Meet a Mom: Lori Leckliter | New Canaan & Darien Moms

Today’s Meet a Mom is artist Lori Leckliter, a mother of two who moved to town in 2014. A former fashion designer at Ralph Lauren, Lori started focusing on painting and action portraiture when she left New York City for the suburbs. For Lori, her career in fashion “never felt like work and my art practice today is one of my great joys.”

Her artwork will be on display from December 2 – January 27 at The Museum of Darien (MoD) as part of a show called “Common Threads.” MoD is throwing an “outrageous” holiday party and art exhibit reception at 7 p.m. Friday, December 2, at the Museum (45 Old Kings Highway North, Darien). To purchase tickets for the holiday party and art exhibit, visit the website. Walk-ins are welcome.

Tell us about your family—how many kids do you have and what are their ages?
We are a small family of 3 and one fantastic dog, Anchor. Harrison is a senior at King and is turning 18 in January. Bennett is an 8th grader who will be 14 in February.

When did you first move to town?
We moved to Darien in 2014 from the city, with a year in-between in Rye. We loved the space and the beautiful landscape of Darien by the water. We built our dream home and felt very welcomed into the community. The Darien schools were a big draw for us and the town’s focus on family, philanthropy and sports.

What are your favorite activities to do in town and nearby?
Our dog, Anchor, helps us all get out and explore the many parks and beaches in town. Some of our favorites are long walks in Woodland Park, in every season, running on the beach in Tokeneke and the wonderful dog park in Rowayton. We are a big DJFL family, so the sports fields are where you can usually find us on the weekends in the summer and fall. I grew up playing tennis in California and treasure my time with all of my great friends on the tennis courts in town.

Tell us how you got into painting and what led you to get your MFA?
As a fashion designer in New York for 15 years, my schedule was very hectic, but I always saved Thursday nights to take painting classes at Pratt and SVA. It was a time to work on personal projects and learn from renowned professors. Moving out of the city to focus on my young family left me with time to take on more serious art projects. My focus was action portraiture. I wanted to capture family life in a real and joyful way. I loved this work, but knew that there was more I wanted to learn to push my work farther. The low residence MFA program at Lesley University was the perfect fit for me. The Darien Library became my free-time hangout space where I did my art research and wrote all my papers. To be able to graduate in January 2020, before the pandemic, was a gift, as we got to have a large show in Boston with all of my family present.

When did your art turn into more than just a hobby?
Art has always been a joy in my life. It has never been a hobby, but more of an essential part of me. My career in fashion never felt like work and my art practice today is one of my great joys.

Describe your artwork and how you create each piece of work.
I am a figurative painter and love to work with live models. When I can’t do that, I work a lot with photography and my imagination to interpret cultural norms. My paintings reinterpret my life’s past experiences mixed together with our current reality. Gestures and movements are expressed with traditional use of thick oil impastos and thin veils of chroma, leaving hints of my process amongst the layers. My love of fabric and clothing always play a role in my work to shape an identity and a sense of place. The weaving and hand-crafted elements in my textile work directly relate to the fabric I am working with. The stories that I am weaving together have a conversation with the process.

Tell us about the upcoming art exhibition at Museum on Darien.
The Common Threads art exhibit at the Museum of Darien is a wonderful opportunity for me to work with The Concepts Group, which is a long-standing artist assemblage in Darien. The exhibit will kick off December with an Outrageous Holiday Party!

Name your top band, TV show, book…
I am currently enjoying the poet and philosopher, Yung Pueblo’s, new book, lighter. Historical fiction is my favorite genre for movies and series. Some highlights are The Last Kingdom, Vikings and The Great! Most of my career was with Ralph Lauren, and I feel very at-home with the brand.

Can you share the best advice you’ve ever received from a fellow mom?
A very wise mother shared her philosophy of being present for your children, and also know that there is a long game to be conscious of. Every milestone is important, and being consistent and available have a lasting effect.

What’s your go-to activity or way to relax?
Playing tennis is my ultimate way to relax. I need to move my body to feel free and happy. I also love long walks with friends or a restorative hike in nature, all followed by a hot bath.

To learn more about Lori’s art, visit or follow her on Instagram: @ lori_leckliter

Join The New Canaan Darien Moms Network Community

Stay up-to-date with what is happening in-and-around New Canaan Darien CT with local events, community highlights, and exclusive deals.