Art professor’s accidental iPhone pics form collages, make international exhibition

Lacey Alexander

Staff Writer

Beverly Leach, lecturer in art and design, has three photo collages on display in an international exhibition in Vermont this month.

Leach currently has a collection of collages featured at the International Photography Exhibition at the Vermont Center for Photography in Brattleboro, Vermont.

The collages are composed of iPhone photos that Leach accidentally took that she said resemble “abstract expressionist paintings.”

“It’s this idea that sometimes the accidents that happen on my cellphone sometimes look interesting” Leach said. “To me that’s like play… Like if you’re not enjoying it and you’re not fully immersed, why are you making it?”

The exhibition in Vermont is presenting “experimental works.” That concept was an attractive idea to Leach.

“They were looking for works that may not be mainstream, and that’s what attracted me to it,” Leach said. “My collages were very spontaneous and abstract… These images are about texture and movement and color.”

This is Leach’s first time working with the Vermont Center for Photography, but she has had her work featured many times in the past.  Most recently, in the Upstream Gallery in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, she featured some artwork inspired by her hobby of beekeeping.

“I just hope that my being a professional artist pushes my students to submit their work as well,” Leach said. “I hope I’m inspiring my students to achieve more than just getting assignments done.”

Pamela Allen, chair of the art and design department, said that Leach’s work being presented in the exhibition is a recruitment opportunity for the department.

“Anytime our faculty are exposed, Troy University is exposed,” Allen said. “She’s a wonderful teacher. Everywhere she goes, she carries this enthusiasm for our students, and for our department and for our university.”

Leach was voted by her fellow faculty to be a recipient of the Faculty Senate Excellence Award in April 2015. She was also selected to serve on the Board of Directors at the Wiregrass Museum of Art in Dothan last week, which she says is a “community honor.”

Leach’s next projects include exhibiting her art in The Heritage Exhibition on Nov. 5 at the new International Arts Center on campus, where both past and present professors at the university will be presenting their artwork.

She will also be presenting a paper at the “Foundations in Art: Theory and Education” conference in Kansas City focused on aiding students in generating ideas and concepts.

“I want my students to not be afraid to experiment,” Leach said, “and for it to look intentional—that’s kind of tricky, I think. You can never spend enough time on things.”

Leach said that her personal goal is to have a one-person show of her work.

“I feel that I’m close,” said Leach. “It’s all time management and prioritizing.”

Leach’s photographs will be featured at the Vermont Center for Photography until the end of November.

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