Curriculum Vitae

Leon Grodski de Barrera
Artist, Entrepreneur, Writer, Teacher, Producer

Born 1973, Smithtown, New York
Lives and works in Durham, North Carolina

Columbia University, Master of Arts in English Education, 1997
Binghamton University, Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Literature 1995
Lived one year in Cologne, Germany in 1996-97
Lived one year in Paris, France in 1998-99
Lived 7 years on the Qualla Boundary
Speaks fluent German and functional French
Currently learning Spanish
Extensive Travel in the U.S., Europe, North Africa & Mexico

2010 - Present  Co-Owner, with wife Areli Barrera de Grodski, of Cocoa Cinnamon, a specialty chocolate, spices, teas and coffee retail and online store - that infuses chocolates with spices and the histories and tastes behind them.  

2003 - 2010  Co-Owner of sustainable coffee shop and roastery of organic and fair trade coffees grown by native people around the world - Tribal Grounds Coffee.  Focus on Italian style quality, authentic indigenous theme, dedication to customers and service and social justice through commerce.

2014 Sustainable Enterprise of the Year Award from Green Plus
2014 Best Durham Coffee Shop and Place for Blind Date for Cocoa Cinnamon in Indy Week Best of...
2014 Durham Magazine Platinum Award for Best Coffee Shop, Cocoa Cinnamon
2013 Best Renovation Award by Downtown Durham, Inc.  for Cocoa Cinnamon in Indy Week
2013 Voted Preservation Durham Best Adaptive Reuse Project for Cocoa Cinnamon
2013 Voted Best New Business by readers of Independent Weekly for Cocoa Cinnamon
2009 The Sequoyah Fund $5,000 1st Prize for competition “Getting Retail Right”
2009 Friend of Kituwah Award from Kituwah Preservation and Education Program
2008 Community Service Award from the North Carolina Cooperative Extension
2005 Best of The Shadow Festival, Amsterdam
2003 Featured in Artforum Magazine’s Critic's Picks for 'Great Balls of Fire' in '24/7 Wilno-Nueva York,' Vilnius
2003 Featured as Top Ten in the Denver Fall Arts Season, Kyle MacMillan, Art Critic, Denver Post for 'The Umbrella (The Points of Contact #1)' at Studio Aiello
2003 Independent Project Grant, Artists Space, NY for installation
'swift nude ______' at Galapagos Art Space, Brooklyn, NY
2003 Artist in Residence, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC
2003 Best of Fest Choice, Impakt Festival for Audio-Visual Arts, Utrecht
2003 Best of Fest Choice, European Media Art Festival, Osnabruck
2003 Selection in special international program of the 2003 Videoex Festival, Zurich, Switzerland/Berlin, Germany, with 'Great Balls of Fire'
2002 Best of Show, 'Grand Opening Group Show' Studio Aiello Contemporary Art Space, Denver, CO, with 'The Umbrella, The Points of Contact #1,'
'Swift nude _______' & 'Great Balls of Fire'
2002 Juror Choice Award, Arizona State University Art Museum Film & Video Festival, Tempe, AZ, with 'Great Balls of Fire'
2002 Grand Jury Award: Best Short, No Dance Film and Multimedia Festival, Park City, UT, with 'Great Balls of Fire'
2002 Best of Five Years Selection, No Dance Film and Multimedia Festival, Los Angeles, CA, with 'Great Balls of Fire'
2001 First Prize, Photo District News 7th Annual Digital Imaging Contest,
New York, NY, with 'The Umbrella, The Points of Contact #1'

2011  The Scrap Exchange, Durham, NC, with "Retrospective Inference"
2003  McColl Center For Visual Art, Charlotte, NC, with "Great Balls of Fire"
2003  Galapagos Art Space, Brooklyn, NY, “swift nude ______'
2002  Wilkinson Gallery, London, United Kingdom, Video Project Space, 'Near-Life Experience,' with 'Great Balls of Fire'

