Amber LeFever & Adam Soboleski

Amber LeFever & Adam Soboleski

LeSo Gallery Director, LeSo Gallery Production Manager

August 7, 2013


LeSo Gallery


It takes a lot of patience and determination to make your dreams come true, especially if that dream involves renovating your own gallery space. But Amber LeFever and Adam Soboleski—with the help of friends and family, including Brad Scherzer, Devon LeFever and Aaron Soboleski—successfully opened their eastside gallery space nearly one year ago. LeSo Gallery, located at 1527 Starr Ave., serves as a space for local and regional artists to exhibit their work, as well as an educational center for art students of all levels. Amber and Adam have successfully created a comfortable environment for artists and patrons of the arts to converse and learn with one another. Aside from preparing for the gallery's annual Overture juried exhibit, their 1903 brick building recently received a makeover, with a mural design by local artist Mr.Taylor. 

Tell us more about some of your past projects?
Besides spending a year and a half working on renovating our building, we recently raised money through Kickstarter and completed a mural on the East wall of LeSo. Mr.Taylor did an amazing job on the mural and we feel very blessed with the overall success.  

What current projects are you working on?
Currently, LeSo is working on completing a wood-fire kiln on the premises.  We have been slowly collecting fire-brick for the past two years and are extremely excited to be moving forward with building the kiln. Not only is this a fantastic opportunity for Adam’s ceramic work, but for overall community involvement and education. Wood firings tend to create a strong community environment and I think we are perfect to help facilitate it. 

What advantages does being in Northwest Ohio/Toledo offer your efforts?
Toledo offers a rich history and an active arts community. There are many people trying their best to create something spectacular in Toledo, whether it is a gallery, a community, or simply a difference. We are lucky enough to be near universities and colleges that are constantly producing new ideas and talented artists.

Tell us about one of your greatest successes.
After a year and a half of renovating our building, we worked hard to market our first exhibition, Overture. We pushed ourselves to meet a deadline and create a high standard for our gallery. On the opening night for Overture, and the official opening of LeSo, over 300 people visited our space. We were overwhelmed and overjoyed with the support and for how far we had come.

Tell us who or what gives you inspiration?
Discovering what Toledo has to offer, meeting new artists who are working towards their own success, and (Amber says) my students.

Tell us about your background.
Adam grew up in a military family and his parents and four brothers moved a lot throughout his childhood.  Amber grew up on a farm in a small town near Dayton and has always been close with her younger brother. We both grew up in hard-working, blue-collar families and those values have been strongly instilled in our lives. 

We met in a ceramics class at BGSU, where we both graduated with a BFA. After graduation we were both working full time jobs, but made a commitment to the idea of obtaining a building and creating a gallery and art center. We have been in Toledo for two years now and are looking forward to what the future has to offer. 

Do you have a motto or favorite quote you try to live by?
“Make shit happen.”

Favorite place for local culture?
All over downtown Toledo.

Toledo’s “best kept secret” is . . .
Toledo’s best-kept secrets lie in the street art that can be found all around the city. From murals, to graffiti, to yarnbombs, the love that neighborhoods and streets get from talented artists is remarkable. 

Favorite place to chill locally is . . . 
Our backyard is our favorite local place to chill. We don’t have much time to get out, so our backyard is the perfect spot to cook out and relax with our friends and artists (who become our friends).

Favorite natural space in the Toledo area is . . . 
On a boat in the Maumee River.

When we’re not working hard, I can always be found at . . . 
Where ever we were 10minutes ago, still working.  Or in bed!

If you could change anything about the current landscape for creative, progressive people . . .
We would love to open the lines of communication to bring communities, projects, artists, and ambitions together as a support system within the city.

Name one person (living or deceased) who you would love to collaborate with.
Adam says: I would love to collaborate with the most important artist in his life, Amber LeFever.  And also Peter Volkous. 

Amber says: I would love to collaborate with Adam.

Name a CD, book or website you can’t live without.
Adam says:

Amber says: Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut

3 words that best describe me or my work are . . .
Adam says: 1. Intuitive 2. Responsive 3.  Wabi-Sabi

Amber says: 1. Driven 2. Genuine 3. Realistic

Our biggest vice is . . .

The last lyric that moved me was . . .
Adam says: “We only have what we remember…” by Listener

Amber says: “Five in the air for the teachers not scared to tell those kids that’s livin’ in the ghetto … that the world is theirs.” By Lupe Fiasco

One movie character I identify with is . . .
Adam says: Thor.


The best gift I’ve ever received was . . .
Adam says:  My pottery wheel.

Amber says: A “Love-Bomb” from a favorite student.

My most inspiring moment was/is . . .
Adam says:  When I had the chance to visit Jun Kaneko’s creative spaces in Omaha, NE.

Amber: When complete strangers walked into our gallery and said that they were proud of us. 

I want my last meal to be _______________.
Amber says: Taco Bell.


Photo Credits:

1. Portrait of Adam and Amber by Kara Fallon
2. Photo of Amber's work by Bradley Scherzer
3. Photo of Adam's work by Joseph Herr
4. Photo of LeSo by Joseph Herr


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