Leslie Rogers is an interdisciplinary artist based in Detroit and Boston, and a Professor of the Practice at the School of the Museum of Fine Art at Tufts University. Her background is in puppetry and quilting, and her degrees are from the Maryland Institute College of Art (BFA) and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Sculpture & Extended Media (MFA).
Rogers has shown or performed at The Hammer Museum and Human Resources in LA, Threewalls, Links Hall, and ACRE TV in Chicago, The Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit as part of ESPTV, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, as well as out of her van over a 9000 mile 'Merikan Merkintile tour with musician Nelly Kate. In Detroit, she has also shown at Cave Gallery, Public Pool, Wasserman Projects, The College for Creative Studies, Salon Catroit, the Good Tyme Writers Buffet, and has published and performed with Barbed Magazine. In Philadelphia, she curated exhibits as a member of the Little Berlin and touring performance with Puppet Uprising, was a founding member of PuppeTyranny performance collective, and has shown or performed at Fjord, Practice Gallery, Vox Populi, AUX, AWFUL Wrestling, International House, Bodega, Little Berlin, and others.
Rogers has been awarded residencies at Monson Arts, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Penland School of Craft, Jentel Foundation, Stoveworks, The Soil Factory, Prairie Ronde, ACRE, AS220, Art Farm Nebraska, Mildred’s Lane, the University Musical Society at the University of Michigan, and a three-year postdoctoral research fellowship from the Michigan Society of Fellows at the University of Michigan.
My work draws from quilting, puppetry, slapstick entertainment, collaborative relationships, and horticulture. Through form and storytelling, I reveal evidence of historical violence and transcendence. I expand the quilt's use beyond warmth and décor to actor and reactor. Through a carnivalesque sense of subversion, and by collapsing the delineation between performer and object, I tell stories of both domination and resistance. Quilting is a technology. Each piece contains a mass of information about a time and place, trade, industrialism, and colonialism. My practice mines this data, then interprets it to reveal the fraught social and ecological histories that are embedded in every quilt, airing and challenging these power dynamics and historical legacies.