W&L’s Staniar Gallery presents ‘Reconciliation’ by Leigh Ann Beavers

Reconciliation

Photo courtesy Washington and Lee University.

Washington and Lee University’s Staniar Gallery presents “Reconciliation,” a show by Leigh Ann Beavers, an art professor at W&L.

The exhibit will open on Jan. 17 and the works will be on display through Feb. 18, with a virtual artist talk on Jan. 27 at 5:30 p.m.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Staniar Gallery is open to W&L community members only via swipe card access to Wilson Hall between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (seven days a week). The exhibit can be accessed remotely through a virtual gallery tour and the artist’s talk will be held over Zoom. Links to both, which are free and open to the public, will be posted to the gallery’s website: https://my.wlu.edu/staniar-gallery/current-season/leigh-ann-beavers.

In her post-sabbatical exhibition, Beavers presents recent work from her mixed-media project that is a creative expression of reconciliation ecology, a branch of conservation biology seeking to preserve biodiversity amid human development.

She spent portions of the last eight summers in residence on Aughnish Island in Ireland, working on this project, which also exhibited at Courthouse Gallery in Ireland, Roanoke College in Virginia and Winthrop University in South Carolina.

This project is a cumulative collection of eight years’ work resulting from close visual observation of a limited natural community on an island in west Ireland,” said Beavers. “I am enthralled by the specificity of the natural world at every level, all the way down to the differences of leaves on the same tree. We are but one of 8.7 million species sharing this planet. As many conservationists have pointed out, no one will work to save what doesn’t have a name; what they don’t know exists.”

Stemming from an urgent, personal imperative to recognize each individual species in her immediate environment, Beavers’ drawings, prints, collages and installations draw attention to the myriad forms of life on the edges of our backyards, fields and roadsides.

“Early in the project, my attention settled on the whitethorn, a shrub and a principal component of the hedgerows and verges that harbor the majority of the remaining wildlife,” she said. “My experiences contemplating these remaining remnants honed an interest in reconciliation ecology, a scientific understanding of how wild communities persist in human-dominated landscapes.”

At W&L, Beavers teaches drawing and printmaking. She earned her master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The Staniar Gallery is located on the second floor of Wilson Hall in Washington and Lee University’s Lenfest Center for the Arts. For more information, please call 540-458-8861.


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