"Your work touches my soul and speaks to my heart"
— SL

As a team, Lynn Bregman-Blass and Leah Sobsey have an uncanny way of mining the personal history of an individual, family, or community, and then they present that rich heritage in a visually compelling manner that speaks to everyone. The Our Histories: In Focus project they created for the Chapel Hill community involved some 500 people contributing to the artwork’s content. That’s real community art."

Jeffrey J. York
Public & Cultural Arts Administrator
Town of Chapel Hill, NC

Leah Sobsey is an artist and educator raised in Chapel Hill and Durham, North Carolina. Her combined art and anthropology background shaped her love of stories and gave her the tools to artfully map and investigate her own history and now others. She received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2001 and a BA in Anthropology and Sociology from Guilford College in 1995. She graduated from the Maine Photographic Workshops in 1997 (now the Maine Media College’s Professional Certificate Program). She works in both traditional and digital photography, mixed media installations and public art. She has exhibited nationally in galleries, museums and public spaces, and her work is held in private and public collections across the country. She taught at the San Francisco Art Institute and the Maine Photographic Workshops, and currently teaches at the Center for Documentary studies at Duke University (2002 to present) and the University of North Carolina, Greensboro since 2003. Sobsey explores memory and the notion of collections as they relate to personal and public identities.

Lynn Bregman Blass is both an artist and a family therapist finding that each has enriched the other. In her therapy work she has explored the relationship between inner narratives and the stories one develops to make sense of life. She is gifted at getting others to tell their stories and open up in ways they didn’t expect they could.

As an artist she began working with encaustic in 1999. This is a medium composed of pigment, beeswax & Damar resin. Because of the translucency of this medium whatever lies beneath the visible surface, the history of the painting is always available. In other mediums the progression of a piece is never visible once a final layer of paint is applied. Leonard Schlain beautifully describes Jasper Johns work with encaustic in Art & Physics as a "translucent archaeological tell allowing the viewer to squint through the usually opaque of an artwork’s present and discern the ghosts of its past." Encaustic, as such, has become a perfect medium for Lynn to continue exploring memory, stories, and history.

She has had numerous juried, solo and group shows throughout the US. The Visual History Collaborative is the recipient of a Durham Arts Council Emerging Artist Grant and an Orange County Artists Grant for public art projects.

Photo by Briana Brough, Chapel Hill Magazine
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