Woodcarvers Pete and Sarah Leclair, who made an impact on the art world for over 20 years, were killed in a car crash in Colorado Springs on Monday.
Leclair, 53, was an art director and photographer who worked on a number of major projects including the new “The House at the Top” and the “The Dreaming,” which opened at the Whitney Biennial in 2018.
Leclair was also a prolific painter and photographer.
In his late 50s, Leclair joined the gallery in 1967 and spent more than 10 years as a curator and exhibit director.
He also contributed to the collection, which was eventually purchased by the Whitney in 2007.
In a statement on the museum’s website, Leclercart said, “I was the kind of person who loved to be in the moment.
My work was always meant to be a reflection of what I saw in the world and the people who were living it.”
He added, “My art is meant to express the truth, to be transparent and to be open to all.
My love for art and my passion for the art was the first thing I learned from the American dream.”
Born in Toronto in 1947, LeClercart moved to the U.S. when he was 12 years old, and worked in a variety of occupations before settling in the Colorado Springs art scene.
LeClert was the director of the Whitney’s Studio Arts Gallery from 2000 to 2006 and its Artistic Director from 2007 to 2011.
In 2011, he became a curator in the Whitney and the gallery was purchased by Getty Images.
The gallery will host a memorial service for Leclair on Sunday.
In addition to the two-week memorial, the gallery will hold a “celebration of life” on Sunday with a series of installations that include a new “Catch Me if You Can” sculpture by the artist Frank Schaeffer.
In 2017, the Whitney hosted a daylong celebration of life for LeCleras mother, Nancy, who died in 2014.
The Leclair family will hold the memorial service at the museum.