2007 "Memory's Images, Once They are Fixed in Words Are Erased," LIFT Contemporary
2006 "Something to Someone," LIFT Contemporary
2005  Studio Aiello, ‘New Media’ Denver, Curated by Tyler Aiello
2005  Extra City, ‘Dedication to a Proposition,’ Antwerp, Belgium, Curated by Wim Peeters
2004  LIFT Contemporary, “FLIGHT’ Cherokee, Curated by Leon Grodski
2004 Aeroplastics Contemporary, ‘Artists of the Gallery, Winter Show,’ Brussels, Belgium, Curated by Jerome Jacobs
2003 Witte Zaal, 'Without Fear or Reproach' Gent, Belgium,
Curated by Jerome Jacobs and Dirk Manesse
2003 FACT Centre, ‘Nothing Special’ Liverpool, United Kingdom, Curated by Claire Doherty
2003 Play Gallery, Berlin, work from VIDEOEX
2003 Contemporary Art Center, ‘24/7 Vilnius-New York’ Vilnius, Lithuania, Curated by Raimundus Malasauskas
2003 Studio Aiello, 'Best of Show Exhibition,’ Denver
2003 Break 2.2, ‘Invisible Threat’ Ljubljana, Slovenia
2003 Video Art Foundation, ‘25 Hours’ Barcelona, Spain, Curated by Manuel Saiz
Santa Monica Museum of Art, as part of Johan Grimonprez exhibition
2002 Uitmarkt, under the Rijksmuseum, as part of the official opening of the Holland Cultural Season, Amsterdam
2002 Studio Aiello, Grand Opening Group Show, Denver, Curated by Tyler Aiello

2011 ACC Galerie, Weimar, Germany
2011 Halle 14, Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei, Leipzig, Germany
2009 ARTE, Television France/Germany
2003 Maison de la Photographie Europeenne, Paris, France
2003 Chokri's Store, Douz, Tunisia
2003 Indonesia National Gallery, Jakarta
2003 Landesmuseum, Linz, Austria
2003 The Red House, Sofia, Bulgaria
2003 Imageforum, Japan
2002 Backup Festival, Weimar, Germany
2002 New York University, NYC
2002 Ocularis, Williamsburg
2002 Impakt Festival, Utrecht, The Netherlands
2002 The Walker Art Center, 'DIG.IT II,’ Minneapolis
2002 Santa Barbara Contemporary Art Forum, Santa Barbara
2002 Harvard University, Cambridge
2002 Split Festival of New Film, Split, Croatia
2002 MoCA, Los Angeles
2002 Lincoln Center, Walter Reade Theater, New York Video Festival, New York City
2002 Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen, Germany

2015 Slow Money Regional Gathering, Buying into our local economy- Speaker
2015 Sum and Substance - Speaker
2015 RTP 180 Social Entrepreneurship, for the greater good - Speaker
2014 "Olympic Dreams" article in Indy Week
2010 "Taking Ownership" article in Smoky Mountain News
2007  "Memory's Images, Once They are Fixed in Words Are Erased," 
Curator, LIFT Contemporary
2006  “Something to Someone,” Curator, LIFT Contemporary
2006  “ART EXPO,” curator, Catherine J. Smith Gallery, Appalachian State University
2005  “Of the Cave” co-curator, LIFT Contemporary
2004  “FLIGHT,” curator, included works by Stephen Dean, Yael Bartana, Yoko Ono, Johan Grimonprez,  Hiraki Sawa, Luzene Hill, Christoph Draeger, Joost Conijn
2000  'Deprivation' Co-Writer/Producer, Feature Film, Jesse Scolaro, Director, SXSW Film Festival, Domani Vision Festival, Oxford Film Festival, Woodstock Film Festival
1999  'Togetherless' Writer, Jesse Scolaro, Director, Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, Raindance Film Fest, St. Louis International Film Festival
Grant writer for various projects.

