Alan Leder, artist, educator, and arts administrator, was born and raised in Chicago, IL. He received a BFA in painting and Art History from Northern Illinois University and his MFA degree in Sculpture and Filmmaking from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). While at SAIC, he studied photography with Barbara Crane and Harold Allen. For several years following graduation he worked as a freelance photojournalist and filmmaker in the US and Mexico.
Alan has been an adjunct professor and lecturer at several local colleges and universities, including Columbia College, Elmhurst College, Oakton Community College, University of Illinois, Chicago, and Loyola University. He has taught a variety of subjects, including painting, photography, filmmaking, art history and arts administration.
As an arts administrator, Alan spent five years at Chicago’s Dept. of Cultural Affairs where he served as Assistant Visual Arts Director and Coordinator of Chicago’s Percent For Arts program. From 1986 to 2003, he was the state Director of Visual Arts and Media Arts programs at the Illinois Arts Council.
In 2003 he was named Executive Director of the Evanston Art Center (EAC). While Director at the EAC, he curated several major exhibitions and coordinated the acclaimed Sculpture on the Grounds program. He retired from the EAC in 2009 to devote full time to his photography and mixed media projects.
His photography and photo based art has been exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions in the US and Mexico. In June, 2012 Alan presented 26 pieces of recent work in the exhibition, “Apparititons and Constructions” at Chicago’s Bridgeport Art Center. His art has been published in books, magazines and journals and is held in public and private collections throughout the U.S.
Alan lives in Evanston, IL with his wife, Jane Mersky Leder, a celebrated author and journalist, and their two rambunctious Maine Coon cats, Augie and Zuni.