2022 Grad Show

Leia Guo

AUArts Grad Show _LEI7682



Leia Guo (she/her) is a BFA Glass major graduating from the Alberta University of the Arts. She will be returning to AUArts in the fall to complete a subsequent BDes in Photography. Her work is inspired by the idea that home is not the place you are born, but the place that you love. Her interdisciplinary practice spans glassblowing, stained glass, analog photography, and lens-based print processes.
Her main body of work is a love letter to the Alberta landscape that she recognizes as the home of her heart not only for its sublimity, but for also being the keeper of her fondest memories. In order to capture the bittersweet sublimity of the Albertan landscape, she has spent the past 4 years exploring glass as both a vessel to contain infinity and as a remnant to stand in for what was lost. Her newest body of work utilizes glass’ optical properties to create landscapes between the realm of the real and the fantastical. By exposing silver gelatin negatives through handblown glass, she brings to life the Albertan landscape in her memories in physical prints. Her practice blurs the line between photographic and glassmaking processes and explores how craft objects can be both final pieces and part of something more.
As a photographer, she specializes in art and product photography, editorial portraiture, and branding sessions for small businesses, creatives, and more. The process of collaborative making and attention to detail she developed as a glassmaker gives her an edge with her commercial photography, where she utilizes a combination of tight lighting control and confident creative direction to create a vibrant, unique photographic style. Some of her clients include AUArts SA Show + Sale (with Avenue Magazine and Daily Hive), The Cooks' Table (with Savour Magazine), R Guitars, Pike Studios, and Rubaiyat Stained Glass. She often donates her services to deserving non-profits, including the Calgary Horticultural Society, Alberta Craft Council, and CASSA Musical Arts.

Lost Series

The Lost Series comprises of a tryptic of Arches created at golden hour on bluebird days on the prairies. Cloudless skies always amaze me, because in Alberta, the sky is almost never still. It is full of movement from the wind and clouds. It’s funny how I don’t realize how much I miss the fleeting patterns that cross the sky until the landscape is still and quiet around me. For me, a bluebird day is a day for reflection; a day to spend replaying my favourite memories and bringing back what I have lost. This series is of special importance to me, as it represents the culmination of the research and experimentation I underwent during my BFA at AUArts. The Lost Series was exhibited at the Exposure Photography Festival in 2022.


The definition of the word Caducous is: a premature collapse or falling of something before its time. Signs of previous inhabitation in an abandoned place, whether ominous or curious, are the catalyst for reflection and exploration. This particular barn spoke to me because I felt that despite its decay, it still held more secrets and stories yet to be told before it could truly be forgotten. The ghostly glass trail embodies the place’s potential to hold untold stories and turns an inconspicuous abandoned barn into a meaningful place that remains sublime through the passage of time.

Show + Sale Lifestyle Campaigns 2021-22

As both the AUArts SA Show + Sale Coordinator and a commercial photographer, I led the lifestyle photography campaigns for Fall 2021 and Winter 2022. This selected group of images were seen in Avenue Magazine, Daily Hive, and on both on the AUArts website and the new online gallery store www.showandsale.ca. Special thanks to Julia Borden and Grace Wren for assisting.

Hot Gl(Ass) Calendar

The sexy glass calendar is a beloved annual tradition of the AUArts glass department. For 2021, I added my own style to the photo collection with a 50's working girl and a cheeky gay boudoir shoot with my models Kenzie Roth and Phillip Bandura. Not only fun and sexy, but also a great editorial community project! *MILD* sexual content ahead!

Sylph Stones

Each of these unique pondering stones are inspired by unique phenomena in Southern Alberta. They are vessels capture a small piece of what defines this place as my home into soothing, interactive stones that I can take with me on my travels. The layering of colour and texture invokes a sense of infinity found within the prairies: an ever-expanding limitless landscape that is conjured by the imagination from the minutest details, such as the rhythm of ice flowing on a river to the particular colour of the horizon line.

Artist Trading Card Project

Who says artists can't save the world? This photo-illustration series brings the magic of art school to life by elevating artists in different AUArts majors to magical DnD style adventure heroes! Each of the five trading cards features a current student at AUArts and comes with an additional info card that highlights a few of their class specialties. This project was a collaboration between myself and five of my friends to inspire first and second years, have some fun, and as we inch closer to graduation, to remember why we all choose to be artists: because art is magical!

Picture Perfect Travel Alberta Mock Campaign

*This is a mock campaign and is not endorsed by Travel Alberta or the Government of Alberta.
This campaign was inspired by pop up storybooks and cards that allow you to jump into a perfect place. Each of these 11x17 posters were created with printed inkjet photographs re-folded into iconic Alberta landscapes. The journey of ideation, travelling to these locations to photograph textures and forms, the building of the sets, and finally compositing the images together have given me a new appreciation for the place I grew up in - Southern Alberta - and the amazing natural wonders that we are lucky to have just next door. This series uses no stock photography in the making; all components were shot from actual Alberta landscapes!

The Raven

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
– The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe

Coordinates Series

If a moment in a life consists of a single point along the axis of time and space, then going out driving to visit and revisit favourite haunts is the best form of time travel. This series was displayed at the Student Exhibition at the international Glass Art Society Conference at the Tacoma Art Museum spring 2022.

Chinook Series

“Like a chinook wind keeps coming back again…”
– Alberta Bound, Paul Brandt
The Chinook Series envisions Chinook Arches in impossible locales: in the midst of the Rocky Mountains or facing East in the middle of the city. The Arches are remnants of mundane wonder, of finding joy in wasted time. They follow me no matter how far I travel, reminding me that I am still suspended between the past and the present, and still trying to reconcile with the past me that took these precious moments for granted. This series was displayed at the Alberta Craft Council’s “Coming Up Next” exhibition in both Edmonton and Calgary locations 2021-2022.