Leonard E. Kesl (1926-2012)
Born in Edwardsville, Illinois in 1926, Leonard (‘Lennie’) E. Kesl was an artist, professor, and musician.
He enlisted at age 17 and served in World War II, first as an infantryman and later as a drummer in the US Army Band. He received a BFA from Wesleyan University in 1953 and a MA from Michigan State University in 1957. He also studied at L’Atelier Leger in Paris, France and the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Before settling in Gainesville in 1968, he taught at numerous institutions in Ohio, Montana and Alaska. He was a professor at the University of Florida and Santa Fe College until 1991. He was a painter, sculptor, printmaker and ceramicist. Lennie has received numerous national awards and exhibited extensively throughout the country. After a prolific career, he died on November 24, 2012 in Gainesville, FL.
His works are included in the collections of MOMA in New York; Alaska State Museum; St. Louis Art Museum; Cincinnati Art Museum; Evansville, Illinois Art Museum; Farleigh-Dickenson University in Madison, NJ; University of North Carolina; University of South Dakota; Wichita State University; Colby College, Maine; American Federation of Arts Purchase; and in galleries at the University of Florida, Samuel P. Harn Museum; Santa Fe College; and Lewis and Clark College in Godfrey, Illinois.