014, and developed summer schools for 13-17 year olds since 2009.)
Co-founder of location drawing group, part of Ortelius Drew collaboration, since 2015 renamed DRAWN IN LONDON, locations include Serpentine Pavilions, Sky Garden 20 Fenchurch Street, Royal Opera House, Kenwood House, Wallace Collection among others, London, UK.
Big Draw launch Covent Garden and Sptalfields, liasing and organising workshops for Drawing At Work and Campaign for Drawing.
Drawing Tutor, Drawing At Work, London, UK. (Teaching primarily at Foster+Partners since 2014, also taught at Kohn Pedersen Fox, MAKE, Pilbrow & Partners, Shepherd Epstein Hunter, TTSP Architecture & Design, Adams Kara Taylor, Expedition Engineering, Asael, Desso, Jason Bruges Studio, ORMS Architecture, among others.)
Course Manager, Drawing At Work, London, UK.
2002 & 2004
Juror, Annual Exhibition, Women’s Art Society of Montréal.
Curatorial Assistant, Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University.
Research assistant, guide and member of curatorial team for symposium and exhibition Afterimage: Evocations of the Holocaust in Canadian Contemporary Arts, Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre. Curated by Dr Loren Lerner. (publication in 2002)

selected articles / interviews / bibliography (artistic and curatorial projects)

CSM Short Courses Blog, Student Stories: Idea Generation Processes, 9 November 2016.
CSM Short Courses Blog, Student Review: Total Drawing, 4 March 2016.
CSM Short Courses Blog, Former CSM Short Course Students Invited to Contribute to Book, 18 February 2016.
Television interview with Toms Treibergs, “Culture News”. LTV, 1 June 2015.
Luzar, Robert, review, “The Open West 2010″, Interface, a-n 14 March 2010.
Fearns, Robert, Cluer Coleman, Lyn & Goodwin, Sarah. The Open West 2010. Cheltenham: University of Gloucestershire and Two Wood Press, February 2010. 43 pages [catalogue].
Television interview with Ilze Strenga, “Labrīt”. LTV1, 17 Aug. 2009.
Burve-Rozīte, Anda. “Varbūt jūs tur esat!” Diena 20 Jul. 2009: 16.
Vilūns, Raivis. “Profils 1, Profils 2…” Neatkarīgā Rīta avīze Latvijai 20 Jul. 2009: 18-19.
Fragogna, Barbara, & Reiter, Martin. Personally Political Ð contemporary sensation: drawing. Berlin: Tacheles e.V., June 2009. 44 pages [catalogue].
Cover image for “Doing Phenomenology: Edges and the In-Between”, PhaenEx: journal of existential and phenomenological theory and culture . Vol 3, No 2 Fall/Winter 2008.
The Marmite Prize 2008. London: Susak Press, 2008. 180 pages [catalogue].
Kalmīte, Lelde Alīda. Tēvu zemei – Latvijai: Pasaules latviešu mākslas izstāde 2008-10. Valmiera: Valmiera Regional Museum, 2008. 56 pages [catalogue].
Dorion, Henri. Le Québec au naturel : sur les chemins de la découverte = The Nature of Québec: a journey of discovery, 2006. Book and DVD. Published by Communications TerDor.
“Class Acts” Concordia University Magazine. vol. 28 no3 (2005): 30.
“Exposition sur la thématique du portrait”. La Voix populaire. 5 June 2005: 7.
Lehmann, Henry. “Major artists and their muses.” The Montreal Gazette 5 Mar. 2005: W1-2.
Manniste, Andres. “Bodies without Organs…” Faces and Transitions, Warren G. Flowers Gallery, Dawson College. 2005. (cat.)
Interview by Astrida Neimanis. “Sveiks.” Toronto Community Television OMNI 1. 1 & 7 Nov. 2003.
Besson, Valérie. “De l’art universitaire sans étudiants.” Le Quartier libre : Le journal des étudiants de l’Université de Montréal 20 nov. 2002: 23.
Lehmann, Henry. “Gallery’s success is no secret: Experimental, contemporary art: Leonard & Bina Ellen at Concordia is celebrating 10 years in current space.” Montreal Gazette 9 Nov. 2002: H3.
Charron, Marie-Éve. “Des révélations equivoques.” Le Devoir 19 oct. 2002: F7.
Lerner, Loren. Canadian Artists of Eastern European Origin. 1999. Concordia University.
Television interview. “Afiša”. Interviewed by Sarmīte Sīle. 31 Jul. , 6, 7 Aug. 1999.
Ciemīte, Kristīne. “Ceļiniece ar gleznām no Monreālas.” Rīgas Balss 139.12 510. 21 Jul. 1999: 14.
Television interview. “LNT brokastis” (LNT breakfast) LNT Television. 21 Jul. 1999.
Rupenheite, Ieva. “Saules aktivitātes nenogurdinātie.” Diena 166. 2476. 20 Jul. 1999: 10.
Television interview. “Rīts tv.” (Morning TV) 20 Jul. 1999.
Radio interview. Interview by Jānis Roženieks. Latvijas rādio. 20 Jul. 1999.
MacMillan, Laurel. “Izteiktais netveramais.” Laiks L1.2.4911. 9 Jan. 1999: 4. (Trans. T. Gruntmane, original title: Watch This Space.)
“Art Galleries.” Montreal Gazette. 9 Apr. 1998: E9. (reproduction of painting)
“Ilga Leimanis: Painting free-breathing expressions.” The Informer. Apr. 1998: 11.
“Fast Forward.” Canadian Art 15. 1 Mar. 1998: 24.
Kļaviņa, Antra. “Īsa pietura nepieturot.” Fokuss 12. 4-10 Aug. 1997: 14.
Bužinska, Irēna. “Ceļojums dienas gaismā.” Zeme 12.360. 8-14 Aug. 1997: 3.

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