Leon (Leonidas) Sarantos grew up in the Midwest and lives in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. He obtained a Bachelor of Architecture degree in the College of Arts and Architecture at the University of Michigan. As an architectural student, he studied drawing, composition, rendering and water color painting. While working as an architect in California, he continued studying art at local colleges, especially oil painting. He also continued to learn as a self-taught artist and spent several winters in Mexico painting local scenes.
Moving to Chicago, he continued his work in architecture and art, and began studies in figure painting at the Art Institute of Chicago. He exhibited as a one man show at the Chicago Public Library in 1985. More recently, he has studied at the Hyde Park Art Center, where his classes have included oil painting, portraits and independent study with Darrell Roberts. While there, he was invited to display his figurative painting, Nude Male Torso, in an invitational student exhibit; and his painting of Botany Pond was on display in the Hyde Park Art Center conference room. He exhibited a work in progress, Gargoyle Overlooking Hull Court, at the University of Chicago Rockefeller Memorial Chapel’s invitational exhibit. His paintings, Bond Chapel and the C-Shop, were displayed at New Wave Cafe, as part of Chicago Artists’ Month in 2010. More recent recognitions and exhibits are described below.
Represented by Union Street Gallery, Chicago Heights, Illinois; Paul Henry’s Art Gallery, Hammond, Indiana; CornerStone Art Gallery, Whiting, Indiana; and Xanadu Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona.
Member: Union Street Gallery Guild; Artsia: The Society of International Artists; 119th Street Artists; Studio 659.
Third prize for Preacher Man, an abstract figurative painting, at the Artistic License exhibit at Studio 659, Whiting Indiana. 2013.
Special recognition: Cityscape Exhibition, Light Space & Time - Curated Online Gallery, April, 2012. For Lakeside City.
Special recognition, The Elements Art Exhibition, Light Space &Time - Curated Online Gallery, November, 2011. For Dawn Twilight - The Sun, The Moon, The Stars.
Best of Show Award at Value Volume Variety II Exhibit at the CornerStone Art Center & Gallery, May 2011. Still Life With Mannequin Hand.
First prize for Botany Pond, a cityscape painting of the University of Chicago, at the South Side Impressions Group Exhibit at the Beverly Art Center, 2011.
Special Recognition for his painting, Suzanne in Repose, in the December, 2010 Figurative Art Exhibition at the Light Space &Time - Online Gallery.
Artistic License, Regional juried exhibit, Studio 659, Whiting, Indiana. Third prize.
Networks: Solo Exhibit, CornerStone Gallery, Whiting, Indiana.
Fluidity, Regional juried exhibit, Union Street Gallery, Chicago Heights, Illinois.
Mad World, National juried exhibit, Union Street Gallery, Chicago Heights, Illinois.South Lake Artist's Co-op Group Show, Paul Henry’s Art Gallery, Hammond, Indiana
Digital Gothic -- Paintings & Photographs of the University of Chicago, Solo Exhibit, CornerStone Art Center & Gallery, Whiting, Indiana
Art Takes Times Square, Times Square Billboards, New York. Group Exhibit.
Figurative Exhibition, Light Space & Time - Online Gallery, 2012. Curator: John
R. Math. June. Honorable Mention Award.
Directions, Paul Henry’s Art Gallery, Hammond, Indiana, 2011 - 2012. Group Exhibit.
The Struggle for Art IV, CornerStone Art Center & Gallery, Whiting, Indiana. Group exhibit, Curator: Jim Panos. Abstract art. April - May.
Industrial Art by Leon Sarantos, Studio 659, Group Exhibit, Indiana Welcome Center.
Cityscape Exhibition, Light Space & Time - Curated Online Gallery. Curator: John R. Math. April. Special Recognition Award: Lakeside City.
Figure And Form 2012, Online group exhibit. Curator: Marie Kazalia.
South Side Impressions, Beverly Art Center, Chicago, Illinois. Group exhibit, Curator: Carla Winterbottom. Cityscape paintings.
Invitational Student Exhibit, Hyde Park Art Center. Curator: Darrell Roberts.
Inside Out, Pop-up Art, Praksis Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, May, 2011. Group Exhibit. Curator Bill Moran.
Reclaim Art: Benefit for Howard Brown Health Center, Bridgeport Art Center, Chicago, Illinois, 2011. Invited Guest Artist, curated group exhibit.
Value Volume Variety II, CornerStone Art Center & Gallery, Whiting, Indiana, May 2 to July 1, 2011. Jurors: Robert Stanley, Jim Panos. Group exhibit/
7 Deadly Sins, Studio 659, Whiting, Indiana, 4/8 to 4/30. Invited Guest Artist, Curated group exhibit.
The Struggle for Art III - Art Non-Realiste, Cornerstone Art Center, Whiting, Indiana, 4/4 to 4/29, 2011. Invited Guest Artist, 119th Street Artists, curated group exhibit.
South Side Impressions, Beverly Art Center, Chicago, 3/1 to 3/31, 2011. Curated Group Show: Botany Pond, Gargoyle Overlooking Hull Court.
Vision Becomes Reality, Bridgeport Art Center, Chicago, 3/4 to 3/25, 2011. Invited Guest Artist, East Bank Artists, Group Exhibit, Bond Chapel.
Pink Walk, Ravenswood Art Walk and House Beautiful, Chicago, February 27,2011. Group Exhibit.
Hold Still Art, Oak Park Art League, Oak Park, Illinois, Benefit, 2/11 to 3/4, 2011. Still life paintings, group show.
5th Annual Emerging Artists Winter Exhibit, Morpho Gallery, Chicago, 1/28/2011 to 3/07/2011. Curated group show.
Listed in Art World Chicago: Online Art Gallery, Chicago Painters, Chicago Photographers.
He has often combined art, architecture and travel by painting and sketching local scenes. His has painted landscapes and, more recently, cityscapes. He is currently working on a series of paintings of the Main Quadrangles on the University of Chicago campus. He has lived in Hyde Park for many years now and his paintings draw on his experiences there, walking through the campus, picnicking at Botany Pond, and having a hot cup of coffee at the C-Shop on a winter's day. As an architect, his paintings are inspired by the beauty of the Gothic Revival architecture in the Main Quadrangle. The strong, gray, stone Gothic buildings symbolize the continuity of the academic traditions and enduring framework of the university. In contrast, change is symbolized by the life and vibrancy of the ever-changing student population, illustrated with their multiple electronic devices, backpacks, and diversity.