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The Third and Final Artist: Lesley

573 Magazine is a big supporter of local arts. We often hold contests to discover and highlight local artists and their works. We’ve seen and met a great deal of amazing artists here in the 573. Writers, quilters, sculptors, painters, photographers, musicians, and a number of various other artists who work with unique and interesting mediums. Our last completed contest that we chose winners for was the 573 Blind Selection Art Contest.

Today we journey down to Cape Girardeau to meet up with the third and final winner.

A blind selection art contest is an event that shows works of art to a panel of judges without revealing the identity of the artist until after the winning pieces are chosen. Back in April we unmasked two of the three winning artists chosen for the 573 Blind Selection Art Contest sponsored by The Arts Council of Southeast Missouri. Today we journey down to Cape Girardeau to meet up with the third and final winner.

This story is sponsored by Visit Cape and the City of Cape Girardeau.

Lesley Eby is a gifted artist who radiates joy and gives birth to very realistic art. It was an honor to meet her. She is much more than just an artist; Lesley is a wife, mother, teacher and creative. A seasoned local artist from Bloomfield, Missouri, Lesley spent much of her life pursuing art and passing her skills along to her children and students.

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Lesley Eby. I was born and raised in St. Louis until I was a Freshman in High School and we moved to the small community of Ellsinore. I loved the small school community and a change in my family dynamics made it all the better. After graduating High School, I attended Colorado Institute of Art in Denver. I then moved back to St. Louis, worked as a commercial artist and started a family.

I’ve been painting portraits for 30 years.

When my kids were babies, I moved back to Southeast Missouri and attended Arkansas State University to become a Spanish teacher. I taught Spanish for 19 years at Bloomfield Schools and then switched over to teach art for my last seven years as a teacher. I’m retired now.

I’ve been painting portraits for 30 years. I started when my oldest kids were born to bring in some income then kept doing it. I’ve been doing portraits since I was a kid, really, but I’ve been painting them for actual income for about 30 years.

Tell us about your family.

My husband and I have five kids total. My first grandson was born about eight days ago. My youngest is in college at ASU, the next one up is in college at Missouri State University and my stepson is in college at SEMO. All of my children are artists and musicians. My daughter is a designer in St. Louis. My oldest son is a master carpenter in St. Louis. He does woodwork in houses around Forest Park. My husband and I live in Bloomfield right now. We’ve lived there for 26 years, but we’re moving to Jackson.

...when I found out I won, I was beyond shocked...

What was your reaction when you found out that you won the 573 Blind Selection Contest?

I always enter those and then end up forgetting about them, so when I found out I won, I was beyond shocked because I had forgotten I had even submitted a piece! Of course I am humbled. Lol.

Tell us about your paintings.

I paint with oils. This piece, called Third Generation, is my two youngest boys, Camilo, or Milo is what we call him, and Silas. They had a habit of drawing every day together until they went away to different colleges, but they still talk on the phone and draw together as much as they can. In this portrait, they’re drawing on a drafting table that belonged to my dad, which is why it’s called Third Generation. That’s where my dad drew. They love to draw and they’re very good at it.

They love to draw and they’re very good at it.

This piece here is a still-life called, "Paasche." It’s named after the airbrush jar sitting in the bowl. It’s a work in progress.

This one is "Gus with Hooks in the Water". He was on the boat with his dad, my husband, who took that picture when they were at Lake Wappapello fishing. I just love the photograph because of this red glow on his face. It was the sun hitting his hat there and reflecting the color. That’s why I wanted to paint that one. It was just a beautiful photo of Gus.

This one is not titled yet. It’s my son Camilo who came and sat posing for me. I still need to finish painting a few places like the fine details and the shoes, or I might just leave the shoes the way they are, I’m not sure yet.

What do you hope to see in your future?

I plan on moving to Jackson and I plan on continuing to paint portraiture. Now that I am retired I will have more time. I did belong to the SEMO Arts Council here in Cape, but had dropped out a little while back because of the long drive. Now that we’re moving closer to the area, I might rejoin.

I’ve been showing my art at The Margaret Harwell Art Museum...

I’ve been showing my art at The Margaret Harwell Art Museum in Poplar Bluff and in the past couple years I’ve won best in show. I don’t have either of those paintings here with me today, they are both at my mom's house.

Are you an undiscovered local artist?

We would love to see more from Lesley, Dianne, Dixie and other local artists in the future. Are you an undiscovered local artist? Tell us about your work. We’d love to see it. Until then, keep growing, learning, and evolving your art, and be sure to look out for more contests coming soon.



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