Leola was born in Empress, Alberta in 1943. She grew up in Sedgewick and attended school there. She earned her Teacher's Certificate from the University of Alberta in 1964. She taught high school typing and French in Sedgewick. Later as a new teacher in Lougheed, she was the one elected to teach art. She credits Harry Kossowan of Killam for her chance to become a better art teacher and eventually, turning her into a practicing artist! In 1964 she married Doug, a farmer who owns and operates a mixed farm. They have two children, a son and daughter. The son now helps with the farm and her daughter is following in her mother's footsteps at the University of Alberta getting her education degree.
Leola always liked to draw. Her first art class was with Harry Kossowan in 1970 with the Battle River Art Club. Since then, she has taken many courses through the University of Alberta Extension Department. Some courses were taken in the country with Paul Braid and Gisela Felsberg. Later, she took a Univesity course with Keith Harder and workshops with Jim Brager. A workshop with Mary Todd Beam in Calgary in 2000 rekindled her enthusiasm for abstraction. She completed her Fine Arts Certificate in 2002 and then enjoyed a pastel course with Ron Wigglesworth.
Leola has been a frequent exhibitor with Alberta Wide, the Alberta Community Art Club Association (ACACA), at the Red Deer and District Museum over many years. Leola has works in many private and public collections, including the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Department of Extension at the University of Albeta. She is represented at the Candler Art Gallery in Camrose, Alberta.
1995 President's Award, Alberta Wide, ACACA, Red Deer, AB
99/2002 Lillian Nunn Scholarship, University of Alberta Extension Dept., Edmonton
1993/96 Lillian Nunn Scholarship, University of Alberta Extension Dept., Edmonton
1991 Harry Wolfarth Drawing Scholarship, Alberta Wide, ACACA, Red Deer, AB
1981/85 Constance McFarland Scholarship, University of Alberta Extension Dept., Edmonton, AB
1980 Dorothy Gardiner Award, Purchase Award, ACACA
2002 Graduating Student Show, Solo Exhibit, University of Alberta Extension Department
2001 Candler Art Gallery, Camrose, AB, Group Show
2000 Candler Art Gallery, Camrose, AB, Group Show
1999 Drayton Valley Civic Centre, Drayton Valley, AB, Group Show
1998 A Vision of the Land, A joint Edmonton Art Gallery and ACACA Travelling Exhibition
1994 Candler Art Gallery, Camrose, AB, Group Show
1982 Bridge the Gap, ALberta Art Foundation Travelling Exhibition
1981-2003 Alberta Wide, Red Deer and District Museum, Red Deer, AB
1980 This End Up, Alberta Culture, Alberta's 75th Anniversary Travelling Exhibition
1975 Central Alberta Juried Art Show, Visual Branch of Alberta Culture and the ACACA Travelling Exhibition