About Me

Leila Refahi works with painting, installation and digital media to create participatory and social engagement art experiences. Her work mainly focuses on environmental issues and climate justice. In recent years, the core of her practice has been exploring the role of art in raising and transforming awareness about ecological problems.
She engages the public in her creative process through her participatory projects, letting them become co-authors, editors, and observers of each work. Interactions between participants, herself, and her artworks are the most significant part of her practice. Depending on the theme, she employs different materials, media, and forms of expression to convey particular concepts. For Leila, art is a way of communicating with people, and her works become complete when audiences engage with them actively, both semantically and practically.

L e i l a R e f a h i . C V

2021 MA. Art Education, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
2010 Ma. Painting, Azad Art University, Tehran, Iran
2007 BA. Painting, Azad Art University, Tehran, Iran

Awards and Honors
2022 Newcomer Space Award, Toronto Arts Foundation, Toronto, Canada
Newcomer Mentorship Award, Toronto Arts Council, Canada
2021 RBC Newcomer Arts Award, Toronto Arts Foundation, Toronto, Canada
Bourse Concordia-CCGV, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
2019 Graduate Students Entrance Award, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
2018 Artist of the Day, Artists for Conservation Group, Vancouver, Canada
2017 Art Factory Malakta artist residency, Malax, Finland
Finalist of Golden Turtle Festival, Russia
2015 Finalist of Pars Online festival and selected artist by the public, Tehran, Iran

Solo Exhibitions
2021 The Resilient Gaze, Georges-Vanier Gallery, Montreal, Canada
2017 The Messenger, Art Factory Malakta, Malax, Finland
2015 Suspend Life, Anahita Gallery, Tehran, Iran
2013 View Less, Vali Gallery, Tehran, Iran
2012 Afternoon Tea with Madame De Beauvoir, Vali Gallery, Tehran, Iran
2011 Walking on Uphill, Vali Gallery, Tehran, Iran

Participatory Projects
2020 There is something to be seen, Montreal, Canada
2019 The Messenger, Montreal, Quebec
Birds’ Farm:
2019 Mahdoone Art Institute, Yazd, Iran
2018 Damoun nature school, Tehran, Iran
2017 Public Park, Ingolstadt, Germany
Merenkurkku School, Vaasa, Finland

Selected Group Exhibitions
2021 What is Art For? Curated by Kathleen Vaughan, Montreal, Canada
Walk bye outdoor public exhibition, Jersey, USA
The Sketch of Survival, OXO Gallery, London, England
2020 Re- an exhibition by ArtEGs Art Collective, HPG Gallery, Montreal, Canada
International Exhibit of Nature Art, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, USA
2019 International Postcard Exhibition, INSEA World Congress, Vancouver, Canada
Silent Skies tour exhibition, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, USA
The Sketch of Survival, touring exhibition, London, Norwich, Yorkshire, New York
Artists for Conservation, Van Dusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, Canada
Lanwan Art festival, Lanwan Art Museum, Qingdao, China
2018 Luka, Ass Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran
Boom- Vista Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran
6th International Art for Peace Exhibition, Pardis Cinema Complex, Tehran, Iran
Silent Skies, Vancouver Convention Centre, Vancouver, Canada
2017 Soul of the Desert, Art Center Gallery, Tehran, Iran
Artists for Conservation, Van Dusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, Canada
Burning art, Art Factory Malakta, Malax, Finland
Golden Turtle- Expo center on Krasnaya Presnya, Moscow, Russia
2016 5th Iran International Green Film Biennale- Saba Cultural Institute, Iran
This House, Iranshahr Gallery, Tehran, Iran
2015 Standing in nothingness, Anahita Gallery, Tehran, Iran
Pars Online, Ass Gallery, Tehran, Iran
2014 Eco.ho.sis, Shirin Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran
You Are Grown-up Now, Hoor Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran
2013 Tehran, Seyhoun Art Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
2012 Young Persian Artists, Paul Richard Cultural Building, Lyon, France
2011 Four Generations of Iranian Artist, Iranica Encyclopedia, New York, USA
2004-10 Date with the Subject, Sazmanab Gallery, Tehran, Iran
Sixteen Contemporary Women Artist of Iran, Mekic Art Gallery, Montreal, Canada
8th and 7th Annual Drawing exhibition, Atashzad Gallery, Tehran, Iran
100 Artists 100 Artworks, Golestan Gallery, Tehran, Iran

Affiliations and Associations
2020 Faculty of Fine Arts Council, Graduate students Representative, Concordia
University, Montreal, Canada
2019-21 Art Education Students Art Collective, Executive Member, Concordia University,
Montreal, Canada
2019-21 Student Sustainability Ambassador, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
2017-20 Artists for Conservation (AFC), Vancouver, Canada
Since2015 Association of Iranian Painters, Iran

Talks and Lectures
2022 Artists for Ecocide Law online round table, Finland
Toronto School of Art, Art teacher, Toronto, Canada
Artbarn School, Art teacher, Toronto, Canada
2021 Graduate Symposium in the Department of Education (GSDE), Concordia University, Canada
2020 International Symposium of Artful Inquiry Research Group (AIRG), McGill University, Canada
2019-21 Concordia University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Teaching assistant, Montreal, Canada
2017 Merenkurkun School, Artist Talk, Vaasa, Finland
Malakta Art Factory, Artist Talk, Malax, Finland
Roodehen University of Art, Lecturer, Faculty of Fine Arts, Lecturer, Tehran, Iran
2016 Photocopy Artists Collective, Artist Talk, Tehran, Iran
2011-17 Art and Architecture University, Lecturer, Faculty of Fine Arts, Lecturer, Tehran, Iran

2021 Looking Back to Look Forward: Making Connections in and Through Arts-based Educational
Research, SpringerBriefs, Canada (Forthcoming)
2021 Resilient Gaze, Æ Graduate Journal of Art Education, Volume1. Concordia University,
Montreal, Canada

Member of jury
2015-16 The Graphic Book of the Year, fourth Call, Baban publishers, Tehran, Iran