Born in Peru, South America, Jorge Leyva moved to the United State in 1983 to attend The American Language Program at Pittsburg State University, in Pittsburg Kansas. Two years later he enrolled at Missouri Southern State University. During his first two years at MSSU he studied pre-engineering, later influenced by his art instructors and the promising talent he showed in his work he transferred to art.

 

Jorge graduated from Missouri Southern State University in 1989 with a Bachelors in Art, he received his Master of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburg, Kansas in 1991. Where he was awarded a Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society membership. He then went on to graduate from the California College of the Arts with a Master of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing, and was a member of the President's Circle. while in the San Francisco bay area in 1994 Jorge had numerous exhibits in various galleries and alternative spaces. Feeling that his work was adopting the strong influences of the west coast art, he returned to Missouri a year later in search of his own individuality.

 

After settling in Joplin Missouri, Jorge opened his first art studio. For the next two years he spent time helping to build a contemporary artists community in the city. Along with the local Art Center he founded the Art Forum Group, a place for artist to exchange ideas and help each other to build a stronger art community. He worked with the director of the Art Center in creating art programs for teenagers and establishing a stronger fine arts curriculum for the future of the center. He was a member of the exhibitions committee and a multimedia art instructor. Jorge has served in numerous civic activities including the honor of serving as a panelist, for the Missouri Arts Council's Citizens Advisory Panel for Visual and Electronic Media arts in 2002, and again in 2005. In 2003 he was one of six Missouri artist selected to represent the State in the decorating of the White House Christmas tree with original ornaments created by our nations artist. In the spring of 2005 he was invited to exhibit his works at the Missouri State Capitol. Jorge was made an Honored Member of Strathmore who's who published in the 2005 - 2006 season.

 

With numerous community projects to his credit, Jorge is also recognized for his design of the "Extraordinary Women" water fountain located in the Joplin Medical Building. A project that involved a group of women with breast cancer, Saint Johns Regional Hospital and the Spiva Center for the Arts. In 2010 Jorge became a member of the Board of Directors for the Joplin Rotary Club, and member of the Board of Directors for Spiva Center for the Arts. He was also an Art advisor for the Cultural Affairs Committee (Art in Public Places) and co-founder of the Joplin Regional Artists Coalition (JRAC). He has conducted honor art classes for private schools, and private instructor for studio art students. His paintings and sculptures are found in private collections, corporate collection and museum collections, both in the United States and abroad.