John C. Leonard was born in England in 1944 but later moved to Canada, where he studied art at Fleming College in Peterborough and the Ontario College of Art and Design.
He has taught at many of Ontario’s Universities and art schools, including Ontario College of Art and Design, University of Toronto, York University and others. He has also taught classes at the McMichael Gasllery on the Group of Seven.
Leonard has had over three hundred exhibitions over his career, throughout Canada and internationally in Spain, France, Portugal, Holland, Brazil and the U.S. He is an associate of The Royal Canadian Academy.
When Leonard first emerged on the Canadian art scene in the 1970's, he held three exhibits at the same time at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Hart House Art Gallery and at the Albert White Gallery in Toronto. These exhibits of course got people talking.
Leonard’s work is held in many public galleries and corporate collections including the National Gallery, the Ontario Arts Council, the Ministry of Culture and Recreation, the Art Gallery of Algoma, the Art Gallery of Sarnia, the Art Gallery of Lindsay, the Station Gallery (Whitby), CBS Records in New York and the Canada Development Corp., among others.
He is currently a faculty member of Fleming College’s Haliburton School of The Arts. He teaches landscape painting, impressionism, painting from a model, and the theory and technique of the Group of Seven. His personal work ranges from landscapes, nudes, and a diverse range of subjects combining abstraction and photo realism. He has also created lithographs.