The Central Connecticut State Art Gallery recently featured Victor Leger’s exhibit on Northeast Landscapes. Mr. Leger is an alumni of CCSU and I had the good fortune to spend a little time with him. Victor Leger was raised in Hartford and began his career in art in high school. While he had always enjoyed drawing, he entered an art contest, sponsored by the old Connecticut Bank and Trust, and spent his summer working on a drawing of a national geographic cover from the 1940s, the photograph of an Indian chief. Victor reminisced about the piece – a pen and ink drawing – and how nice it looked! Much to his surprise, he won second place. At that point he thought, “I could do something with this. I could turn this into a vocation.” Victor has been drawing ever since.
After graduation from high school, Victor attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and then the San Francisco Art institute and earned his bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. His one goal in college was to learn how to paint! Luckily, under the mentoring of Peter Waite, and artist and his high school art teacher, Victor developed a good portfolio and earned scholarship money to attend college. The scholarship enabled him to attend college, as his family could never have afforded those costs.
Victor has taken several painting workshops to hone his craft, including a plein air workshop. Plein air is painting directly from life or painting in the open air! Leger stated, “when you paint outside, you are always working quickly to take advantage of the weather and the lighting, which makes it challenging!”
Victor is also a graduate of Central Connecticut State University. He took master’s courses under the direction of Mark Strathy, his painting teacher at CCSU. Professor Strathy helped organize his current art show. Victor obtained his Art Education certificate in 1994 and graduated with a master’s in Art Education in 2002. At the time when he attended CCSU, Victor’s work was primarily post-modern collages, which included some landscape elements. When 9/11 happened, he reconsidered his work and felt that he needed to “make art that made people feel good.” He has focused more on landscapes since 9/11.
Victor has enjoyed a rich career teaching art and mentoring students. He lives in Winsted with his wife Mary Pat and works as an art teacher at Torrington High School. He is an award-winning painter and has been featured in several magazines.