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About the Author

Leslie Kaufman
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Leslie Kaufman is a writer, artist, educator and curator raised on Long Island, NY who has lived in Philadelphia since 1977.  After receiving her BA in English from Colgate University, she received her M. Ed. in counseling psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. She started her professional career as a college counselor and then returned to school to get an M.F.A. from Vermont College of Art. She was the founder and is the current president of Philadelphia Sculptors, a professional nonprofit organization of sculptors in existence since 1996. She has exhibited her sculptures nationally and internationally, and enjoys producing and participating in collaborative, alternative, and public art projects. Through Philadelphia Sculptors she has originated far-ranging exhibitions of site-specific installations


While Gracie is her first children’s book, she has a great deal of experience as a published writer, having been a contributor to Sculpture Magazine and Inside Magazine.  The idea for Gracie originated with her connection to the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum, where she is a board member.  After viewing a carved wooden head of a sea monster that was donated to the Museum, she was inspired to create a back story that would appeal to children and focus on elements of history and ecology of the Chesapeake Bay where the Museum is located.


Additional interests include a community project to preserve the last remaining “wilderness” in her neighborhood in Philadelphia, and imaginative efforts to see how art can be used to help provide new perspectives on social and environmental problems.  She is passionate about language and that, plus her abiding interest in creativity of all kinds, continues to inspire her to explore new avenues of expression.

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