News Column

Reality and dreams join forces in exhibit

July 10, 2014

By Catherine Godbey, The Decatur Daily, Ala.

July 10--In the paintings of girls with eyepieces and forged jewelry, a mesh of Leslie Wood's mechanical and creative sides appears.

Visitors can examine the two sides of the artist in her solo exhibit "Dreams and Reality" at the Carnegie Visual Arts Center.

" 'Dreams and Reality' is a theme, not only in my art, but in life as well.

"I consider my engineering day job my 'reality' and my art my 'dream,' " Wood said.

After following her father into aerospace engineering, Wood returned to college to "dabble" in art as a hobby. Once hidden inside the walls of her home at the base of Brindlee Mountain, Wood's work has appeared at the Monte Sano Art Show, Athens' Art on the Square, Lowe Mill, Panoply and in "Somerset," a nationally distributed art publication.

She finds inspiration in the world around her. The canopy of trees shading her home led to the wide-eyed pixie-like woodland creatures. The machines surrounding the NASA subcontractor engineer led to the cyborg women with mechanical eyes.

When the Huntsville Art League selected Wood as the featured Visiting Artist last year, the Lacey's Spring woman discussed the inspiration for her art journals and the Girl series, both of which appear in the Carnegie exhibit.

Art journals: I like the idea of taking an old book and doing different things to it. I started journaling about my art, combining words and pictures. The journals are like the beginning of a painting. It is a way to experiment. I am braver in my journals than I am on canvas. The journals have led to the Woodland series and Girl series.

Girl series: Each of the paintings in the Girl series has an eyepiece. This is me trying to meld the two sides of myself -- the mechanical, engineering side and the need to create. For me, the eyepieces represent how I see part of the world as an engineer.

Exhibits coordinator Kathy Silvestri said Wood's sculptures, art journals, jewelry and paintings will remain on display through Aug. 2. The exhibit also includes a video of the artist sharing the inspiration and process behind creating art journals. Hours are Tuesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Entry is free, with donations to the nonprofit arts center appreciated.

For individuals interested in art journaling, Wood will hold a workshop July 29-31, 6-8 p.m. Cost is $105. For more information, call 256-341-0562 or visit

Catherine Godbey can be reached at 256-340-2441 or Follow on Twitter @DecaturLiving.


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Source: Decatur Daily (AL)

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