Shawna Leach was born in 1962 in Kittery, Maine. She attended the Gorham Campus of the University of Maine in Portland; Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan; and the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. In addition, she studied sculpture under Tom Hays during a two-year apprenticeship.
Most of Leach's current work is on paper and canvas, and often has a low relief quality. This flirting with the third dimension, along with the sometimes metallic and gem-encrusted look of her pieces, clearly bears the mark of her training as a sculptor. Collage and other materials are built up into a texture that is both rhythmic and engaging. Her imagery ranges from realistic representation to abstract expressionism.