Artist, designer and teacher Leah K. Tomaino of Randolph was delighted when Bloomingdales turned to her to design a collection of artwork to help increase breast cancer awareness. Her answer was to take brown recycled shopping bags and turn them into a collection of artistic “LeahBras” fashioned in the image of flowers. The “LeahBras” collection is on display in Bloomingdales’ three New Jersey stores at the Bridgewater Commons, the Mall at Short Hills and Willowbrook mall through the month of October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“I really like the concept that the bags started out as trees and are now collaged into images of the natural world,” said Tomaino, who teaches two- and three-dimensional design classes at County College of Morris. Each creation also is embellished with pink impatient flowers in recognition of the anxiousness associated with waiting for mammogram results.
While her work has been widely exhibited throughout the country, including galleries, museums, libraries and universities, this is the first time Tomaino’s art is being displayed in a retail shop. She will be donating part of the proceeds from the sale of “LeahBras” to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Tomaino also teaches at Randolph’s Artworks Studio. She studied abroad at the Studio Art School of the Aegean, in Samos, Greece. She received her BFA from The Cooper Union, NY and her M.A. from William Paterson University. For more information about Tomaino and her artwork, visit http://leah-tomaino.artistwebsites.com.
Photo: Leah Tomaino (left) poses with her friend Margaret Pittaluga, who recently finished chemotherapy and is undergoing radiation treatment, next to "The Margaret," a piece in Tomaino’s “LeahBras” collection named for Pittaluga.