Artist Leslie Peebles of Alachua, the featured artist at North Florida Community College’s Hardee Center for the Arts in September, gave a public art talk on Wednesday, Sept. 27, sharing insight into her work, inspiration and technique. She told interesting stories about her “Evolution of an Artist Soul” exhibit, including the places, spiritual influences and vivid dreams behind many of the works on display.
Peebles draws much inspiration from our area’s natural beauty. “North Florida has been my home for most of my life and my images depict the land, trees, wildlife and people of the area. I believe there are many layers to the perception of reality and that art reveals deeper layers than most people perceive. My art digs down to soulful, spiritual or mythical dimensions of places and beings. I want others to see the ethereal and Eden-like beauty of the world around us.”
She encouraged NFCC students and guests to form their own interpretations of her work and was available after the presentation to answer questions and talk individually with guests. The exhibit featured a variety of media from printmaking to painting. To see more of Peebles’ work, visit www.lesliepeebles.com.
The Hardee Center for the Arts, located on the NFCC campus in Madison, features exhibits each month during the college’s fall and spring terms. The gallery is open to the public, excluding holidays, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Group tours are available upon request. For more information, visit www.nfcc.edu/visitors/hardee-center-for-the-arts or contact Lisa Thompson, NFCC Art Instructor and Gallery Director, at (850) 973-1642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peebles, born in Hackensack, New Jersey in 1959, lived in the suburbs of New York City until 1971 when she and her family moved to Suwannee County where her father became a broiler chicken producer for Gold Kist. Living on an 80-acre farm near the Suwannee River fostered a deep love, respect and fascination for nature. She attended The University of the South in Sewanee, Tn., married after her junior year and received her B.A. in Studio Art from Newcomb College in New Orleans in 1981. Peebles moved to Gainesville in 1985 and, while raising three children, received an M.A. in Art Education from U.F. in 1994 and began her teaching career. Inspired by teaching linoleum block printmaking to her students, Peebles began creating her own art using this medium. She joined the Center for Modern Art in Gainesville in 1996 and began showing with them in group shows and alternative art spaces. She joined Sweetwater Print Cooperative in 1999, which broadened her printmaking experiences, provided crucial equipment and space for her use and helped Ms. Peebles become an emerging regional artist.