2004   Co-Founder LIFT Contemporary, Art Space on the Qualla Boundary
03-04  '', Designer/Producer, David Solow, Artist
02-03 'Runway,' Researcher/Producer, David Solow, Artist
03-04 'Defying Gravity' Producer of outdoor installation by David Solow at the North Carolina Museum of Art
03-04 'The Fall of Saigon,' Producer of Photo-real Helicopter Animation Scene in 'Miss Saigon,' Mitchell Lemsky, Director, Cameron Mackintosh, Producer, toured fifty two American cities
2003 "Lost Intentions/Ovary and Oculus," Producer, David Solow, Artist
Artspace, Raleigh, May-June 2003
02-04 'Untitled Dreaming Project,' Producer, David Solow, Artist
Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, NC, Rose Art Museum, Boston
2001 'Logic of The Birds' Line Producer of two Films in Interdisciplanary Performance and Multiscreened Film, Shirin Neshat, Artist
International Tour including: The Kitchen, NY, The Walker Art Center, MN, Lincoln Center, NY and Union Chapel, UK
2001 'The Victim' Producer, Short Film, Doug Magee Director, Starring David Strathairn & Patti LuPone, Avignon Film Festival, Cinequest Film Festival
2000 'Shoot the Piano Tuner' Producer, Short Film, Sam Neave, Director, Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival

04-10  Guest Lecturer/Teacher, art and multimedia classes, Cherokee Schools
2010   Guest Speaker, Western Carolina University, Master Students Arts Program
2007   Guest Lecturer, Master of Art History Program, UNC Chapel Hill 
06-09  Artspace Educator - Youth Media Project
98-00   Brooklyn Technical High School, NY, English & Literature Teacher
1999    Private Tutor, Paris, France
96-97   Carl Duisberg Society, English as a Second Language Teacher, Cologne, Germany
94-95   Upward Bound Program, Binghamton, NY, English & Literature Teacher
94-95   Substitute Teacher, Binghamton, Endicott & Johnson City, NY School Districts
93-95   Upward Bound Program, Binghamton, NY, Counselor/Tutor

05-12 Served on Board of aNOMalY non-profit Contemporary Arts Organization
07-09 Judge, Photography, Cherokee Fair
06-09 Founding board member of Gadugi, Inc. (Working Together - translation from Cherokee language), non-profit public aid organization in the Cherokee community.
2008 Participant in think tank Qualla Generations - purpose creating sustainability on the Qualla Boundary

2015 Raleigh News and Observer, Indy Week
2014 Indy Week, Durham Magazine, Durham Herald-Sun, The News and Observer, WRAL, The Duke Chronicle
2013 The Independent Weekly, Southern Living,, Durham Magazine
2012 The Independent Weekly, Southern Living
2011 The Independent Weekly, Bull City Rising, The Herald-Sun
2006, 2009, 2010 Asheville Citizen-Times
2005, 2007, 2009, 2010 Mountain Xpress
2005, 2006, 2009 Smoky Mountain News 
2009 Knoxville Sentinel
2010 WNC Magazine
2008 Youth Renewing the Countryside – Book
2007 Native Peoples Magazine
2007 Art of the Cherokee: Prehistory to Present, by Susan Power – Book
2004 The Cherokee One Feather, “LIFT Combines Coffeehouse Culture with Contemporary Art”
Select Press on Artistic Activities:
2004 Asheville Mountain Express, “Flights of Fancy,” Connie Bostic
2004 Durham Herald-Sun, “Runway Art Hails Wrights”
2004 Exhibition Essay and Book, “Without Fear or Reproach,” Churchill Haig
2003 Artforum, International, '24/7 Vilno-Nueva York--Critic's Picks'
2003 Koran Tempo, Jakarta, 'Mengemas Kritik Dalam Rekamen Video'
2003 Denver Post, Denver, 'Umbrella Makes a Splash!', Kyle MacMillan
2003 Denver Post, Denver, 'Paint the Town Red'
2002 Contemporary Magazine, London 'News: London', Richard Dyer
2002 Westword, Denver, 'Up, Up & Away'
2002 Filmkrant, The Netherlands, 'Honden en Rampen, Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen'
2002 Springerin, Austria, 'Pictures of War, Inscriptions of the Life-World', Carsten Hoeller
2002 Insight, Arizona, "ASU Film & Video Festival"
2002 Neuer Zurcher Zeitung, Switzerland, 'Mehr als nur 11. September, Sonderprogramm Katastrophen in Oberhausen'
2002 Kenntwort Kino, ZDF, Germany, Featured in television program
2001 Photo District News Magazine, International, '7th Annual Digital Imaging Winners'

88-90 Participated in first junior Olympic Badminton Training Program at the USOEC, Marquette, Michigan and Olympic Training Centers