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Artwork by Justin Leitner on display at Looking Glass Gallery

BOONE—The Looking Glass Gallery at Appalachian State University presents “Pareidolia,” a painting and drawing exhibit by artist Justin Leitner. The exhibition will be on view through Oct. 10 in the gallery in Plemmons Student Union. The exhibit was curated by Dianna Loughlin, curator of the LGG.

View larger imageImage © LGG and Justin Leitner
Multiverse, 2011, 5’ x 5’, acrylic and ink

Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon involving vague and random stimulus that is perceived as significant. Leitner compares the concept of this recent body of work with the leisurely activity of looking at the clouds and finding new shapes within them.

“But instead of finding shapes in the clouds,” explained Leitner, “I find new images and characters within the traditional landscapes and portraits that are my work. As the paint dries, I stare at a piece for hours until these characters appear to me.” Leitner then outlines and draws these images, revealing a once hidden world to the viewer.

Leitner’s paintings are textured and thick, yet immaculately detailed with the additions of his drawings. His work sets aside the contemporary idea that landscapes and portraits are “old art” and instead adds areas of curiosity that encourage the viewer to search the surface for details.

Leitner is a senior pursuing a B.F.A. in studio art with a concentration in painting and drawing. He has exhibited his work at a wide range of art festivals and art galleries, including the Visual Arts Exchange and Sertoma Arts Center in Raleigh, and Artwalk and Nth Degree Gallery in Boone.

The Looking Glass Gallery is located on the first floor of the Plemmons Student Union at Appalachian State University. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.; and Sunday from 1- 10 p.m. A full schedule for the Plemmons Student Union is available at For more information about the gallery, visit