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Schlesinger Center to exhibit Raye Leith’s drawings in ‘Blueprints’

Leith Blueprint 1

Raye Leith, Blueprint III: Full Tilt, pastel on Lanaquarelle paper, 46” x 60”, photo by Greg Staley

Raye Leith; Jalilah, profile; pastel on Lanaquarelle paper; 30” x 23”; photo by Greg Staley

The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center at Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria Campus is honored to exhibit the works of artist Raye Leith in her show, Blueprints, on display in the Forum and Passage galleries from Friday, July 29 to Sunday, Sept. 11. An artist’s reception is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6.

Leith has been painting and drawing for five decades. She’s fueled by a basic desire for connection and communication. Leith is an eclectic artist who also has experience in theatre design.

“In these drawings I call ‘Blueprints,’ I’ve interwoven larger-than-life portraits with miniature cityscapes and expansive landscapes,” Leith explained. “I’ve skewed the portraits to express a sense of gravitational disorientation, and I’ve juxtaposed them with soaring expanses and apocalyptic disasters. Minute detailing in the pocket spaces between human forms creates unexpected shifts of spatial perspective.”

Leith’s individual portraits that will be on display in the Passage Gallery are developed from her weekly model studies. “I do the drawings on Lanaquarelle 300-pound paper using indigo- and ivory-colored NuPastels. I’ve favored these pastels for three years for the unique way the crystalline dust absorbs and refracts light to create an especially rich and deep blue,” she said. “For me this blue is soulful — spiritual and expansive. It also brings to mind an earlier age of architectural blueprints and cyanotype photography, two media with which I feel a kinship.”

Leith received her Bachelor of Arts in ceramics from Hamilton College and a Master of Fine Arts in painting from the Rochester Institute of Technology. She has exhibited in New York, Washington, D.C., Italy and Germany.

The Forum Gallery is on the first level of the Schlesinger Center, and the Passage Gallery is on the second floor outside of the Margaret W. & Joseph L. Fisher Art Gallery. The galleries are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday and during events in the concert hall. For more information about art shows and concert hall events, call the Schlesinger Center at 703.845.6156.

Media Contact: Raytevia Evans | 703.425.5839 | revans@nvcc.edu


Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.