Waverly Hall, GA
In spite of his thirty-year abandonment, Len Jagoda’s return to the world of art was dramatic with works that reflect his in-depth knowledge of his subjects stemming from his life’s experiences.
Len’s talent earned him a scholarship to the Cleveland Institute of Art; however, Uncle Sam had a different “scholarship” program that preempted his art studies. Following his military career, he returned to school on the GI Bill, but majored in Business instead of Art. Although he spent the next thirty years in the business world, he continued to be deeply involved with animals. He bred and trained horses, rode hunter jumpers and although he even had a couple on the track, he proclaims that delivering foals is the most thrilling equine event. His passion and compassion for dogs continued as well. Over time, he and his wife have adopted or rescued 39 dogs, four cats, a goat and a llama. Len believes that St. Francis of Assisi has a duty station around their farm where he guides lost, sick or homeless animals to them.
His familiarity with animals comes through in his art. His portraits are more than a fantastic likeness; he has the ability to capture expressions that reflect the subjects’ character and personality. His comprehension of anatomy shows in his sculptures suggesting how he transitioned his return to art. When Len rededicated himself to art, he chose to concentrate on fundamentals by limiting his art to sculpture and drawing for his first year back. This self-imposed limitation forced a dedication to the basics of form and values. He refused to work in color until he was satisfied with his works completed during this period; first adding pastels and more recently oils. His discipline was well rewarded. His first completed sculpture cast in bronze (Tribute – Labrador Retriever Portrait in Bronze) was recognized in eight art competitions with three Best in Show awards, a First Place award, a Second Place, a Merit Award at the state level and two Honorable Mentions. His pastels & oils quickly followed suit and among his many awards is the Best Head Study Award from the prestigious American Academy of Equine Art. Since his first entry in competitions in 2008, his awards for his artworks total seventy-one, including nine Best of Shows and sixteen First Place Awards.
The American Artists Professional League, based in New York, is the nations oldest professional artist organization and hosts the Grand National Exhibition annually. Len satisfied their requirements for Fellow membership status by after having works accepted to three Grand Nationals (2013, 2016, 2017); and he added a fourth in 2018.
Len is a Fellow Member of the American Artists Professional League and a Juried Member of the American Academy of Equine Art and has been accepted to many juried exhibitions, galleries and shows. He has had works accepted into four international exhibits, twice to the International Exhibition on Animals in Art at LSU (2010 & 2011) and the American Academy of Equine Art Exhibit at the International Museum of the Horse (2009, 2011, 2016 & 2017); the Grand National Exhibition in New York (2013, 2016, 2017 & 2018) and several other museum and invitational exhibitions. In 2016 the Georgia Horse Racing Coalition selected Len to portray Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. His art hangs in collections and homes all over the nation and Europe and as far away as Saudi Arabia, as well as some of the most prestigious horse farms in Kentucky, California, and Ireland. In addition to American Pharoah, he has completed portraits of leading sires and Derby winners and champions including Big Brown, Zenyatta, Distorted Humor, Rachel Alexandra, Bluegrass Cat, Johannesburg and Hall of Fame Champion and Champion Sire Tiznow. He was the official artist for the 2011 Aiken Steeplechase, has had his art featured on the covers of the Chronicle of the Horse twice and on the cover of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (April 15th, 2011 issue). He was also featured in the 2010 Bullmastiff Annual.
Commissions are gratefully accepted.