Leila Khoury (she/they) is a multidisciplinary artist based in Cleveland, Ohio. Khoury received her BFA in Interdisciplinary Sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art and her Master of Architecture and Certificate in Historic Preservation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Khoury’s graduate thesis, A Soulful Body: The Immigration and Placemaking of Arabs in Detroit, chronicles the history and built environment of Detroit’s Arab American communities. In addition to highlighting buildings that were adaptively reused by refugee and immigrant groups in the last century, A Soulful Body speaks to the ways in which the groups continually carve out space for themselves in spite of the displacement they’ve endured in both historic and contemporary contexts. A Soulful Body was selected to be published by Empress Editions through their juried Artist Book Residency in August 2020.
Khoury currently serves as Creative Director of an ongoing research project called the Cleveland Community Archives. An interactive website and storytelling platform, the Archives houses a growing collection of oral histories that document Cleveland’s DIY and experimental art spaces, mutual aid organizations, LGBTQIA+ venues, and other non-commercial spaces that have dissipated due to gentrification and other systemic acts of erasure.
Khoury’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in Cleveland and Columbus, OH; Chicago, IL; Baltimore, MD; Washington, D.C.; Pittsburgh, PA; Waeukesha, WI; and Subhan, Kuwait. Between June and September 2018, two works by Khoury were featured in the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ exhibition series, Women to Watch.
Contact: lkhoury [at] saic.edu
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Bachelor of Fine Arts, Interdisciplinary Sculpture. Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD.
Ox-Bow School of Art + Artist Residency. Saugatuck, MI.
Creative Director, Cleveland Community Archives.
Artist, Nizar Qabbani Memorial Sculpture. Syrian Cultural Garden, Cleveland, OH.
2020-21 Creative Engagement Coordinator, SPACES. Cleveland, OH.
Teaching Artist, Cleveland Museum of Art Virtual Studio Programs. Cleveland, OH.
2020 Heritage Home Program Assistant, Cleveland Restoration Society. Cleveland, OH.
2019 Studio Assistant, Zachary A Design. Chicago, IL.
2017 Intern, Sadeer General Trading & Contracting Company. Subhan, Kuwait.
Intern, Sultan Gallery. Subhan, Kuwait.
2015-17 Owner-Curator, ZAINA Gallery. The Studios at 78th Street, Cleveland, OH.
2012-17 Instructor, Orange Art Center. Pepper Pike, OH.
2015 Studio Assistant, David Deming. Cleveland, OH.
Teaching Assistant, David Brooks. MICA, Baltimore, MD.
2012-15 Art Instructor, MICA Community Art Partnership.
• Refugee Youth Project, Baltimore, MD
• The Arc of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD.
• Baltimore Franciscan Center, Baltimore, MD.
2013 Intern, Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, OH.
Intern, The Maryland Women's Heritage Center. Baltimore, MD.
2012 Intern, The Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory. Cleveland, OH.
Illustrator, In His Image by Mark de Veritas. Cleveland, OH.
2009 Intern, Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio: ArtWorks. Cleveland, OH.
SOLO EXHIBITIONS + INSTALLATIONS
2016 عرائس البحر / the mermaids, The Sunroom. Cleveland, OH.
Aleppo Bathhouse, The Vandal. Pittsburgh, PA.
al-Jiran, ZAINA Gallery. Cleveland, OH.
Concrete Images from a Syria Lost, The Trimont. Pittsburgh, PA.
2015 Kamins Island, ZAINA Gallery. Cleveland, OH.
DIRGES, ZAINA Gallery. Cleveland, OH.
Nizar Qabbani Memorial Unveiling, Cleveland Cultural Gardens. Cleveland, OH.
GROUP + COLLABORATIVE EXHIBITIONS
2021 An Introduction. Current, Cleveland, OH.
2020 A Public Trust. SPACES, Cleveland, OH.
Small Works. Abattoir Gallery, Cleveland, OH.
2019 (dis)comfort zones: Underrepresentation and Invisibility in the Institution. Carroll University, Waukesha, WI.
2018 Women to Watch. National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington DC.
Women to Watch Ohio (via National Museum for Women in the Arts.) Riffe Gallery, Columbus, OH.
Tender House Project. McCormick Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum, Chicago, IL.
2017 Sadeer Day Exhibition. Sadeer General Trading & Contracting. Subhan, Kuwait.
2016 Creative Fusion Artists Group Exhibition. Cleveland Collection Gallery. Cleveland, OH.
A Little Bit of Tenderness. Data Gallery, Cleveland, OH.
Aleppo Bathhouse. Market Square, Pittsburgh, PA.
Cleveland Orchestra's Fridays @ 7 Concert Series. Severance Hall, Cleveland, OH.
Neighborhood Dances, a performance-based installation by Victoria Bradford. ZAINA Gallery, Cleveland, OH.
2015 DIRGES // CHEMICAL ASH. ZAINA Gallery, Cleveland, OH.
From the Dust. Article Gallery, Cleveland, OH.
Shades of Grey. Creative Space, Cleveland, OH.
Lab Bodies: Borders, Boundaries, and Barricades. Gallery CA, Baltimore, MD.
Not from Here, Not from There. Gallery CA, Baltimore, MD.
LANDSWEPT. Maryland Istitute College of Art, Baltimore, MD.
Antier; Ya'aburnee. La Bodega Gallery, Baltimore, MD.
Protest Era 3. Annex 2e, Baltimore, MD.
100% YES (via Refugee Youth Project.) Current Space, Baltimore, MD.
2013 Ply. Middendorf Gallery, Baltimore, MD.
2012 ON/OFF. Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH.
2012 Faculty Exhibition. Orange Art Center, Pepper Pike, OH.
2020 Nominee, AIA Chicago Foundation Student Design Competition
2018 Certificate of Recognition, President of the Ohio State Senate
2017-20 Dean’s Scholarship, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
2017 Ox-Bow Steketee Merit Scholarship
Ox-Bow Work Scholarship
2011-15 Merit Scholarship, Maryland Institute College of Art
Dean’s List, Maryland Institute College of Art
2011 Charlene Powers Award for the Arts, Orange High School
2019 Makers Circle. Marshall, NC.
2016 Creative Fusion. Cleveland Foundation, Cleveland, OH.
ARTIST TALKS, LECTURES, AND PANELS
2020 Patricia Summerville Arts Professional Panel. Murray State University. Murray, KY.
2020 Lyric by the Lake Theater, Fairport Harbor, OH. (Cancelled due to COVID-19)
2018 Riffe Gallery, Columbus, OH.
2017 The King's Academy, Madaba, Jordan.
2019 Pillagers and Preservation, A Conversation with Leila Khoury,The Queer Arabs Podcast.
2018 Artist Spotlight: Leila Khoury,National Museum of Women in the Arts.
The Artist Re-Creating and Preserving Palmyra in Metal,OZY Rising Stars.
How Female Sculptors are Pushing the Bounds of Metal as a Medium,Hyperallergic.
Ohio Metal Sculptors Crack Art World's Glass Ceiling,NPR Ideastream.
Spotlight: Riffe Gallery-Women to Watch Ohio 2018-Leila KhouryOhio Channel.
2016 Aleppo Bathhouse: One American Artist's Personal Response to the Syrian Crisis,VICE.
Preserving Syria Through Art,Your Middle East.
Cleveland Artist Spotlight: Leila Khoury, Arts Cleveland.
2015 A Dedication for the Son of Syria,Arab America.