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Playing, Art-Making…the Dedicated Life and Loves of an Exceptional Child Artist
Sophia Leopold-Muresan was born on a wintry morning in 2008, just before Christmas, at Saint Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
She enjoys the benefits of a strong Eastern European family background and a Canadian one, as well.
Like most children, Sophia was, in the autumn of 2011 to winter 2011, first attracted to colouring books of all kinds. Soon she outgrew this pleasant but unfulfilling pastime in favour of creating drawings of her own and the medium she first chose was watercolour. But it was the magic of drawing and painting with marker pens which was soon to set the girl’s creativity ablaze. In fact she took to the markers like a fish to water and quickly attained a level of sophistication and mastery uncommon for a child so young. With each passing day, Sophia’s exceptional abilities blossomed forth as never before. Her seemingly endless inventiveness has been met with joy and approval by her two art teachers who guided her at the time, Uncle Vianu and a close friend of the family, Joel, better known as Papa Joel to Sophia.
Although the girl’s family supports and cherishes her creativity, it is Sophia herself who feels impelled to develop no less than 50 professional drawings and hundreds of sketches in less than a year. In August 2012, she had her first solo art exhibition in the St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood, with encouraging feedback from those in attendance. And a year later, in September 2013, she had her second well attended art show at the Eskimo Art Gallery at the Distillery District, in Toronto. In 2014, the Eskimo Art Gallery again invited her to display her works. Since then, she had many personal and group art exhibitions in Toronto and Hamilton.
And hardly a day goes by without Sophia making some intriguing discovery in the field of art history, be it the work of pointillist artists at the beginning of the 20th century or the abstract configurations of later artists including Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Joan Miró, to name a few.
In August 2014, her uncle and mentor for two and a half years, Vianu Muresan, published in Romania an album outlining Sophia’s development and art, titled Sophia Leopold, Let’s Play Artist. Sophia had a virtual art show as well, at the same time, with the release of this book. The album was presented by three fine arts professors and the feedback she received was again most encouraging. In 2015, the Romanian Consulate in Toronto invited Sophia to present her art and, at the same time, Vianu to present his book about Sophia.
Since September 2014, Sophia studies in a French school, with the idea of mastering the French language to complement her knowledge of Romania, Hungarian and English. At the same time, she has won a drawing competition organized by the Ontario College of Teachers and one of her recent paintings appeared in an American publication, Celebrating Art, Spring 2015.
Sophia diligently seeks new avenues of visual expression by varying the technical mediums she has gained mastery over, with help of her dedicated mentor, Papa Joel.
It was Papa Joel who recently wrote of his star pupil, “Young Sophia, utilizing the simplest of means, has looked long and hard at the work of contemporary masters of 20th century art, most notably Juan Miro and Wassily Kandinsky, among others. And in her own original way she has come up with some surprisingly elegant, from-the-heart interpretations of the early masters’ ground-breaking iconography which speaks of today as well as yesterday. Seeing truly is believing!”