Len Jagoda, Artist - Backstretch Studio
A letter from Uncle Sam prevented Len Jagoda from accepting a scholarship to the Cleveland Institute of Art sidetracking a career in art for over 30 years. Some dramatic events led to an epiphany and with the support of his wife Len turned to his passion, art. After abandoning art for so long and lacking formal training, Len limited himself to working in sculpture and drawing to build a foundation in basics of form and values that are so important to a traditional realist style. After over a year of this self imposed apprenticeship he reached a level of satisfaction that allowed adding color in the medium of pastels and finally adding oils to his repertoire. During his absence from art he was deeply involved with animals, especially horses and dogs. Combining his passions for both animals and art has proven rewarding. Since beginning his life as an artist in 2007 he has accumulated over 56 awards at the state, regional and national levels, including eight Best of Shows and another eleven first place ribbons including one from the American Academy of Equine Art.
Len is an Elected Member of the American Artists Professional League (the nation's oldest professional artist organization with emphasis on realism) and a Juried Member of the prestigious American Academy of Equine Art. HIs works have been accepted to many national and international juried exhibitions, galleries and shows. His art hangs in collections and homes all over the nation and as far away as Saudi Arabia, as well as some of the most prestigious horse farms in Kentucky and California. He has completed portraits of leading sires and Derby winners and champions including Big Brown, Zenyatta, Distorted Humor, Rachel Alexandra, Bluegrass Cat, Johannesburg and Hall of Fame Champion and Champion Sire Tiznow. He was the official artist for the 2011 Aiken Steeplechase, has had his art featured on the covers of the Chronicle of the Horse twice and on the cover of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (April 15th, 2011 issue). He was also featured in the 2010 Bullmastiff Annual.