Los Angeles- Otis College of Art and Design has awarded Kimberly Brooks The Franklin Leigel Award for Teaching Excellence and made her the award’s first recipient. The award was created in the late beloved teacher’s honor after he passed in 2012.
Kimberly Brooks, a was a student of Mr. Leigel’s in the late 1990s and 2000s and brings many of the lessons and practices to her painting classes. Franklyn Leigel was famous for encouraging students to build grounds as foundations on the canvas and which Kimberly Brooks has incorporated and refined in her teaching today.
Franklyn Leigel taught painting at Otis for over twenty years. He built his reputation exhibiting internationally in exhibitions over thirty years and was a graduate of the OTIS MFA program.
“I am doubly honored to receive this award as Franklyn Leigel was also my mentor when I first came to Los Angeles and study Painting. His instruction style was passionate and elliptical. After an hour lecture about the importance of grounds and then he would walk around the room and react to each student’s painting in progress. He would stare for a long time, with the intensity of a doctor deciphering a symptom, and then surprise us with advice we often couldn’t anticipate. Paint her hair blue. Get rid of him altogether. Consider yellow ochre. You need a pattern. Glaze the whole thing with pthalo green and then decide. Sometimes he was gentle, other times he hollered in a kind of exasperated despair. After an outburst, he would recoil so deeply that the students often felt the need to soothe him lest he think he offended one of us but he never did. In fact we loved and craved his astute yet unpredictable opinions.”
– Kimberly Brooks