Our next MMA Artist Spotlight is on Leslie Struxness, a photographer and native of the Pacific Northwest.
Leslie is a retired Ob/Gyn who has practiced in Vancouver, Washington since 1985. Now, she still works part-time in surgery, in addition to cultivating a vibrant photography practice and operating a farm with her husband in Dayton, Oregon.
Like many photographers who have been practicing their art for some years, Leslie evolved from film photography to digital photography. Her photos range from up-close shots of pinot noir grapes to dramatic mountainscapes and touching portraits of people from around the world.
And, as you can see while browsing through her work, Leslie does not extensively alter or abstract her images while using digital platforms such as Adobe Lightroom. Rather, she leaves us with images that are unmistakably the real world, imbued with poetic-ness and intimacy that comes from Leslie’s eye.
For example, let’s take a look at her photograph Moss Covered Gate, which won the People's Choice Award in the 2022 MAA Spring Show. This particular photo was taken in New Zealand while roaming off the beaten track. A gate fills most of the image, opening to a path, a scene that many might walk by—however, Leslie chooses to isolate this quiet moment with her camera and share it with the world.
Additionally, an important pillar of Leslie’s life and art practice is her international volunteering efforts. Many of her photos come from these experiences and the areas she has visited as part of her travels. In her own words,
“It has been the medical and disaster relief work I've done that has advanced my photography from a hobby to an art.”
One beautiful series that illustrates Leslie's extensive travels and how they inform her art is her portraits of people abroad, which you can explore on her website. She is currently experimenting with macro lenses, as well as black and white and night photography. As part of her practice, Leslie makes greeting cards and prints of her photos for purchase.