"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange
Thursday, September 29, 2011
team 5: meet michelle and j.leroy
"We are J.LeRoy and Michelle Beasley, and we like to think of ourselves as just a 'couple' of fun loving artists! We found out how much we both enjoyed art two years after we met and have continued to encourage, as well as challenge, one another ever since. I paint watercolor on canvas and photograph objects and people at odd angles. LeRoy is gaining fame as a dynamic photographer and plaster sculptor.
J.LeRoy is humbled to have this opportunity to return to Africa. He went in 2008 with Shane Evans (also a member of Team 5). He photographed every person, place and thing he saw. When he returned home and talked about the difference the children made in his life and how powerful it was to walk in such a magnificent country, I almost felt like I had been with him.
Now I will feel the children's hugs, see those smiles and experience the land for myself.
Our most recent show was at the Jazz Museum - a group exhibition entitled 'Reflections in Jazz' and we will also be in a group exhibition at the upcoming Buck O'Neal celebration at the Negro League Museum (Kansas City) in October.
Please visit our website to learn more about us!"
I had the pleasure of meeting this energetic, joyous, generous, fun-loving and spiritual couple almost two years ago. One of the 2010 doll artists recommend I track them down because they "needed" to be part of the project. It took about two seconds for Michelle to say "yes" to making dolls, and she and J.Leroy have been friends of Change the Truth (and mine) ever since.
I smile and laugh whenever we get together. Or cry. Michelle admits to being a crier, and I can be one, as well.
Besides making art, Michelle and J.Leroy are committed to making the world a better place. I love being in their company. They lift me up, give me hope, make me feel good about myself, make me care, make me think about things in new ways, make me feel inspired and make me happy.
Can you imagine how the children at the orphanage will feel in their presence? It takes my breath away to even consider it!
I am so pleased that they are making the journey to Uganda as members of Team 5. It will be amazing for all of us to share the experience with them.
The following is from the "about us" page of their website:
"J. Leroy Beasley was born in College Station, Arkansas. He is a strong minded Tradesman who over the years has discovered and nurtured a passion for the Arts. He is a self-taught Sculptor who has added photography and painting to his repertoire of naturally developed talents. Sculpting has always come naturally to him. The most interesting part of his sculpting is that he uses no molds or pre-fired castings, all of the work he creates is passionately formed by his own hands, freeform. His photography, just as in his sculpting, is masterful at capturing strong, subtle & insightful details missed in the confusion of daily life.
Michelle Beasley was born, raised & studied in Kansas City, Missouri. She received a Bachelor’s of Art Degree from Webster University. Michelle is an accomplished, self-taught artist. She utilizes and is competent, working in a variety of media; charcoal, watercolor, acrylic, plaster, oil and photography. She is partial to the watercolor medium for its ability to portray layering in depth, defining her emotional investment in a piece better than any of the other mediums. As they work together combining all that they are as artist, you can be sure that you will receive completed works that are full of passion, perfection and love."