A chef by profession and longtime art collector, David Leigh is in the process of morphing Bowmanville into a thriving arts center. The neighborhood of Bowmanville, tucked between Lincoln Square and Andersonville and at the crossroads of Damen and Foster Avenues, has long been a sleepy residential area. In June of 2005, when Leigh opened Morpho Gallery in a storefront on Damen Avenue, he received a warm reception. The opening event was a huge success, attended by art-hungry locals who enthusiastically welcomed the gallery into the neighborhood.
The gallery focuses primarily on works on paper-lithographs and etchings-but does offer a vast array of medias including photography, jewelry, glass and mixed medias. Leigh's collections of antique rare Le Rire magazines, botanical prints and J.J. Granville illustrations finally have a home where the public can view and purchase them. Leigh also shows the work of local print artists such as Elizabeth Ockwell and Steven Hazard and displays the prints of artists affiliated with Anchor Graphics, now part of Columbia College. Morpho also exhibits many locals such as David Sisk, Ruth Sikes, Pat Carr, Judith Roth and Bert Menco.
In 2007, Morpho expanded to an adjacent space to to add the "Grotto." This space is a rougher, lofted area with exposed brick. With this addition, the Grotto, Morpho has doubled its exhibition area and now provides some framing for its clients. The gallery spaces can be leased together or separately for events. It offers discounts to emerging artists looking for opportunities to exhibit their work. Morpho also leases the gallery for private events, receptions and food and wine-tastings during the spring and fall seasons.