Born in Toronto in 1951, Leventhal is an honour graduate of Fine Arts from York University. He also studied at the Ontario College of Art now OCAD and at Sara Lawrence College in Lacoste, France.
He has had numerous one man art exhibitions over the years but is probably best known for his numerous commercial work that adorn and define restaurants, hotels, libraries, malls, schools, cafes, hospitals and banks from Toronto to Jerusalem.
TIFFANY’S FIFTH AVENUE
The first Canadian artist to be commissioned in the history of Tiffany window installations, this 5 piece sculptural exhibit opened on 5th Avenue in the heart of Manhattan. Featuring vibrant paper mache figures, as foils to the sparking diamond creations of New York’s master jeweller.
A Multi-Media Collection of fantastical furniture creations, functional sculpture and three-dimensional paintings. Inspired by the energy and frenetic pace of New York City, this was the second major exhibition by the artist in Manhattan .
A Twenty year collaboration with the Pickle Barrel chain of restaurants in producing hundreds of sculpture, plaques, mobiles and murals in a range of mediums. Pink elephants carrying Pickle ladies in floppy hats, parades of clowns and camels, Gherkin Juggling Jesters and other improbable creations boldly flaunt themselves to the amusement of all.
In the mid 80 Leventhal was honoured with a UNICEF award for his contribution to the arts in Canada.
SECOND CUP, VANCOUVER to ST. JOHN’S
Leventhal’s distinctive style has created a major impact on coffee shops across North America with his award-winning designs for the Second Cup, a Toronto-based gourmet coffee franchise. Asked to create a new image for a local coffee shop in 1994, Leventhal’s murals, sculptures and mosaics quickly transformed the location into a quirky visual landmark. His designs for the company embraced over 100 of the popular cafes across the country. Each was totally unique and local touches of Leventhal’s exuberant whimsy continue to endear coffee patrons from Halifax to Vancouver.
HOSPITALS AND HEALTH
Leventhal’s philanthropic nature has allowed many of his colourful and stylish creations to delight and enrich many hospital and schools both in Canada and Israel. In 1998 Leventhal was the patron artist for the Heart and Stoke Foundation. And in the same year he created the signature painting to mark the 50th Anniversary of Israel’s founding.
The early 90’s saw Leventhal create a massive Christmas castle that reflected the multi-cultural nature of the Dufferin Mall, called “The Four Corners of the World,” the towering structure comprised elements of African, Asian European and Native American architecture.
In the later years of the 90’s Leventhal produced a seventy foot, kinetic and special effects façade for Toronto’s Yorkdale. P. J’s Pet Centre, as well as murals for the Manu-Life Centre on Bloor St. He was commissioned by both Laura Secord and Bell Canada to design their Christmas programmes. His images were also used by Air Canada to illustrate their in-flight Coffee groupings.
In 1999, in the Galleria of Toronto’s BCE place in conjunction with the Starlight Children’s Foundation. Leventhal held a one man show and gala fundraiser.
This art exhibition featured 33 works of art created by Chinese and Jewish artist on the theme of compassion shown to the Jewish People by the people of China during the Holocaust era. The Gift of Friendship opened in Toronto in 2002 and then traveled to Shanghai where it became part of the permanent collection of the Ohel Moishe Synagogue museum.
QUEEN’S JUBILEE MEDAL
In 2003 Leventhal was presented with the Queens Jubilee medal for his initiative the Gift of Friendship.
TEL AVIV- TORONTO
In 2004 Leventhal worked with the Humanitarian Outreach Organization , called Ve’ahavta , in bringing art produced by street youth to a mainstream audience. The programme Tiferet Boulevard operated workshops both in Canada and Israel, which culminated in a fundraising exhibition at the Blue Dot Gallery.
TREASURE OF BAYCREST
In 2005 Leventhal was inducted into the honourary exhibiton “Treasures of Baycrest” for his work in beautifying the environment and spaces of that renowned institution. His artwork can be seen in several of the outdoor courtyards of the Apotex and Minnie Wagman Centres.
In 2006 Leventhal designed the Baycrest Museum Exhibition “Get, Back the Boomer Experience” – growing up Jewish in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.
TORONTO CITY HALL MURAL PROJECTS
In 2005 Leventhal was asked to sit on the Mayor’s Round Table for a Clean and Beautiful City. Through initiatives originating from Toronto’s City Government, Leventhal was commissioned to paint one of the largest murals in Canada, the 400 foot support wall of the 401 highway. Soon to follow were mural paintings on the Rail Bridge Wall at the corner of Avenue Road and MacPhearson and the Bloor and Mt. Pleasant underpasses walls.
Multiple projects in the Holy City,Leventhal complete a mural called “Jerusalem-welcomes” at Crossroads , a social service centre in the heart of Jerusalem. Leventhal has left his mark on the whimsical gates to the largest Community Centre in the Holy City.
In 2008 in the Israeli city of Acco, Leventhal “transformed a Futuristic dome into a wondrous artistic landmark.” As an artist in residence, Leventhal worked with three local art students on a unique design depicting the history of this ancient city.
An interactive Mural project in this coastal city, involving Immigrant Ethiopian children and volunteers from Canada. The completed mural adorns a seaside community play and education centre and presents a positive face to a neglected neighbourhood.