“From Textiles to Tiles, and everything that happened in Between…”
Leah Shafir Zahavi is the founder and creative director of Inner Piece LLC. Leah’s designs, whether in clay or textiles, reflect cutting-edge creativity and a sophisticated take on material culture. Her affinity for both tiles and textiles was inspired by her mother, world-renowned mosaic artist, Ilana Shafir, and her grandmother, an immigrant seamstress who loved needlework and knitting.
Leah has worked as an artist all her life. She studied art and art history at the teachers’ college of the University of Haifa, and earned her master’s degree at Rutgers University. A native of Israel, she is drawn to the Mediterranean color palette, and her original designs are innovative fusions of diverse artistic traditions.
Leah began her career as an art educator at the Hunterdon Museum of Art in Clinton, NJ, where she created numerous educational exhibits, including the Knitted Knest, an imaginative installation of large-scale knitting. As an artist working in textiles and mixed media, Leah was also a college professor in the art department of Marywood University where for several years she taught graduate and undergraduate courses and oversaw the Fiber Arts Program.
Leah’s career also includes curatorial work and arts administration positions. She was Executive Director of the Myhelan Cultural Arts Center in Long Valley, NJ, and before that a curator and educator at the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, where she worked to raise awareness of Tibet. Today, Leah devotes all of her time to Inner Piece studio and is so happy to get her hands dirty again with fabric dyes and wet clay.
Leah is a professional member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists, a member of The Clay Studio, and the Tile Heritage Foundation. You are invited to an online Gallery Tour where you may see Leah’s artwork, the Knitted Knest, the Tibetan Children Mandala, and other projects Leah pursued as a museum educator. You will also find a selection of articles Leah wrote on modern mosaic for Groutline, the quarterly journal of the Society of American Mosaic Artists, SAMA.